“Salute to America” parade to feature brand new military equipment, but it might get pricey
Following the 2017 Bastille Day parade in France, Donald Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron that his parade was “one of the greatest” that he had ever seen.
Thus, the inspiration for this year’s Independence Day “Salute to America” parade was born.
The parade is set to feature Air Force One, Marine One, fighter jets, flyovers by B-2 bombers and the Blue Angels, and even M1 Abrams tanks.
Military officials claim the featured flyovers will not cost American taxpayers extra money as they are basically training flights for armed forces personnel.
However, the National Park Services still allocated $2.5 million for the celebration.
In a recent tweet, Trump tried to curb financial apprehension, claiming: “The cost of our great Salute to America tomorrow will be very little compared to what it is worth.”
The cost of our great Salute to America tomorrow will be very little compared to what it is worth. We own the planes, we have the pilots, the airport is right next door (Andrews), all we need is the fuel. We own the tanks and all. Fireworks are donated by two of the greats. Nice!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2019
He went on to say that “we own the planes, we have the pilots, the airport is right next door (Andrews), all we need is the fuel.”
It is likely that Trump is not factoring in the extra cost of security, infrastructure, and miscellaneous equipment.
On the USA government spending website, Trump’s transparent ballistic armor is $24,330 alone.
Despite the focus on the military this year, many top-ranking officials will not be in attendance for the parade. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz will be the only service chief attending the ceremony.
In lieu of top officers, the Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps plan to send their second-tier leaders.
One possible reason for the skirted invitations amongst leaders is the military guidelines that state no uniformed military members may participate in political campaigns, according to Citizens for Responsible Ethics communications director Jordan Libowitz.
If President Donald Trump turns the parade into a reelection campaign rally, military personnel are at risk of violating the Department of Defense procedures.
Trump’s use of the military has become standard practice during his presidency. In June, former acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan compelled all Pentagon employees to reinforce the apolitical nature of the United States military.
Bovada currently sets Trump’s odds of reelection at +100 or a 50% chance.
“Salute to America” will surely change those odds, for better or for worse.