Various aircraft belonging to the Romanian Air Force, the Internal Affairs Ministry (MAI) and the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) flew over Bucharest on Thursday on the Romanian Aviation and Air Force Day.
F-16 aircraft opened the air show, followed by IAR-99, MiG-21 and C-27J Spartan aircraft. Bucharesters could also see the MI-17, EC-135, IAR-330 and SA-365 DAUPHIN helicopters, the latter belonging to the SRI.
The air show ended with a special show performed by the Iacarii Acrobati (Acrobats Yak-crew), an aerobatics team consisting of three Yak-52 aircraft, who drew the tricolour (blue, yellow, red) flag in the sky.
Attending the event was the Defence Minister, Adrian Tutuianu, who expressed gratitude to the heroes who fell on battlefields.
Romanian Aviation and Air Force Day is celebrated every 20th of July, the same day the Saint Prophet Elijah, spiritual protector of aerial over-daring, is celebrated by the Orthodox Church.
President Iohannis: Honouring servicemen, civilians who put themselves into the Romanian Air Force’s service
The armed forces’ example of devotion and daring is a landmark “for us and the generations to come”, President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday in a message delivered on the Romanian Aviation and Air Force Day.
“Today, July 20, 2017, on the Feast of Saint Prophet Elijah the Tishbite, we celebrate the Romanian Aviation and Air Force Day and we honour the contribution of all the military and civilian personnel who put their destinies into the service of the Romanian Wings. Since the establishment of the first aerostation of our army in 1893, until the F-16 jet fighter’s entering service, the Air Force has come a long way paved by passion, a pioneering vocation, but also by sacrifices. The two World Wars represented the fire test for the Romanian Air Force, which had the task of defending the Romanian airspace and the country’s land, naval, civilian and military objectives,” Iohannis said in the cited message.
At the same time, the head of state said that the participation of Air Force military personnel in complex missions under NATO, UN, OSCE and EU aegis proves professionalism and patriotism.
“Today we honour all the trail blazers who, through their creative effort, contributed to the development of Romanian and world aviation and aeronautical science – remarkable personalities such as Aurel Vlaicu, Traian Vuia, Henri Coanda, Elie Carafoli and Hermann Oberth. We also celebrate civilian transport and utility aviation personnel, as well as sport aviation buffs who contribute through their work to the development of the economy and the promotion of Romanian sports,” President Iohannis said.
He thanked all military and civilian aviators who participate in rescue and evacuation missions and other emergency interventions, for exemplarily fulfilling their duty.
Presidential Administration not invited at Aviation Day ceremonies. MoD apologises: It was a bureaucratic error
The Ministry of Defence did not invite the Presidential Administration and other central public institutions to the ceremonies marking the Romanian Aviation and Air Force Day. The MoD explained that this was “an error” and that Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu has taken measures to correct these “bureaucratic dysfunctionalities.”
“The Ministry of Defence apologises for the errors that appeared in conveying the invitations for the Presidential Administration and central public authorities to attend the celebration of the Romanian Aviation and Air Force Day. Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu has urgently ordered the adoption of the necessary measures to eliminate the dysfunctionalities of a bureaucratic nature that have led to this regrettable situation,” the MoD announced on Thursday.
According to official sources, Presidential Administration representatives did not receive invitations to these events.
A military and religious wreath-laying ceremony took place on Thursday morning, in the memory of hero aviators, at the Monument of the Heroes of the Air in Bucharest’s Aviators Square. During the ceremony, military aircraft belonging to the Romanian Air Force, the Internal Affairs Ministry, the Romanian Intelligence Service and the ‘Iacarii Acrobati’ aerobatics team flew over the monument.
From July 18 to September 30, the National Museum of Romanian Aviation hosts the exhibition titled ‘Romanian aeronautics during the great battles of Marasti, Marasesti and Oituz.’ The exhibition includes photographs, documents and representative objects, and visitors will be able to find out details about aeronautical heroes and their feat of arms.
All units subordinated to the General Staff of the Romanian Air Force celebrated the event through military and religious ceremonies, sport competitions, conferences and activities specific to military tradition.
Opposition asks DefMin for written explanations after President was not invited to Aviation Day. “This is more likely a political settling of accounts than an act of incompetence”
PNL’s Lower House lawmaker Ovidiu Raetchi, Deputy Chairman of the Defence Committee, stated on Thursday that Minister Adrian Tutuianu should lodge written explanations with the relevant parliamentary committees, as to why the MoD refused to invite President Iohannis at Aviation Day events, labelling the gesture “a political settling of accounts.”
“Very strange the MoD’s refusal to invite President Iohannis – who is nevertheless the most important institutional reference point for the Romanian armed forces – at the Aviation Day. Normally, this kind of invitations are issued ex officio, on the basis of rigid protocol tested over the years. And are doubled by a confirmation procedure. Moreover, at this level the correspondence should be special, secure, being hard to believe it can get lost on the way. Theoretically, this is more likely a political settling of accounts rather than an act of incompetence,” PNL’s Lower House lawmaker Ovidiu Raetchi, Deputy Chairman of the Defence Committee, wrote on Facebook.
Ovidiu Raetchi pointed out that Minister Adrian Tutuianu owes “more clarifying” written explanations to the relevant parliamentary committees, in what concerns the MoD’s refusal to invite President Klaus Iohannis at Aviation Day events.
“We have serious reasons of concern if the Ministry of Defence, which is supposed to function as clockwork during moments of crisis, is not even able to send some envelopes. I believe Minister Tutuianu owes the Lower House and Senate’s Defence Committees more clarifying and convincing written explanations,” the Liberal said.