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  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be guest of honour at the parade

By Sangeeta Saxena & Chaitali Bag

New Delhi. 12 July 2023.  The reverse counting has begun and in precisely two days Indian Tricolour will fly all over Paris, as the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the Guest of Honour at the Bastille Day Parade in France. The occasion will also mark 25 years of strategic partnership between the two friendly nations. And it will be a moment of pride when 240 Indian soldiers will march down the Champs- Élysées , while three Indian Rafales will fly over it.

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Founded in 1953 and finalized in 1998, this strategic alliance is supported by five pillars, including a “Defence” pillar. France holds a crucial position in the broad Asia-Pacific area thanks to the deployment of sovereignty forces (New Caledonia and French Polynesia) and military support sites (United Arab Emirates and Djibouti). India, a pillar of stability in a region vulnerable to threats to global security, and the United States share similar interests in this regard.

Longtime allies France and India have developed their working relationship through interactions that encourage knowledge transfer and interoperability. Thus, throughout the three domains of Land, Sea, and Air, the excellence of their operational coordination is clear. Numerous bilateral exercises, including Frinjex, Varuna, Volfa, and Garuda, are performed as proof of this. It is also important to emphasize the numerous official visits and exchanges that take place in the areas of higher military education and training. For instance, India welcomed the Joan of Arc expedition to Cochin in March 2023.

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“France and India share the same vision of peace and security, particularly in Europe and the Indo-Pacific region, and defend the objectives and principles of the United Nations Charter, on which their cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region”, stressed the French Presidential release . The two nations collaborate on marine security in this context as part of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, which France is now chairing.

France in the current geo-political scenario feels that the military parade will honour the nation’s “moral forces” and its strategic unity with allies in light of the return of war to Europe. The operational reserve and the modernization of the armies will also be emphasized at this time. “Moral forces embody the common destiny of all generations and the qualities of resilience, resistance, courage and sense of commitment shown by our elders,” said General Abad, military governor of Paris who is also in charge of organizing the July 14 Bastille Day Parade.

In light of this, the slogan for July 14th, 2023, “Our moral forces,” aims to evoke the virtues that define the French armed forces: fortitude, courage, comradeship, and devotion. On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the French Resistance medal and Jean Moulin’s disappearance, it is also a chance to reflect on the traits of resistance exhibited by our elders.

The operating reserve shall be honoured in this manner. One of the main initiatives of the 2024–2030 military programming law is this mechanism, which enables individuals to bolster the armed forces. Sébastien Lecornu, the minister of the armed forces, wants to increase staffing by double.

The 2023 parade will attempt to remember France’s dedication to strategic solidarity with its allies too. On the Champs-Élysées, fifteen different countries are expected to be present.  The Serval multirole armored vehicle, the H160 helicopter, and the Rafale F4 will all parade for the first time in terms of capability. The SAMP/T of the Air Space Control Brigade and the Caesar cannons of the 4th Infantry Regiment will also descend the most beautiful avenue in the world to demonstrate both France’s ability to deal with a high-intensity combat and its support for Ukraine.

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Together with students from French military schools, students from partner African military high schools (Benin, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Senegal) will march in a parade. The Serval light multirole armored vehicle, the Rafale F4, and the H160 helicopter will all parade for the first time in terms of equipment. Others will represent French military assistance to Ukraine, including Caesar guns, AMX10-RC armored vehicles, and the SAMP/T from the space control air brigade.

The 80th anniversary of the Resistance medal, the 80th anniversary of Jean Moulin’s disappearance, the founding of the National Council of the Resistance, and Song supporters will all be honored with musical performances at the parade’s conclusion. Forty National Guard reservists will be given the privilege of carrying the flag during this last ceremony for the first time.

For this edition from 2023, three new features should be mentioned. The first one is about the first table. It will pay tribute to a number of France’s former Sahel partners. The parade’s mood will be created by a multinational orchestra, which consists of 80 musicians from France and 13 partner nations, including Canada and Germany.

Another first will be the participation of a detachment of 78 military engineers from the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) in the parade. officials from the armament corps, including armament engineers, armament studies and techniques engineers, commissioners from the armament anchor armies, and armament gendarmerie officials, will make up the DGA square.

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One year before the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024, the Army of Champions’ Joinville battalion, which consists of more than 200 elite athletes, will parade. The French will also get the chance to greet the soldiers in several Parisian locations on the sidelines of the march on the Champs-Élysées. The military governor of Paris will once again host a significant joint and interservice public relations operation at the Hôtel National des Invalides. Visitors will be able to learn about or revisit the realm of defense between the main courtyard, the gardens, and the esplanade. Especially grateful for the engaging talks, dramatic demonstrations, and static displays of automobiles, aircraft, and helicopters.

In addition to the joint village of Les Invalides, each army will have its own public relations operation. From 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Army and the Paris fire brigade will pool their human and material resources on the Place de la Nation, the French Navy will be present on the forecourt of the Hôtel de Ville in Paris and the Air and Space Force will deploy at Parc André Citroën, in the 15th arrondissement of the capital.

And here is the minute by minute for you all which the two ladies from ADU will get you live from Champs Elysees.

9:30 a.m.: end of the placement of foot and motorized troops on the Étoile/Champs-Élysées site. Inspection of the troops by the general officers commanding the parades on foot and motorized.

9:45 a.m.: end of the establishment of honor detachments of the Republican Guard, place Charles-de-Gaulle and place de la Concorde.

10 a.m.: arrival of the President of the Republic, avenue de Friedland.

10:15 a.m.: honors paid to the President of the Republic, place de la Concorde, by the 1st and 2nd infantry regiments of the Republican Guard.

10:21 a.m.: initial animation: animation of international military music.

10:33 a.m.: parade of planes.

10:44 a.m.: parade of the guest foreign nation (India) and troops honored (African defense high schools, French military defense high schools and technical training schools).

11:29 a.m.: parade of helicopters.

11:33 a.m.: parade of motorized troops.

11:47 a.m.: parade of mounted troops.

11:51 am: final animation: 80 years of the Resistance medal.

12:05 p.m.: departure of the President of the Republic.

So friends the countdown has begun and we are on our way to Paris to bring the event live to you.