This is what you can expect from the military and civilian parade on the national holiday

Traditionally, the royal family begins the festivities on July 21 with the Te Deum in the Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula in Brussels. But what is most awaited is the civil and military parade on the Place des Palais. It starts on Thursday at 4 p.m. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, Princess Astrid, Prince Lorenz, Prince Laurent, Princess Claire, Princess Delphine and her husband James O’Hare are expected to attend.

Every year on July 21, our country’s security and emergency services, such as the army, police, fire service or civil protection, are paid tribute. This year, the Directorate for Special Units (DSU) is in the spotlight because of their 50th anniversary. In addition, fifty Belgians who make a big difference with small deeds will also be present at this ceremony.

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Military parade

The Royal Navy’s Music Chapel starts on Thursday. This is followed by the veterans, Royal Marine Cadet Corps, Air Cadets, Belgian Defense Cadets and junior commandos. Then Major General Pierre Gérard, head of the Land Component, will appear. He is accompanied by 13 military police motorcycles.

16.17 F-16 aircraft open the national tricolor air parade over the Royal Palace in Brussels. This is followed by the A109 and NH90 helicopters, the SF260 training aircraft, a French Xingu and Belgian A400M and Falcon7X transport aircraft. It is completed with a tank-transport MRTT-F16 combination. The planes will depart from different air bases to fly over Brussels at exactly the right time.

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After the air parade, it is the turn of the military parade on foot. The Royal Air Force Band opens. Then there are various departments from the Royal Military Academy and the Royal School for Non-Commissioned Officers. Subsequently, detachments from, among others, Eurocorps, the land component, the naval component, the air component and the medical component will parade over the Place des Palais.

They are followed by the motorized vehicles. Among others, DOVO and the Special Operations Regiment delegated a few vehicles.

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Also notable this year is the presence of a Caesar. This is a French system for heavy artillery, of which our country already has nine, but wants to expand its capacity to 28. It is a truck equipped with a long-range gun. French President Macron announced in mid-June that France will supply six additional Caesars to the Ukrainian army. Twelve were already delivered at the beginning of the conflict.

Another French vehicle will also take part in the military parade on Thursday. It is a Griffon, an armored vehicle that Belgium has ordered dozens of as part of a partnership with France.

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A dynamic demonstration will also be staged at the end of the parade. A first for our country. Piranhas, eight-wheeled armored vehicles with a cannon, will be on display and special forces will also be dropped from a police and Tiger helicopter.

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Civil parade

Then it’s the citizen’s procession’s turn. Departments from the Police Academy are paraded, but also fire service cadets and the youth fire service take part in the parade. Numerous vehicles from the integrated police will appear during the motorized section, but also vehicles from customs and tax and civil security will pass by. Vehicles from B-Fast, FPS Folkesundhed and Red Cross close the parade.

(sgg, rb)

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