Malacandra.me

“It’s very Red Square”

"It's very Red Square"

by digby

This is planned for four days after the election:

President Donald Trump's military parade this fall is shaping up to cost $80 million more than initially estimated.

The Department of Defense and its interagency partners have updated their perspective cost estimates for the parade, according to a U.S. defense official with firsthand knowledge of the assessment. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The parade, slated for Nov. 10, is estimated to cost $92 million, the official said. The figure consists of $50 million from the Pentagon and $42 million from interagency partners such as the Department of Homeland Security. An initial estimate last month pegged the prospective cost for the parade at $12 million.

A Pentagon spokesman said in an email to CNBC that the Defense Department expects to make an announcement soon, but he would not comment further. The White House referred questions to the Defense Department.

The $92 million cost estimate includes security, transportation of parade assets, aircraft, as well as temporary duty for troops. The official also noted that while the size and scope of the military parade can still shift, the plans currently include approximately eight tanks, as well as other armored vehicles, including Bradleys, Strykers and M113s.

The official also said that experts put to rest concerns about whether the Abrams tank, which weighs just shy of 70 tons, would ruin infrastructure in Washington. Their analysis found that, because of the vehicle's distributed weight and track pads, the streets of the nation's capital would not be compromised.

The parade is also expected to include helicopter, fighter jet, transport aircraft as well as historical military plane flyovers. Troops in period uniforms representing the past, present and future forces will march in the parade, as well.

The ceremony is said to be largely inspired by Trump's front-row seat at France's Bastille Day military parade in Paris.

In September, Trump met with French President Emmanuel Macron and recalled how much he enjoyed watching the parade. "It was a tremendous day, and to a large extent because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4 in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue," Trump said.

"We're going to have to try to top it, but we have a lot of planes going over and a lot of military might, and it was really a beautiful thing to see, and representatives from different wars and different uniforms," he added.


FYI: He was not inspired by the Bastille Day parade. This was reported before the inauguration:

Part of being a great president is showing off America’s military strength, according to President-elect Donald Trump.

The military “may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue,” Trump told the Washington Post in an interview published Wednesday. “That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military.”

Trump spoke about his vision of military parades in vague terms, suggesting it was something he might oversee in the future. But according to several sources involved in his inaugural preparations, Trump has endeavored to ensure that his first day as commander-in-chief is marked by an unusual display of heavy military equipment.

During the preparation for Friday’s transfer-of-power, a member of Trump’s transition team floated the idea of including tanks and missile launchers in the inaugural parade, a source involved in inaugural planning told The Huffington Post. “They were legit thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade,” the source said, referring to massive military parades in Moscow and Pyongyang, typically seen as an aggressive display of muscle-flexing.

The military, which traditionally works closely with the presidential inaugural committee, shot down the request, the source said. Their reason was twofold. Some were concerned about the optics of having tanks and missile launchers rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue. But they also worried that the tanks, which often weigh over 100,000 pounds, would destroy the roads.

“I could absolutely see structural support being a reason [not to use tanks],” a Department of Defense official said. “D.C. is built on a swamp to begin with.”

Defense Department spokeswoman Valerie Henderson declined to comment on the request for tanks and missile launchers, referring questions to the Trump transition team. Trump advisor Boris Epshteyn told HuffPost that the presidential inaugural committee worked closely with the military “to render appropriate honors” for Trump’s swearing-in. But he directed questions about “specific aspects” of the military’s support to the Defense Department.

The Pentagon didn’t reject all of Trump’s ideas. At the request of the president-elect, there are five military flyovers ― one for each branch of the armed services ― planned for Friday’s inaugural parade, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Jamie Davis told HuffPost.

The Air Force plans to fly four fighter jets: an F-35, an F-16, an F-22 and an F-15E. The Navy will fly four F/A-18 combat jets. The Army will fly four UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. The Marines will fly four V-22 Ospreys. And the Coast Guard, which is still finalizing plans, is looking at flying four MH-65 rescue helicopters, Davis said. The number and type of planes used could change, depending on Friday’s weather, he added.

Military flyovers are not typically part of inaugural parades. Outgoing President Barack Obama did not use any military aircraft at either of his inaugurations, the Defense Department official said. There were no flyovers at President George W. Bush’s 2005 inauguration, but he did have a flyover during his 2001 opening ceremony, which occurred two days before the inauguration. President Ronald Reagan considered including flyovers in his second inauguration in 1985, but one never materialized, the official said. Before that, the last president to include military flyovers as part of his inauguration was President Harry Truman in 1949.

Stephen Kerrigan, who held top positions in Obama’s first and second presidential inaugural committees, said he was “shocked” to hear about the planned flyovers for Friday. “It seems unnecessary and the optics don’t seem appropriate. … It’s very Red Square,” he said.


Update: Awwwww