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Republic Day Parade 2015- A Curtain Raiser

The Nations military prowess and achievements in different fields, state-of- the- art defence platforms, its diverse cultural and social traditions, and the governments emphasis on self-reliance and indigenisation will be showcased before the public at the historic Rajpath when the country celebrates its 66th Republic Day tomorrow.

The highlights of this years Parade will be the display of indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash medium range missile (Army version) and Weapon Locating Radar both developed by the DRDO. The recently acquired long range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine aircraft P-8I and the deadly long range advanced air fighter MiG-29 K will be seen for the first time. This years parade will also witness for the first time three all women marching contingents of the Army, Navy and the Air Force signifying womens powerful role in the realm of defence.

The Indian Armys laser guided missile capability T-90 Bheeshma tank, infantry combat vehicle BMP II (Sarath) followed by T-72 with Trawl will be the main draw in the Mechanised Columns. These will be followed by Pinaka Multiple Barrel Launcher System. Next comes the Mobile Autonomous Launcher of BRAHMOS missile system, three dimensional tactical control radar, satellite on the move communication platform and rapidly deployable satellite terminal (RADSAT).

An Indian Air Force tableau will roll down the Rajpath with the theme 50 years of 1965 War. The IAF aircraft on display are the ones that proved their prowess in the 1965 War- the Gnat and the Vampire, followed by the Canberra bomber, MI-4 helicopter and Packet transport aircraft.

In keeping with the Indian Navys theme Ensuring Safe Seas for a Resurgent Nation the Naval Tableau will display a few of its frontline assets in all four dimensions of maritime warfare. Navys commitment to self-reliance and indigenisation will be showcased by displaying models of indigenously constructed destroyer INS Kolkata launching a BrahMos missile with the Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv in the background. The second tableau titled Bharatiya Nau Sena aur Nari Shakti will project the extraordinary accomplishment of four of the Indian Navys women officers who braved the vagaries of the seas and participated in an ocean voyage from Goa to Rio-de-Janeiro in Brazil on board Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Mhadei.

The parade ceremony will commence at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will lead the Nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath. An eternal flame burns at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the indomitable courage of our Armed Forces personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the motherland. The Amar Jawan, the immortal soldier, is symbolised by a reversed rifle standing on its barrel and crested by a soldiers helmet.

As per tradition, after unfurling of the National Flag, the National Anthem will be played with 21 gun salute. The parade will then commence and the President will take the salute. This years Chief Guest in the parade will be the Honourable Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America. The parade will be commanded by Lt. General Subroto Mitra, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area. Major General Abhay Krishna, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area will be the parade Second-in-Command.

Param Vir Chakra winners Subedar Major & Honorary Captain Bana Singh (Retd), Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers and Naib/Subedar Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles and Ashok Chakra winners Major General Cyrus Pithawalla, BGS (Trg), HQ Southern Command, Lieutenant Colonel Jas Ram Singh (Retd), Ex-Honorary Naib Subedar Chhering Mutup (Retd), Shri Hukum Singh and Shri Govind Singh both from district Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh and Shri Bhure Lal of District Guna also from Madhya Pradesh will follow the Deputy Parade Commander on Jeeps.

The marching contingents of Army will include horse-mounted columns of the 61st Cavalry, the contingent of all-women officers led by Captain Divya A, the Brigade of the Guards, the Grenadiers, the Jat Regiment, the Sikh Regiment, the Kumaon Regiment, the Jammu & Kashmir Rifles, 14 Gorkha Training Centre and the Territorial Army (Punjab).

While the marching contingents of Navy comprising 144 young sailors will be led by Lieutenant Commander Sandhya Chauhan, the all-women Naval Contingent will be led by Lieutenant Commander Priya Jayakumar. The Air Force contingent comprising 144 men will be led by Squadron Leader Manvender Singh, while all-women Air Force Officers contingent will be led by Squadron Leader Sneha Shekhawat. The Paramilitary and other auxiliary civil forces will include contingents from the Border Security Force, Assam Rifles, Indian Coast Guard, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Railway Protection Force, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme. The Camel-mounted band of the BSF and the Ex-Servicemen marching contingent will be another major attraction.

Tableaux from 16 States and 09 Central Ministries and Departments will present the varied historical, architectural and cultural heritage of the country. They will also showcase countrys progress in different fields, particularly floats from Women and Child Development Ministry depicting Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Sikkims contribution to the national economy through its large Cardamom Cultivation and tableau on Bhagoria tribal festival of Madhya Pradesh which will be of special attraction. Twenty of the Twenty four children selected for the National Bravery Award2014 will also participate in the parade. Four children have got the award posthumously. In the childrens pageant section, nearly 1,200 boys and girls drawn from four schools in Delhi and one each from West Zone and South Central Cultural Centres will perform colourful dances on Rajpath. In this category a dance depicting Indias first successful launching of spaceship Mangalyaan into the orbit of Mars and another dance programme on Swachh Bharat will draw the attention of the spectators.

Jaanbaaz, the motorcycle display by the Border Security Force will be a major attraction of the parade. Incidentally, the paramilitary force is now celebrating its Golden Jubilee. They will perform different stunts like Border Men Salute, Side Riding, Ladder Balancing, Communal Harmony, Peacock Riding, Acrobat, Parallel Bar, Lotus, Seema Prahari and Flag March formations etc on moving motor cycles.

The grand finale of the parade will be a spectacular flypast by the IAF. The flypast will commence with Chakra formation, comprising three Mi-35 helicopters in Vic formation, followed by the Hercules formation comprising three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. Trailing them will be a Poseidon formation comprising one P-8I aircraft flanked by two MiG-29 Ks and the Globe formation comprising one C-17 Globemaster flanked by two Su-30s. Next in line will be the fighters, where five Jaguars will fly in Arrowhead formation, another five Mig-29 Air Superiority Fighters called the Tridents will fly in Fulcrum style. Then the breath-taking Trishul formation comprising three Su-30 MkI of No. 2 Squadron would fly over the Rajpath, and once in front of the saluting dais, the Su-30 MkI aircraft will split upwards, making a Trishul in the sky. The flypast will conclude with another Su-30 MkI carrying out a Vertical Charlie manoeuvre over the saluting dais.

The ceremony will culminate with the National Anthem and release of balloons.

N Ao/DM/Ranjan

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