Thanks to MINDEF’s Public Affairs, I am able to beat the crowd to have a first hand experience at the Singapore Army Open House (AOH) 2012. The public can visit the Open House from 26th and 27th May 2012 (9am to 8pm). BTW, this is the first time that the Army Open House is in the city. For people visiting Singapore, the Singapore Army welcomes you 🙂 .
If you free this Saturday or Sunday, please feel free to visit this event. The venue is actually the F1 Building next to the Singapore Flyer. There are activities for everyone, including the children. All the images are taken by Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 7D and Panasonic Lumix LX5.
This year, the theme for this AOH is “Celebrating 45 Year of National Service: From Fathers to Sons”. You can see the father’s hand in the old camouflage while the son’s hand is in digital pixel camouflage.
As you walk pass the entrance (first picture), you will see vehicles of the past and present lining by the side of the road.
We (bloggers) were being briefed by Colonel Anson Lim. He shared with us on our schedule for the day.
Our first stop is the static display which they called the Army Avenue. You can see the latest weapons and vehicles along the stretch.
Check out the weapons mounted onto it.
One of the interesting gadgets is the firing detector. It will be able to detect the direction where the vehicle is being fired at and swing the weapon towards that direction (according to the army guys there).
For your information, you can actually step onto the vehicles to take a closer look. There will be people watching out for you.
This is one of my favorite vehicle. It is called the Light Strike. I believe the Guards units are using them.
As you walk along, you should be able to see the unmanned aerial drone (Skyblade IV).
And also the Super Puma and Apache helicopters.
Some other interesting display like the Mobile Field Unit (MFU).
Finally, one of the Ford SUV is converted to a military vehicle (PSV – which means Protection of Installation Security Vehicle) .
Our next stop is the Dynamic Defence Arena. It is my favorite attraction. Do take note of the show time. If possible, you can wait for more pyrotechnics display in the evening.
Dynamic Show Arena
Here are some of the pictures you can see during the show. I will not say too much. Actually, quite standard plot. Individual incident and then escalated to small scale invasion and finally victory. They are using pyrotechnics and firing blanks for more dramatic effect. You need to be there to feel it.
The SAF Red Lions parachuting team
All the actions happen here.
It all started as a peaceful day. People were dancing and suddenly, explosion happens and the actions begin.
The friendly force.
Our 3G army to the rescue.
A job well done. The band.
And the finale is something I did not expect. Pyrotechnics were fired into the sky together with cute little toy paratroopers.
We were able to mingle with the troops after the show.
As a tech blogger, I was interested in their eye wear. They mentioned that it is like a computer screen in front of the face. They also have camera attached to them and the commanders will be able to see the action in their perspective (like counterstrike game).
The Naval divers.
Next, we moved on to the NS45 showcase.
NS45 Showcase. (Theme: From Fathers to Sons)
Here is where you can show your children how the army is like in the early years. For those who had served NS, you will feel nostalgia here.
Our guide is LTC Justin Ang.
The first area is a media room where fathers and sons will greet the vistors. Don’t be fooled by their photo frames.
Moving on, we visited a collection of the army uniforms in the olden days.
The boys were enjoying themselves with the shell scrape.
We were lead into corridors withe more pictures and history of our nation’s army.
Finally, we reached a multi-media room where father and son are talking about the present and the past technology in the armed forces.
Here is the pledge room. You can pledge your support by pressing the button or using pen and paper to write them down.
Another part of the NS45 showcase is showing the 1G, 2G to 3G transformation of the Singapore Armed Force (SAF).
3 generation of PT kit.
Old full pack.
New full pack.
Old Alibaba bag (that is what we used to call it)
New version with wheels.
3 generation of PT shoes.
The old SBO being replaced by LBV (Load Bearing Vest) (if I am not wrong).
Weapons (SAR21 replacing the M16)
The entrenching tools (it used to be an ET stick and a shovel plate).
Our next stop is the battle rides.
Don’t miss the battle rides. You have a variety of vehicles to choose. From the Light Strike vehicle (I like) to the Fast Craft Utility (FCU).
For the Wet and Wild, we are taking the FCU.
Before you board, you will need to see an instruction and safety video. You must put on the life jacket.
There are a lot of photo taking opportunities.
The MINDEF Public Affairs team.
Some scenic views.
Always starts young.
Here is a short video that I made.
Terror on Tracks
I rushed to the Light Strike vehicle. Super fun.
Here is a video that I made.
We managed to squeeze into the tight schedule to have some fun on the All Terrain Track Carrier Bronco .
Because of time constraint, we did not visit this area. Here is what you can expect.
- an interactive segment that you could put your shooting skills to the test!
- Activities include trying out the SAR21, Tactical Engagement (TES) and the Paintball Engagement Systems
- Also includes more physically-challenging acitvities such as rock climbing, flying fox descent and rappelling!
Picture courtesy of MINDEF
Actually the whole place is a well organized carnival. Expect to see these: –
- An area where childen below 10 years old can have fun
- Highlights include:
- an Army-themed Children Playground
- dressing up in mini pixelised and ceremonial uniforms
- mini obstacle course
- mini military platforms
- inflatable bouncing castles.
How to Get There
So, go there, have fun, learn more about the Singapore Army! BTW, here are the souvenirs that you can collect during the Open House. Be prepared to get yourself tan during the visit.
More photos over here