Thousands of people attended a National Day military parade on Sunday in the Arch of Triumph Square in Bucharest.
From the early hours of the morning, people started pouring in on the route between the Free Press Square and close to the Victoriei Square, waving flags and colourful balloons.
The parade debuted at around 11:00hrs, after President Klaus Iohannis saluted the Guard of Honour and laid a wreath at the Arch of Triumph. As the national anthem was playing, 21 cannon shots were fired.
About 4,000 soldiers and specialist staff from Defence Ministry (MApN), the Interior Ministry (MAI), the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) and the National Penitentiary Administration (ANP) marched on, including 500 soldiers from over 20 NATO member or partner countries, showcasing about 200 pieces of defence hardware and over 50 aircraft.
Opening the parade were aircraft of the Air Force, the Defence Ministry, and the Romanian Intelligence Service. These included IAR 330 Puma SOCAT helicopters of the Army, Mil Mi-17 of the Interior ministry, supersonic F-16 and MIG 21 LanceR fighter jets, and subsonic fighter jets – IAR 99, C27J Spartan and C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft, and a MApN AN 30aircraft for aerial photography and mapping.
The stars of the land defence hardware parade were, as in every previous parade, the TR85M1 Bizon tanks, as well as also the Piranha 3 armoured carriers. Also passing through the Arch of Triumph were HUMVEE combat vehicles, MLI84M Jderul infantry combat vehicles, Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft gun systems, LAROM multiple rocket launchers, HAWK ground-to-air missiles, as well as other components of the MApN, MAI, SRI defence systems.
A novelty was the parade of 500 soldiers from 21 NATO member of partner countries – Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Croatia, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine and the US.
A Polish detachment paraded five Rosomak armoured personnel carriers.
The land defence parade began with period flags, and continued with a performance by members of the Military Tradition Association, a group for historical and military reenactments, the formations of foreign partners, representative MApN, MAI, SRI, ANP departments, ending with soldiers of the 30th Mihai Viteazul Brigade.
In attendance were President Klaus Iohannis, Senate Chairman Teodor Melescanu, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Marcel Ciolacu, members of the Romanian government, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana, heads of public institutions, representatives for the diplomatic corps, church leaders, politicians, politicians, and war veterans.
The military parade lasted about two hours.
At the end of the parade, the military vehicles were displayed for the public.