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RSAF celebrates 45 years with roving exhibition in HDB heartlands

Singaporeans got to try their hand at piloting an F-16 during a dogfight and learn about the various operations and roles of the RSAF.

SINGAPORE: For years, members of the public had to travel to military air bases to catch a glimpse of the high-tech aircraft and equipment as well as the personnel who protect our skies, but this weekend, the air base travels to the Toa Payoh HDB Hub to meet Singaporeans.

From trying their hand in an F-16 dogfight, to marvelling at the latest in air defence hardware like the SPYDER, Singaporeans who visited the exhibition learnt about the operations and the evolving role of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).

The exhibition includes crowd favourites like flight simulators, interactive games, and the chance to meet the RSAF Black Knights aerobatics team.

Altogether, around 170 air force personnel will be activated each day to walk the public through the exhibits. These include more than 20 NSmen volunteers, whose experience is being tapped on to better connect with visitors.

Major (NS) Ronald Cheong, deputy commanding officer of 6DA Batallion, said: "Working with the public to exhibit our weapon platforms gives them a better awareness of what we do day to day, guarding the skies, our roles in national air defence. Many kids are very interested in what we do, because you don't often see armoured vehicles in the Air Force. So they're very excited to know what we do as part of the air force. That's part of the sharing."

The exhibition, held to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the RSAF, will move on to Jurong East (August 16-17), Sengkang (August 23-24) and Yishun (August 30-31). The organisers hope to reach out to 200,000 visitors across all four sites.

Colonel Randy Ong, deputy chairman of the event's executive committee, said the move to the heartlands better reaches those who might not have had the time to visit the air force's open houses.

He added: "Over the years, the RSAF has always been engaging the public. I think the key difference between the Open House and the heartlands is about us coming right into the heartlands, and be here to interact with Singaporeans across all ages, and we'll make the assessment subsequently on how good this event is."

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