Army Open House 2017 and 5 observations for kids

Finally, Army Open House (AOH2017) is back again, after 5 long years.

Singapore Army even extended the event by one day, due to popular demand. After AOH2017 at F1 venue, part of the exhibition moved to the heartlands in Punggol and Jurong East.

Army Open House 2017
Army Open House 2017

 

Super HOT weekend, everyone in social media complained about the heat, yet more families continue to throng the space!

“Army Ready, Soldier Strong”

This is a timely reminder in today’s uncertain times.
Look at terrorists news around the world, and recent “siege” of Qatar. What does it really mean to the kids?

At the Army Open House, they see fun rides, cool soldiers, photo opportunities and more FUN.

 

#Point 01
.. but in times of tension, do they understand that Singapore need to defend itself? Many Dads would need to go back and standby for incidents and deployments.

Do the kids understand that Singaporeans are responsible for our own land? No one own us a living.

Do the boys understand the significance of serving National Service (NS)?

Army Ready, Soldier Strong
Army Ready, Soldier Strong

The Dynamic Show kicked off with Military Tattoos, followed by Red Lions (paratroopers).

Remember the Green Flashing Soldier on our TV and Radio broadcasts? It used to mean “Bye Bye my Weekend” to Daddy :p

#Point 02
Kids understand Dads need to report to camp, this might be a routine recall, and Soldiers (and resources) might be activated due to some emergencies.

The audience knew what was going to happen to the poor Nissan Cefiro. First time we saw the Destructive power of the 60 tons Leopard Tank, instant scrap metal, no need 1206 too :p

Post-show, many were curious about the crushed Cefiro, kaput!
Leopard tank cursh car

For Army Open House (AOH2017) , simulated terrorists infiltrated our island. Some hostages have been taken, Home team (Police,SCDF)  and SAF Protection force swung into action.

Help from sniffer dogs and robots to mitigate bomb threats.

 

Every vehicle in the SAF orbat rolled in to control the situation. Even Apache and Himars (MLRS aka rockets) were deployed to ensure the audience get the maximum impact.

Ambulances evacuated the causalities.

#Point 03
I asked the kids whether our Doctors, Nurses and Hospitals are equipped and mentally ready to handle trauma victims? Is our infrastructure able to cope with mass casualties? Do we have enough blood for transfusion?

Kids go through Social studies and they understand a bit about Total Defence.

Without Googling, can you tell me the 5 pillars of Total Defence?

Although Military Defence is the main pillar, Singapore depends on
Civil, Economic, Social and Psychological Defence too.

SGSecure is the Singapore approach to counter new non-conventional threats from extremists. Residents and Government agencies need to collaborate to keep Singapore safe.

Times have changed, we have to get used to the “new normal”, where extremists will try to disrupt our way of life and tear communities apart. Citizens must be vigilant and strong, and stand together to stop the terrorists.

When we need specialised skills, Singapore can rely on the “black-clad SOF (Special Operation Forces, comprising members from Commandos and Naval Diver) .

This is the first time they appeared “officially” in public, they swiftly took out the kidnappers, and left in their zeng(3) Ford (modified).

SOF’s mysterious background forms the sharp edge of Singapore’s deterrence. Do not mess with these guys.

 

Singapore Special Forces
Singapore SOF

Hello doggie. I told the kids the “retired” dogs can now follow their handlers home 🙂

The highlight for most families must be the fun rides.

Boon Yee and Boon Xin opted for Light Strike (Guards) and
Larc V (resupply). I would love to ride the massive 20 ton Protector vehicle and own the expressway!

Good initiative from organisers, families just need to register a time slot and return later, no need to queue and wait for their turn.

 

#Point 04
Larc V (same as the Broncos and 5 tonners) is actually designed to resupply our troops. We tend to see the Bionix and Terrex’s shiny armour or the Leopards’ armament. But how many of us appreciate the Logistics machinery running in the background?

Can you imagine the efforts to truck all the vehicles to F1 area?

Food, Ammo, Fuel, Troops. No matter how advanced or professional is your Armed forces, a military will fail without an efficient logistics.

Joyride on the Guards’ Light Strike. This ride can go over streams and climb slopes, it would be cool if Chinook can sling us away!

The static displays with the usual vehicles. Slender machine (looks like it can slice through waters) belongs to the commandos.

Apache looked menacing, in the air or on the ground.

Peacekeeper Protected Response Vehicle (the longer ride) and Belrex (commercial Marauder) makes all of us look tiny.

More Army platforms…

My kids did not find Army ration appetising, I missed my Oh-bee-bur and other desserts.

Around one corner, I saw a translucent water bottle. Soldiers can no longer pretend to bottoms-up during water parade :p

Combat rations anyone?

Kids still prefer canteen gourmet food over rations :p

 

Home grown SAR21, no striping or IA drill needed, just bang and go. Kids are not used to the recoil, and Boon Xin bruised her chin.

 

Other activities at Army Open House 2017. We missed the mini-SOC  (obstacles) due to the hot afternoon Sun. Long queues for “Night Walk” and “Drones”, UAV vocation anyone?

Would be cool to let kids explore Cyber Security in future AOH editions.

Video (YouTube Link) : Army Open House 2017 highlights

#Point 05
Kudos to the soldiers who had to burn their weekends, spending precious time away from families. They went out of the way to ensure visitors enjoyed the exhibition and interactions. I noticed the security screenings were tighter too.

Families are assured of SAF’s protection and hopefully appreciate Singapore’s peace and harmony.

Thank you Singapore Army and security agencies for keeping Singapore safe.

Our Open House adventures (Airforce, Navy and Army) are documented here. Is 2009 our first Army Open House?

More photos uploaded on our Facebook album.

ps.. If you cannot get enough Army displays, watch out for NDP 2017. We heard a record number of assets (Land, Sea and Air) will be on display!

Ex Torrent, RSAF Fighter Jets taking off from Lim Chu Kang Runway

[ Media Invite]

At Ex Torrent RSAF Fighter Jets will be launching and landing on Lim Chu Kang road.
On Friday, I had witnessed how it took 48 hours to convert a public road into an operating runway (read post here)

Air Power Generation Command (APGC) is one of RSAF’s commands.

Their mission:
-To generate and sustain effective, timely and robust air power to achieve the SAF’s mission.
-To raise, train and sustain aircraft generation and airbase operability elements in each airbase to ensure continuous launch and recovery of aircraft.

ex-torrent-f16

To put it bluntly, planes on the ground are no help at all in protecting Singapore. In times of tension, we must launch as many planes into the sky as possible.

Without air cover, all ground troops and assets are rendered helpless and will be taken out easily.

People with ill intention (towards Singapore) will definitely target our runways to cripple our Air Force, thus the need for alternate runways. “Lim Chu Kang Road” Runway will complement Tengah Airbase’s three runways.

ex-torrent-f15

~~~ Day 2 dry run ~~~

Lim Chu Kang road is ready, fire engine standing by.
day-2-exercise-torrent

Media, Photographers, Instagramers, Bloggers (with David from Life’s Tiny Miracles) and audience are ready.
day-2-exercise-torrent1

Moment of anticipation, this is IT!
Ex Torrent RSAF Fighter Jets'

Roll in the planes!
exercise-torrent-media-and-audience
ex-torrent-photos
dsc_6414
day-2-exercise-torrent4

F16 gifs.
f16-gif-exercise-torrent

F15 gifs
f15-gif-exercise-torrent

Video link (turn on the Volume!).

Too fast too furious. We were standing mere three lanes away from the “runway”!
If you thought the F16 is LOUD, wait till the F15 rolls pass !
The engine shocks you, the heat wave from the twin engines will envelope you (just like a 4D themepark, only with much more intensity!)

dsc_6434

dsc_6460

dsc_6502

dsc_6511

dsc_6521

dsc_6524

F16 arrested. Before that, ground crew had to lay the cable across (MAG).
exercise-torrent-mag-f16
day-2-exercise-torrent5
img_1645

Crew preparing for group photo.
img_1665
dsc_6545

Thank you for the invitation RSAF! To witness Ex Torrent RSAF Fighter Jets taking off and landing on Lim Chu Kang Road is a rare opportunity.

We can better appreciate what RSAF (and SAF) are doing to keep Singapore safe.
ex-torrent-lim-chu-kang-road

Do pop by our friends review (Life’s Tiny Miracles) too. If you need more photos, #ExTorrent on Twitter or Instagram.

Read about the conversion of Lim Chu Kang (and photos) in our earlier post here, and photos on our Facebook.
photos-exercise-torrent

Exercise Torrent 2016, before the fighter jets can take off

[ Media Invite ]

I was at Lim Chu Kang road (next to Tengah Air Base TAB) to witness RSAF prepare for Exercise Torrent 2016. Airplane enthusiasts would not miss Exercise Torrent, it is way better than any RSAF (Republic Singapore Air Force) open house.

(The actual launching for F15s and F16s are documented here)
Exercise Torrent 2016

You will never get any nearer to the LOUD jets taking off a few lanes away from you!
Check out the Hawkeye E2C unfolding its wings like Transformers in this video clip and road preparation here. I hesitated to bring my kids along as I thought they might find the repetitive landings and take-offs boring after a while :p

Before the birds F16 and F15 can take off from Lim Chu Kang Road (LCK), there are a lot of activities to accomplish 48 hours beforehand.

How many contractors are needed to clear the road signs?
dsc_6085

How many people do we need to dismantle a Bus Stop?
img_1525

Can you guess the amount of Railings along Lim Chu Kang road?
dsc_6313

Many lamp posts were taken down.
lamp-posts-removal-exercise-torrent

Now multiply the amount of efforts above along 2.5km. Personnel had to dismantle 153 LAMP POSTS, 14 TRAFFIC JUNCTIONS, 12 BUS STOPS, 58 ROAD SIGNS AND 1.2KM OF GUARD RAILS! (This is crazy!)
exercise-torrent-2016-infographic
(Image credit RSAF)

Our contractors must be amused at the level of attention which they are drawing. We took so many photos and videos of them hard at work 🙂

Food for thought, are we going to rely on our foreign contractors during period of tension?
All these dismantling involved a lot of manual labour, which is time consuming and not productive at all.
Perhaps DSTA (Defence Science) can improvised some effective ways to quickly dismantle the infrastructure along Lim Chu Kang road (example, you press one button and all surface infrastructure will automatically fold down)

We heard one speed camera was removed too, otherwise the camera will keep on flashing at the Speeding Birds :p
exercise-torrent-2016
day-1-ex-torrent7

Torrent 2008 was the 6th exercise, we had waited 8 years for you 🙂
img_1457

Video (link) : It took RSAF and partners 48 hours to transform Lim Chu Kang road for Exercise Torrent 2016

Multiple agencies are also involved in Exercise Torrent. Just to name a few, Nparks (Pruning of plants), AVA (the farms around Lim Chu Kang), LTA (Road infrastructures dismantling), Singapore Police (Road diversion), National Environment Agency (pest and perhaps mosquito control).

Other equipment and assets deployed during Exercise Torrent.

Mobile Air Traffic Control (MATC) tower, this cabin might be the best spot to view all the activities! (got aircon too)
Did you know that Singapore also deployed MATCs in Banda Aceh after Boxing Day Tsunami?
singapore-mobile-air-traffic-control-tower
dsc_6138

Mobile Arrestor Gear (MAG) will stop all planes! The steel hookwire is deployed across the road attached to two MAG (each weighing 8 tonnes). Unlike Aircraft carriers, which must stop all planes on the short platform, MAG is only used during emergencies.

Be prepared to watch MAG in action again a F16, a first for Exercise Torrent!
mag-mobile-arrestor-gear

Picture below, clockwise from top left:
FOD Killer in action (FOD stands for Foreign Object damage). This road sweeper can suck up magnetic (screws nuts etc) which might damage the fighter jets
– Second and third pic – Solar powered Airfield lights to demarcate the runway (These are not your usual camping lights from Decathlon)
PAPI ( Precision Approach Path Indicator) – Pilots use them to guide landing angle (4 White too high, 4 Red too low), must aim for 2 White and 2 Red.
day-1-ex-torrent10

We must not forget the Force Protection team, who will ensure that exercise will run smoothly and mitigate any security incidence which might occur. I understand some of them are reservists and will be sacrificing their weekends with the Air Force family.

2.8km of concertina wires were laid to fence off the temporary runway, I hate these “metal barbs”!
security-around-exercise-torrent

This weekend, Lim Chu Kang will be closed to the public until Sunday 2pm (Map and details link)
lim-chu-kang-road-closures
day-1-ex-torrent8

Some other interesting sights.

No chickens are running away today, we also heard the fowls were stressed from the jets afterburners (previous Torrents) and eggs production were affected :p
chicken-farms-lim-chu-kang

day-1-ex-torrent11

Since the last Torrent, Skyhawks and Hawkeyes had been retired (and F5 with their parachutes semi-retired?), I am wondering whether Gulfstream will make a guest appearance?
day-1-ex-torrent12

The stage is set. I hoped media group can stand next to the drain for maximum adrenaline 🙂
day-1-ex-torrent9

During Torrent 2016 (7th edition), 12 fighter jets will be roaring across Lim Chu Kang (F15 and F16).
img_1486
dsc_6137

I cannot wait for the weekend to come. Exercise Torrent 2016 is going to Rock Lim Chu Kang!
More photos have been uploaded on our Facebook.

For the latest updates, do follow RSAF on their Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram on @TheRSAF handler.

ps..
Go and ask the kids why Singapore need extra Lim Chu Kang runway?
(If you Google, you will know the number of runways at TAB)

*update* 2016 13 Nov – Post 2 on actual F15 and F16 landing along Lim Chu Kang, read here