NCO Club: Off Topic Discussions => The Blackboard: Posts Related To Calendar Entries => Topic started by: Rattler on 11 October 2010, 14:07:35

Title: Spain: Day of Armed Forces
Post by: Rattler on 11 October 2010, 14:07:35
Tomorrow on our day of "Fiesta Nacional" (National Holiday) which is actually the "Day of Armed Forces" we will, as every year see a desfile of vehicles, aircraft and troops in front of Spains CinC, His Majesty Don Juan Carlos.

This year the desfile will be heavily reduced for the 2nd time in a row due to the economic crisis, around 25% of units less than 2009. Also the weight will lay on units that are stationed close to Madrid instead of offering the most renowned units, also with the idea to save cost (as our King in an attack of dry humour said last week:" Look, my wife is an immigrant, I have 3 children and 15 grand children, and I live from state subsidary..." Giving example he cut the Royal Household by 25%, the Representative Household also, and last the desfile of the Armed Forces costs, the only three areas he can influence).

Still, the desfile in Madrid (if it does not rain!?) is always a very emotional presentation and hommage to the Armed Forces, especially the part where the fallen are honored, and if you have satelitte TV you can see it on TVE International live from 0755 ZULU/GMT.

Here a quick rundown of the events:

- Begin Desfile 0755Z (0955J)

Sequence of acts:
- 0755Z: Arrival of His Majesty and the Honor Squadron (usually composed of one member of each of the 4 forces: Land, Naval, Air and Guardia Civil with at least one female soldier)
- 0757Z: Inspection of the Honor Squadron by His Majesty
- 0800Z: Salute of His Majesty to the Authorities
- Raising of the Flag
- Hommage to those who gave their life for the kingdom
- 1st ground desfile (vehicles)
- Aerial Desfile
- 2nd ground desfile (foot troops)
- Salute of His Mjesty and
- striking of the flag



CinC of the Parachute Brigade
General Staff of the Parachute Brigade
Staff of the Veteran Organisation of the three forces and the Guardia Civil
Staff of the Voluntary Reservists Organization

1. 1st Ground Desfile (vehicles):

Motorized Forces:

- Commander and Staff of AA Regiment #71 (12 vehicles in 4 files 1/3/4/4)
- Mixed Artillery Group (10 vehicles in 4 files 1/3/3/3, the last a missile unit)
- Mixed Support Group (13 vehicles in 5 files 1/3/3/3)
- Military Emergency Unit ("Unidad Militar de Emergencias", UME, the fire/flood/earthquake fighers 9 vehicles in 3 files)
- Mixed group of the Guardia Civil, Traffic Control, Signals and Transmissions (60 motorcycles in 6 files + 21 vehicles in 3 files)

Mechanized Forces:

- General Inspector of Infantry (4 vehicles in 2 files 1/3)
- Mech Inf Coy (5 IFVs or Tanks in 2 files 2/3)
- Mixed Cav Group (10 IFVs in 3 files 2/4/4)
- Mixed Marines Expeditionary Unit (MEU) with 7 IFVs in 3 files 2/2/3
- Mixed Armored Support Group (10 IFVs/tanks in 3 files 3/3/4)

2. Aerial Desfilé

- Air Force Commander (2 F18)
- Group 1 (Diamond formation): 4 F18 from Wing 12
- Group 2 (Diamond formation): 4 Mirage F1 from Wing 14
- Gropu 3 (Arrow formation): 3 F-5 Wing 23
- Group 4 (Arrow formation): 3 Harriers from 9th Navy Air Squadron
- Group 5 (Arrow): 3 Eurofighters from Wing 11
- Group 6 (Arrow): 3 C295 trainers from Wing 35
- Group 7: Two Hercs from Wing 31
- Group 8 (Arrow): Tanker formation of one Boeing 707 (KC-130) from Air Group 47 with two F18 from Wing 15)
- Group 9 (Diamond): 4 UD13/14 from Air Group 43
- Group 10 (Diamond): 4 Helos (1 Tiger, 1 Chinook, 2 Cougar)
- Group 11: 2 SH60B helos of the Navy
- Group 12: SAR and Transport Helos, 3x Super Puma from wing 48, 3x Sikorskies from wing 78
- Patrulla Aguila (the air forces aerobatic team) paints the Spanish Flag with 7x C101 from Air Academy

3. 2nd Ground Desfile (Troops on foot)

Normal Pace:

1st Group:
- Commander
- Royal Guard BN
- Royal Guard Coy followed by the standers of participating units
- Navy Recruits BN
- Air Force Recruits Squad
- Army Recruits BN
- Mixed Guardia Civil BN

2nd Group:
- Commander
- Mixed Navy BN
- Flags of International Organisations present
- Mixed Air Force Squad
- Mixed Army BN

Special Pace:
- Commander
- Legion and Regulars

Horse Units
Royal Guard and Sabre Cuirassiers of the Guardia Civil

As every year I will post a vid of the event when it becomes available.



Title: Re: Spain: Day of Armed Forces
Post by: FACman on 11 October 2010, 16:26:48


Title: Re: Spain: Day of Armed Forces
Post by: Rattler on 12 October 2010, 09:50:56
TVE will start reporting from the Desfiles at 0815 Zulu/GMT, the whole act has been delayed 30 minutes and will no start at around 0820 GMT.

Just FYI in case you are wondering why there is nothing on TV yet.


Title: Re: Spain: Day of Armed Forces
Post by: Rattler on 12 October 2010, 16:53:52
The desfileé is over, it was very emotional indeed, for various reasons:

- Our king )and the Prince also, for that) is one "fuera de serie" (outside of the series, mold destroyed), he suffers and just recoverd from a lung disease operation but did hold out everything thrwon at him this time:

- For the third time consecutively the around 70 family members of the service men that lost their life while in service (27 soldiers and Guardia Civiles since last OCT 12, 9 of them on international missions) were following up in the parade when honoring the fallen, and His Majesty Don Juan Carlos did not hesitate one second to personally greet, shake hands with and consolate each one of them... This in Germany, e.g., would never happen.

- During the act a constant whisteling of attendands could be heard (whisteling being the form of showing disrespect here in Spain) and an outsider could be thinking this was directed at the soldiers of the king, but no: It is directed against our president Zapatero (and recently also his ministers), because during the time we were in Iraq (and he opposition leader) he refused to honor the US troops by remaining seated when everybody raised to their feet), it was culminating in the moment of honoring the fallen when it was replaced with a choir of "Zapatero! Dimision!" = "Zapatero, step down!".

Personally I found that discgraceful, whatever political stance you take and whatever idea you have about the current presedency, this sholuld from my POV be kept out of the moment when the King and the family members of the fallen honor them with the Laurel Crown. Do it before, or later, but not at this moment, this is simply disrespectful from my POV and discredits all your political ideas.

- For the first time ever we had the flags paraded by of all the nations that since the opening to them in 2002 compose the ranks and files of the Spanish Armed Forces, in honor to the lives lost of those nationalities. Namely present were Columbia, Mexico, Honduras, Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Paragua, Perú and Uruguay. Soldiers of those nations by now represent 35% of the Spanish Armed Forces, and their death toll percentage lies at 87% of overall causalities.

Anyway, here the promised video with the highlights condensed to 2 vids of some 11 minutes (about the details of the honoring procedure see my article from 1 1/2 years ago (

The vid starts out with the arrival of the Royal Family rendering respect to the national anthem, follwed by:

- Daily Update from Chief of Staff for the King
- Inspection of the Royal Honor Guard by the King
- Arrival of the Flag (03:50 into the vid - a parachuter brought it in from the sky: He is a seargeant with 18.000+ jumps and part of the parachuting academy that now has a history of 2.5 million jumps without severe accident)
- raising of the flag (09:30 into the vid) by four representatives of each force: Navy, Air Force, Army, Guardia Civil

Día de la Fiesta Nacional 2.010 (II).wmv (

The next 3 min vid has the hommage to the fallen with the family members (you can hear - though this TV station, Tele Madrid, obviiously had censored it a bit, in reality it was much louder - the Cries of "Zapatero! Dimision! that I mentioned before at the end of the vid:

La muerte no es el final desfile militar fiesta nacional celebración 12 octubre 2010 hispanidad (

Last vid of the . most interesting from my POV - third part of the desfile, the "Special Pace" section (I know some of those look a bit strange to the Westerners eye, but they *really* pace and march that way, the film has not been altered at all): Solideos Legion (with their goat), Skiing Battalion, the "Regulars" in their majestic uniforms, etc.: