New Delhi: Army Chief General Manoj Pande Monday felicitated members of the tri-services contingent which participated in the Bastille Day Parade in France last week, and said they have made the armed forces and India proud.
At an event held at the Manekshaw Centre here, the Army chief also said the Indian contingent who went to France has played a significant role in boosting the image of the country.
“You have not only made the three services — army, air force, and navy — proud but also made the whole nation proud,” he said in his address.
The sending of a tri-services contingent from the army, the air force, and the navy, was in itself very significant, Gen Pande said.
He also mentioned that members of the Punjab Regiment got to visit the war memorial at Neuve-Chapelle, a World War I memorial in France built in memory of Indian soldiers who laid down their lives, and pay their respects there.
The Indian tri-services contingent participated in the Bastille Day celebrations in France July 14. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the guest of honour. Three Rafale fighter jets of the Indian Air Force joined the flypast along with French jets.
The Punjab Regiment Contingent, led by Capt Aman Jagtap, was the Indian Army contingent at that annual parade hosted on the magnificent Champs-Élysées in the heart of Paris.
The Punjab Regiment Contingent was declared the best marching contingent in the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi this year. Capt Jagtap had led the contingent on that occasion too.
Gen Pande handed over the winning trophy after felicitating members of the contingent.
“Our (Punjab Regiment) ancestors had marched on this avenue of Paris 107 years ago. Punjab Regiment had participated in both World Wars and made the supreme sacrifice for our nation. It was a matter of immense pride that we marched in Paris in the Bastille Day in front of our prime minister,” Capt Jagtap said.
Sqn Ldr Sindhu Reddy, the helicopter pilot of the Indian Air Force who led its marching contingent at the Bastille Day parade, said she has returned to India with a “great sense of pride”.
The total size of the Indian contingent was 242, which included a band contingent, a senior Army official said.