Trump's military parade plans come into focus: planes, but no tanks

11 March, 2018, 01:53 | Author: Kathy Ellis
  • President Donald Trump.   Lucas Jackson  Reuters

A Pentagon memo that surfaced Friday night reveals the first official guidance for President Donald Trump's controversial military parade in Washington, D.C.

The event, which will take place November 11, will include troops from different branches, highlight the growing role of women in the armed forces and have a "heavy air component" of modern and historic war planes, the memo says.

The memo says only aircraft and "wheeled vehicles" will be used - no tanks - to "minimize damage to local infrastructure".

President Donald Trump and his wife First Lady Melania Trump watch the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017.

The parade will focus on the contributions of veterans throughout the history of the United States military, starting with the Revolutionary War, and highlight the evolution of women veterans from second world war to the present, according to the memo.

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Last month Trump asked the Pentagon to explore a parade in celebration of American troops, after the Republican president marveled at the Bastille Day military parade he attended in Paris past year.

The memo stated the military parade route will start at the White House and run down to the Capitol, adding that veterans and Medal of Honor recipients will surround Trump in the reviewing area of the Capitol.

But the event will include plenty of airplane flyovers, according to a memo from the office of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, whose staff will be in charge of planning the parade.

In the memo, the Joint Staff are tasked to plan the parade, while U.S. Northern Command is instructed to execute it. "We'll send them up to the White House for a decision", about the cost of the parade and the resources that would be diverted to make it happen. And formations donning "period uniforms" may be utilized to "represent veterans from previous wars", the letter said.

Trump ordered the Pentagon to plan a massive military parade reflecting American military power and the spirit of the American people, The Washington Post reported early last month. A week later Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, estimated that the sort of public display that Trump had called for could cost between US$10 million (S$13 million) and $30 million.

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