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Estonia Turns 96; Largest Ever Parade Held

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The February 24 traditional military parade was held in Pärnu this year, with 1,400 Defense Forces, Defense League members, policemen and others lining up for the largest parade since re-independence.

Troops from allied nations made their debut at the annual parade, with soldiers from the U.K., United States, Latvia, Lithuania and Denmark taking part. A company equipped with Sisu XA-180 armored vehicles and operated by conscripts also took part for the first time.

A total of 1,400 men and women represented 13 companies, 11 platoons and two orchestras.

Besides the Sisu armored personnel carriers, the parade also featured 155 and 122 millimeter howitzers, Mistral surface-to-air missiles, ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft cannons, Milan and Mapats anti-tank missiles, 120 and 81 millimeter mortars, 90 millimeter anti-tank guns, the mobile radar system Ground Master, three Robinson 44 helicopters, two An-2 utility aircraft, two German L-39 Albatros jets and two U.S. F-15 fighter jets.

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