According to a source that spoke to the Huffington Post, the U.S. military shot down plans that were floated by President-elect Trump’s transition team that would have made the inaugural much more of a military ceremony.
The source said that the people on the transition team “were legit thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade,” with missile launchers and tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Ave. The reference is to Cold War marches by Communist states where they ostentatiously paraded around massive weapons as a show of force to their enemies.
But the military did not think much of the idea and shot it down, for two reasons. One, they didn’t think the “optics” of tanks and missile launchers were appropriate for the ceremony, and secondly they were concerned about the damage to the roads that the 50-ton tanks might incur.
Huffpo spoke to a Department of Defense official who agreed that the reasoning was sound, saying, “I could absolutely see structural support being a reason. D.C. is built on a swamp to begin with.”
The Pentagon did cave to the transition team when it comes to a military flyover with 20 planes:
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 unheard of at inaugurals, but aren’t typical either.
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