For the first time in the history of the Republic Day celebrations, another country forces will march down the Rajpath.
According to the Indian Government officials, a contingent of around 130 French soldiers would be part of Republic Day celebrations this year. The French contingent comprising over 50 personnel of 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade is already placed in the country to take part in a joint exercise in Rajasthan. The French soldiers are taking part in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency joint exercise called 'Shakti-2016'.
The 35th Infantry Regiment's origin dates back to its raising in 1604 at Lorraine, France and has as many as 12 battle honours to its credit. The battalion has varied combat experiences, having served in Algeria, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, amongst other places
Interestingly, for the first time Indian public will be able to view other country forces in Republic Day celebrations. According to reports, some additional soldiers will also fly down from France to form a proper marching contingent.