Chilean Armed Forces Celebrate Amidst Debate on Future Military Investment
By Dialogo September 21, 2012
The Chilean Armed Forces celebrated on September 19 with a massive parade of over 9,000 personnel and warfare exhibition in Santiago, while Congress is debating the future of a law intended to guarantee weapons investment.
The Military Parade was held in the enormous central O’Higgins Park, to commemorate the 202 years of existence of the Chilean Army with a parade featuring Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel, as well as Carabineros (Militarized Police.)
Representatives of the Armed Forces from Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, and France also participated this year, as well as the Argentine-Chilean Joint Peacekeeping Force ‘‘Cruz del Sur’‘, created in 2011 to support UN peacekeeping missions in different countries.
This year, the military parade, officially celebrated since 1915, did not include heavy artillery equipment, since it was centered on ‘‘the human factor’‘ with the deployment of over 9,000 personnel, assured Defense Minister Andrés Allamand.
Chilean President Sebastián Piñera led the parade and was accompanied by the Military High Command, officials and foreign guests, such as the Chief of Staff of the French Army, General Bertrand Ract-Madoux, and the Chief of Staff of the Argentine Army, General Luis Alberto Pozzi.
Thousands of people came to the event and enjoyed the uniformed parade, mainly the deployment of three F-16 fighter jet squads escorted by Puma and Cougar Assault helicopters, as well as other aircrafts from the Chilean Air Force.
The Chilean Armed Forces are considered one of the better equipped in the region, after the Chilean government started an armament renovation in 1998, buying F-16 fighter jets, leopard tanks, helicopters, frigates, and Scorpene submarines, considered the most modern in Latin America.