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South Korea’s Grand Military Parade: Celebrating 75 Years of Armed Forces Day

In a historic spectacle, South Korea is set to host a grand military parade in the heart of Seoul to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Armed Forces Day. This remarkable event, the first of its kind in a decade, will showcase the nation’s military might, featuring an impressive array of tanks, fighter jets, and cutting-edge assets. Defense officials have revealed the details, and anticipation is running high for this extraordinary celebration.

A Show of Strength

Scheduled for September 26, the parade will see over 4,000 troops marching alongside more than 170 pieces of military equipment. Among the highlights are the formidable K2 battle tanks, the country’s latest “high-power” missile, and a fleet of advanced attack drones. The route spans from Sungnyemun Gate to Gwanghwamun Square, where the nation will come together to mark this momentous occasion.

Theme: Strong Military, Strong Security, and Peace Through Strength

The overarching theme for this year’s event is “strong military, strong security, and peace through strength.” Through this theme, South Korea aims to demonstrate its unwavering commitment to national defense and convey a resolute message to North Korea against any provocations. It underlines the importance of maintaining a robust military presence to ensure peace and security in the region.

A Decade in the Making

Traditionally, South Korea has held military parades every five years to coincide with Armed Forces Day on October 1. However, the last such parade took place in 2013. During the preceding Moon Jae-in government’s tenure, which prioritized inter-Korean reconciliation, the event was put on hold. This year’s resumption signifies the nation’s renewed emphasis on defense and security.

High-Flying Displays and Public Participation

The parade promises to be a breathtaking spectacle. The Air Force’s Black Eagles aerobatic team and Apache attack helicopters will grace the skies, performing captivating maneuvers above the marching troops. Additionally, the public will have the opportunity to join the procession in its final section, fostering a sense of unity and patriotism.

International Collaboration

In a significant display of international collaboration, over 300 combat troops from the Eighth U.S. Army, part of the U.S. Forces Korea, will participate in the parade. This gesture underscores the strong alliance between South Korea and the United States, marking the 70th anniversary of their partnership.

Commemorative Ceremony and Displays

The Ministry of Defense plans to hold a commemorative ceremony earlier in the day at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, just south of Seoul. Expected to be attended by around 10,000 people, including foreign veterans of the Korean War and their family members, this event will pay tribute to the nation’s history and the sacrifices made for its freedom.

The parade will also feature an impressive display of homegrown weapons systems, including the KF-21 fighter jet under development, a long-range surface-to-air missile, and advanced surveillance and strike drones from the newly established Drone Operations Command.

Aerial Extravaganza

The parade’s climax will be a large-scale formation flight featuring over 100 aircraft. This includes the KF-21 jet, F-35A stealth fighters, and South Korea’s Light-Armed Helicopters. Notably, the U.S. military will contribute seven aircraft, comprising F-16, A-10, and F-35 jets.

Parachute Drops for Combined Capabilities

To showcase their combined operational capabilities, some 200 South Korean and U.S. troops will execute parachute drops at the air base. This dynamic demonstration underscores the synergy between the two nations in maintaining regional security.

As South Korea prepares for this extraordinary celebration of its armed forces, the world watches in admiration. The parade is not only a testament to the nation’s commitment to defense but also a symbol of unity, cooperation, and peace in the region.

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