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Youth uniformed groups, social and economic marching contingents to make their physical return at NDP 2022

02:14 Min
The high-intensity Total Defence Display will return in this year's National Day Parade - complete with battle tanks on the Floating Platform and a demonstration of special forces rescuing hostages from a hijacked bus. Alif Amsyar reports.   

SINGAPORE: More than 850 participants from youth uniformed groups as well as social and economic organisations will take part in the National Day Parade (NDP) this year, with the physical contingents marching in person for the first time since 2019, said the NDP executive committee on Thursday (Jun 23).

They are among about 2,000 participants at this year’s parade, which will feature 37 physical and virtual marching contingents. 

This year’s parade and ceremony, as well as total defence display segments, will be combined and renamed as Strength of Our Nation, stated the committee. 

The segment will “commemorate the strength and commitment of Singaporeans from both the military and civilian sectors in defending Singapore”, as well as “rally Singaporeans to build a better future together through all facets of total defence”. 

The parade will also pay tribute to all past and current national servicemen, in celebration of 55 years of National Service (NS55). This portion recognises their sacrifices, and support from their families and employers, added the committee. 

“In the course of (the COVID-19 pandemic), many Singaporeans often went beyond the call of duty, went the extra mile to help our fellow Singaporeans, making sure that no Singaporeans are left behind,” said chairman of the parade and ceremony, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Anthony Lau. 

“And it’s this spirit, the Singapore Spirit, that has helped Singapore to grow in strength to strength the last few years.” 

Lieutenant Colonel (NS) Desmond Fu gives an interview at a media event for the 2022 National Day Parade on Jun 23, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Jeremy Long)

HYBRID PERFORMANCES AT PARADE AND CEREMONY

Commanded by operationally ready national serviceman LTC Desmond Fu, the parade will also bring back the military tattoo. 

This comprises a hybrid physical and virtual performance by the Singapore Armed Forced (SAF) Precision Drill Squad, SAF and Singapore Police Force (SPF) Combined Band, combined school bands and the virtual choir. 

Audiences can also expect to see traditional parade favourites – the state flag flypast flown by the RSAF Chinook helicopter escorted by RSAF Apache Helicopters, a “salute to the nation” bomb burst flown by F-16C/D fighter aircraft, the Presidential Gun Salute and Feu-de-Joie.

LTC Fu, who has a seven-month-old child, noted that serving the nation has taken on new meaning since becoming a father. 

“We really need to do what we can to ensure that this everyday life that we live … the way we go about with comfort and assurance that we live in a safe environment … this goes on for subsequent generations.” 

The senior band major for the SAF band and the band adviser for this year’s parade, ME3 Abdul Razak, noted his team’s commitment and perseverance. 

“I can see the perseverance, the commitment (shows) … (as well as their) competency. Really, we want to uphold … to deliver the best that we can do to support all the NDP, to make the whole nation remember this thing,” he said.  

“Of course, (what’s special this year is) the involvement of the school youth. And the civilians will come in … and integrated with the virtual performance. This is something new and we’re very happy with that.” 

ME3 Abdul Razak will retire after this year’s parade, which marks his 40th and final time taking part in NDP.  

Military Expert 3 Abdul Razak, who has been participating in National Day parades for 40 years, poses for a photo on Jun 23, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Jeremy Long)

HIGH-INTENSITY TOTAL DEFENCE DISPLAY RETURNS

The high-intensity total defence display will also make a return at NDP 2022, with several vehicles and demonstrations making their debut. The total defence display was last held in 2017 where it was known as the dynamic defence display, said the committee. 

Put together by SAF and the Home Team, the display comprises two parts: Defending Our Country and Securing Singapore Together. 

It will involve more than 500 participants and more than 50 assets.

The first portion titled Defending Our Country “underscores the role of the SAF in its efforts to protect Singapore’s sovereignty and independence”, said the committee. 

An array of technologically advanced assets from the Singapore Army, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), and the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will be showcased – including SAF’s first fully digitised fighting vehicle on display for the first time. 

Audiences can also expect to see RSAF’s F-16C/D fighter aircraft performing aerobatic manoeuvres around the Marina Bay, the RSN’s naval divers jumping off an RSAF CH-47F Heavy Lift Helicopter into the waters of Marina Bay, as well as the Singapore Army’s Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank driving onto the promenade at the Floating Platform. 

The second portion of the display, Securing Singapore Together, will showcase “Singapore’s inter-agency response to a range of peacetime contingency scenarios such as firefighting, first aid and counterterrorism operations”, said the committee. 

Special forces from the SAF’s Special Operations Task Force will mark its inaugural appearance at the total defence display with a “live demonstration of a hostage rescue from a hijacked bus”, added the committee. 

The Singapore Civil Defence Force’s (SCDF) Pumper Firefighting Machine and the SPF’s Next-generation Fast Response Cars will also be presented for the first time.

Other scenarios on display will see the SCDF’s Light Fire Attack Vehicle (also known as Red Rhino), the Pump Ladder, the SPF’s Rapid Deployment Troops, Tactical Response Motorcycles and Armed Strike Teams, as well as the SAF’s Army Deployment Force in action. 

“As we have children and the youth amongst us, perhaps it is also fitting as we commemorate 55 years of past and present generations, that we also …  inspire the next generation of Singaporeans to stand up and answer the call of duty when their time comes to serve,” said chairman of the total defence display, Major James Fu. 

“In summary, it’s about hardware (and our) heartware. It’s about a tribute to national service and generations of our national servicemen. But it is also about inspiring the next generation of Singaporeans.” 

More information about NDP 2022 can be found on the NDP social media accounts, as well as www.ndp.gov.sg.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify that some of the 850 participants from the youth uniformed as well as social and economic contingents will be taking part virtually.

 
Source: CNA/gy(aj)

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