Bastille Day - Arc de Triomphe (Paris)
13 July 2017

Bastille Day 2017: "Operational together"

"Operational together" is this year’s chosen theme for the Bastille Day festivities on 14 July. With the terror threat still looming, cooperation between the Armed Forces and domestic security forces is paramount. The parade is an opportunity to celebrate the commitment of these men and women who, together, keep French citizens safe on a daily basis. The Franco-American friendship and Operation Chammal will take centre-stage, alongside the technological prowess of the French Armed Forces.

A hundred years have passed since the United States entered World War I

2017 is the centenary year of America’s entry into World War I, bringing its support to France. The American President will be attending this centenary and tribute will be paid to the U.S. Armed Forces as a sign of this cooperation and the history of Franco-American friendship.
To open the military parade, the French Air Force aerobatic demonstration team, Patrouille de France, will be followed by the U.S. Air Force air demonstration squadron, Thunderbirds. On the ground, the marching parade will begin with an American joint detachment of 200 servicemen and women, some of whom will be wearing the authentic "Sammies" uniform from World War I.
The United States and France, partners and allies, are taking action on a number of fronts, including to combat terrorism through the Global Coalition against Daesh in the Levant.

Operation Chammal centre-stage

The efforts of French troops serving in the Levant as part of Operation Chammal are also being recognised this year. 114 servicemen and women from three branches of the Armed Forces will be taking part in the parade, illustrating the complementary nature of the means and troops committed in the fight against Daesh.
Operation Chammal
Chammal is the name of France’s contribution to the international operation Inherent Resolve. More than 1,200 soldiers are deployed in Iraq and Syria as part of this operation. They are involved in aviation or artillery support missions to assist the ground troops engaged in countering the terrorist group Daesh, as well as training missions for the benefit of the Iraqi security forces.

1917-2017: a whole century’s worth of technological innovation

In the limelight during this year’s opening festivities are technological innovations and the necessary efforts given over to planning for the future. The groundbreaking changes that have occurred over the period from 1917 to 2017 will be on show, not least the vehicles and weapons available to the French forces, as will the accomplishments in terms of planning for the future.
1917 marks the first time French tanks were used. Since then, the Saint-Chamond tank has been replaced with the powerful and mobile Leclerc tank, the only one in the world to be able to fire while travelling at a speed of 50km/h. Technological innovation has been making a key contribution to France’s strategic autonomy throughout the past century: it represents the excellence and foresight of the French Armed Forces.

The parade will close with a rendition of Nissa la Bella, the city of Nice’s anthem written on 14 July 1903 by Menica Rondelly, performed in memory of the victims of the Nice attack on 14 July 2016.

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