Tuesday, June 13, 2017

More close-up action, tribute to NS50 at this year's NDP, Singapore News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

More close-up action, tribute to NS50 at this year's NDP, Singapore News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

More close-up action, tribute to NS50 at this year's NDP

SINGAPORE - Spectators at this year's National Day Parade (NDP) will get a closer look at the nation's security forces, as parts of the dynamic defence display will include performers simulating a counter-terrorist routine in the midst of the crowd.

They will also get to enjoy double the action, as the defence display will be divided into two segments for the first time. The NDP parade and ceremony will be sandwiched in between the two parts.

The parade, which celebrates Singapore's 52nd year of independence, will be held at the Marina Bay Floating Platform. Not only will the event see the return of the dynamic defence display after a two-year absence, it will also include high-intensity pyrotechnics, a new cyber-security performance and a counter-terrorism display.

More than 50 assets - the biggest number to date - from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and Singapore Police Force (SPF) will be on show, joined by over 500 participants.

They include seven types of vehicles appearing for the first time in the parade, such as the SAF's Belrex Protected Combat Support Vehicle, the SPF's Tactical Response Motorcycle and the SCDF's Fire-Medical Vehicle.

The first segment focuses on the role of the SAF as the guarantor of Singapore's independence, and features the high-tech assets from the army, air force and navy.

The second segment will feature Singapore's whole-of-government and community response to a terrorism threat. It will show how cyber-security agencies deal with cyber attacks, followed by how the SAF and Home Team respond to terrorist threats here.

And for the first time, several display performers will fire blanks in the seating gallery, adding to the realism of the show.

"Prior to the performance, we will be flashing warning messages to let the audience know to expect very loud noises and pyrotechnics as part of the display. We will also be singling out the areas where we expect the performance to get extremely loud and exciting so that the audience will know in advance," said COL Tan Tiong Keat, chairman for the dynamic defence display.

The traditional parade and ceremony will take place in between both segments. Audience can expect traditional celebratory elements such as the 21-gun salute on a M3G military raft, and the state flag flypast flown by a Chinook helicopter with two Apache escorts.

There are about 2,000 participants from 31 marching contingents at the parade, including those from SAF and Home Team, as well as youth groups and the public sector.

For the first time, the signature bomb burst will be performed by five F-15SG fighter planes, two of which are flown by NSmen. The other pilots are regulars from the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

The parade will also feature the largest military tattoo performance to date, with 170 performers. Bagpipers from the SPF Women Police Pipes and Drums will join the tattoo for the first time.

A key theme of this year's parade is the tribute to 50 years of National Service. To mark this milestone, a NS50 tribute video will be screened and the parade's marching contingent will also do a salute.

COL Koh Eee Wen, chairman of the NDP 2017 parade and ceremony committee, said: "Besides recognising NSmen, we are also recognising their families. We know that when NSmen have to come to camp to report for duty, it's really the family helming the home front."

In a nod to the contributions of NSmen, the parade will be led by NSman LTC (NS) Lim Wee Tee, 45, who is the director for sales and channels at data analytics firm DataSpark.

"I run through the parade sequence in my mind every morning when I wake up, to go through the mental preparation and sequence," said LTC (NS) Lim. "I'll have the previews to practice, so I'm quite confident I'll be prepared during the actual parade."

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