BA105 Évreux-Fauville; Armée de l'Air, Défilé le 14 Juillet; Traditions Françaises


As every year, the annual Bastille Day Parade was held at the ‘Avenue des Champs-Élysées’ in the center of Paris, on the 14th of July. Soldiers marched and tanks drove in tight formations over the streets of Paris, while formations of aircraft and helicopters flew over Paris. The formation was led by the Patrouille de France showing the French colors Blue, White and Red over the city.

In the weeks before the 14th, the preparation flights started overhead Base Aerienne (BA) Orleans with the various section leads. Later the final preparations were performed overhead the city of Paris, to finetune the timing. On the 14th of July, aircraft and helicopters took off from various bases near Paris and from their home bases in France. The Marine Nationale aircraft flew from their home bases, Base Aerienne Navale (BAN) Landivisiau (with Rafales) and BAN Lann-Bihoue (with Br1193 Atlantic, E-2C Hawkeye and Falcon 50M). The larger Armee de l’Air aircraft also flew from their home bases; the E-3F from temporary airport Châteauroux, due to reconstructions at BA Avord, the A400M from BA Orleans and finally the A330 MRTT from BA Istres. The Rafale fighters from BA St-Dizier also flew from their home base. Smaller aircraft like the Alpha-Jets, including the Patrouille de France, and the PC-21 flew from BA Villacoublay. Armee de l’Air and Aeronavale helicopters flew from BA Villacoublay. Finally the Armee de Terre helicopters (ALAT) flew from the military academy terrain of St-Cyr-l’Ecole, west of Paris.

All other French fighters used BA Evreux (some 90 kilometers West from Paris) as their take-off base. This year it meant that Rafales from BA Mont-de-Marsan, Mirages 2000D from BA Nancy, Mirages 2000C from BA Luxeuil and BA Orange took off from BA Evreux. In the early morning, some 20+ fighters started their engines for the take-off. Special guests this year were the DGA delegation and the new Beech 350 surveillance aircraft. Local based CASA CN-235s were the first to take off from BA Evreux.

La Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA, Directorate General of Armaments) is the French Government Defence procurement and technology agency responsible for project management, development and purchase of weapon systems for the French Armed Forces. It has a section dedicated to military flying assets that was formerly known as CEV (Centre d'Essais en Vol). After the closure of the Brétigny AB, the DGA moved to BA Cazaux and BA Istres. The DGA uses a set of Alpha-Jets, several Mirage 2000C/D/Ns, a few PC-7s and Fennec, Dauphin and Puma helicopters. For the 2021 Defile, the DGA sent two Mirage 2000 and 3 Alpha-Jets to BA Evreux. One Mirage 2000 and two Alpha-Jets took off, while one Mirage 2000 and one Alpha-Jet remained as ground-spares.