An Airman from the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron’s Red Team jumps out of an MH-47 Chinook helicopter July 14, 2014, during helocast alternate insertion and extraction training with Soldiers from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at American Lake on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Helocasting is an airborne technique used by special operations forces units for amphibious insertion into a military area of operation.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt.Russ Jackson)
“Bastille Day” is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In France, it is formally called Fête nationale (The National Celebration) and commonly Le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July).
The French National Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790.
The Bastille Day Military Parade is the French military parade that has been held on the morning of 14 July each year in Paris since 1880. Previously held elsewhere within or near the capital city, since 1918 it has been held on the Champs-Élysées, with the exception of the period of German occupation from 1940 to 1944 (when the ceremony took place in London under the command of General de Gaulle).
The parade passes down the Champs-Élysées from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, where the President of the French Republic, his government and foreign ambassadors to France stand.
This year some troops marched in WWI uniforms (to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI – seen here flanking airborne soldiers of the Troupe de Marine fresh back from operations in central Africa.
President Hollande also invited detachments of troops from 72 other countries to take part in the parade and attend as guests this year.
Exercise “Tears of the Sun”, took place a couple of weeks ago in Toulouse, France, as a key interoperability exercise between 16 Air Assault Brigade and 11e Brigade Parachutiste (11e BP), which is at the forefront of closer military co-operation between Britain and France.
Both brigades are rapid reaction forces, held at high readiness to deploy on operations anywhere in the world. They form the Intermediate Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (I-CJEF) for contingency operations, ranging from disaster relief to war fighting.
A French Army sniper – somewhere in Africa…..
(hat-tip to Martel)
Just past midnight on the morning of June 10th, 71 years ago, an Airborne force comprised mainly of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division led the largest parachute assault by American forces to-date, into Sicily, as part of Operation Husky.
45 mph winds blew troop carriers off course and spread Paratroopers from Gela to Syracuse, Italy. By July 14th, about two-thirds of the 505th Regiment had managed to concentrate, half the Paratroopers failed to reach their rallying points.
In spite of these mishaps, the widespread landing of airborne troops had an overall positive effect as small isolated units, acting on their own initiative, attacked vital points and created widespread panic.
*Update* I had originally made the incorrect statement that this was the first airborne assault by American airborne forces in WWII. I’m afraid I didn’t remember my history as well as I thought I did – the FIRST airborne assault by American force in WWII was actually conducted by the 509th P.I.R. during the invasion of North Africa (“Operation Torch”). Thanks to LTC. RXXXXXX of the 101st Abn. Div. for bringing this to my attention.