If you have been following us on Instagram, you might have caught a glimpse of what you can expect from this year’s National Day Parade 2014 [NDP 2014] and we must say, this year’s NDP 2014 is going to be quite a heart-warming and soul-touching one as compared to previous years. If you didn’t know, there is no NDP Theme Song this year but you can expect a whole load of oldies that is ready to send chills down your spine as you join in the celebrations and sing along with other fellow Singaporeans.
As with almost every NDP, the aerial flypast by the Republic of Singapore Air Force [RSAF] and the dynamic defence display by the Republic of Singapore Navy [RSN], the Singapore Army, and Home Team Academy [HTA] are undeniably one of the crowd favourites and this year, we were very privileged to go behind-the-scenes and find out what it takes for the RSAF to make the aerial flypast a roaring success and how the RSN carried out the dynamic sea defence display through the showcasing of its fast moving Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boats [RHIBs]!
Aerial Flypast by RSAF’s F-15SG
Since 1970, the aerial flypast has been a regular NDP favourite but what many people don’t know is that the aerial flypast would not have been possible if not for the considerable amount of effort and dedication that the team has to put in so that it can be a roaring success.
This year’s NDP 2014 aerial flypast team is helmed by a team of 6 very capable Pilots and 6 Weapon Systems Officers, led by Commanding Officer, Major Nick Wong. Even though the actual flypast consists of five F-15SG, the sixth jet serves as a reserve in the event any one of the jets encounter technical issues.
The RSAF’s F-15SG is an all-weather multi-role fighter designed to achieve air superiority over the battlefield. It is the most advanced and technologically sophisticated variant of the F-15 aircraft built to date.
Prior to the actual flypast, there are many preparatory work to be done and the team involved would have to undergo tons of practise, drills, and rehearsals. To execute the aerial flypast, every minute details has to be taken into consideration and that also includes adjustments even during the actual flight. The 149 SQN Flight Line Crew consists of Full-Time National Servicemen [NSFs] and Regular Air Force Engineers and they perform inspections and maintenance on the aircraft before and after flights. It is through their dedicated efforts that the aircraft are maintained in tip-top condition for optimal flying performance, every time.
Dynamic Sea Defence Display By RSN’s RHIBs
The Dynamic Defence Sea Display segment simulates naval divers on two RHIBs who will interdict a target vessel at the Marina Bay. These naval divers play an important role to keep the people safe from potential adversaries and threats when called upon.
We were very privileged to be on board the RSN’s RHIBs and we witnessed the preparation and rehearsals of the RHIBs. While on the RHIB, we saw how the crew rehearsed arduously, experienced high speed manoeuvres on the RHIBs, and witnessed the operators firing the heavy weaponry on board.
Similar RHIBs are also found on board the RSN’s warships and they are used in a variety of operations such as the transfer of equipment and personnel from ship to ship/shore and Man Overboard Recovery. RHIBs are also commonly used in maritime security roles such as base defence and security boarding operations.
It may also be fitted with guns of various calibres, allowing it to be used for wide range of maritime security operations.
The RHIB can go in excess of 30 knots and possesses high manoeuvrability.
There will still be the usual traditions in NDP 2014 where the 21-gun salute and “foie de joie” will take place.
The NDP 2014’s show segment is bold and vibrant, with a real connection to the everyday challenges and opportunities that Singaporeans face.
Through four acts, the show celebrates what we, as a people, have built with our own hands; shares the familiar warmth of our home; recognises the determination of everyday Singaporeans; and encourages Singaporeans to stand up, cheer and sing for the courage, conviction, and caring spirit that our nation is founded on.
We personally feel that the show segment for this year is rather different from previous years’ and at the end of it all, tears actually welled up in our eyes as we concluded the parade with the singing of the National Anthem and the Pledge-Taking. The sweat, blood, and tears that every participant has shed into putting up such a grand celebration for Singapore is truly commendable!
We shan’t spoil the actual parade for you by revealing too much juicy details but really, the NDP 2014 will definitely be a very memorable parade, not just for the participants but also for the audiences. I’m definitely looking forward to watching the actual NDP 2014!