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!

DRSABC CPR for everyone

[ Media Invite ]

DRSABC CPR, Boon Yee simulating a CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on me. We were attending a two hour First Aid familiarisation course designed for family.
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DRSABC stands for :
Danger (look out for danger before rendering help to victim)
Response (tap victim on shoulder hard to ensure he is conscious/unconscious
Shout (Shout for HELP, “call 995!”, “Grab AED or First Aid Box”. (AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator)
Airway (ensure airway no choke, thus blocking breathing)
Breathing (check for signs of breathing, breath and chest rising)
CPR (perform CPR only on unconscious victim, who is not breathing)

DRSABC CPR

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of CPR. The first few minutes after a victim collapse are crucial to sustain blood flow through the body, especially the brain.

If blood is not flowing to the brain, it will lead to brain-dead (comatose). Even if heart should be resuscitated, the victim will become a vegetable, or suffers from other side effect.
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I am a First Aider, but what happens when I am not around. I hope the kids would have picked up some awareness about rendering First Aid. Even if you do not know CPR, 995 call-centre can guide you over the phone.
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Some of the tips which kids pick up along the session.
– Counting 1&2&3&4&5 during CPR (elbow always straight and fingers interlock)
– Following AED’s instructions to monitor heart rythem and administering shock
– Gloves for hygiene, you do not wish to be contaminated by victim’s blood or fluid.
– Apply pressure till blood flow is controlled and stopped
– Using tap water to run off hot water or chemical spill and scalds
– Applying Crepe bandage and triangle sling

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This 2 hours Basic CPR course is part of PA (People’s Association) School Holiday series. It offers an overview of First Aid, and raise awareness for the kids. The real First Aid course will be covered over three days.
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As a First Aider, I know the importance of having first aid skills for my family. I hope the kids will be able to help in an emergency.
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Shoutout for SCDF app myRESPONDER.
This app will buzz you to respond to nearby incidence, or detect nearest AED. It hopes to render assistance to victims faster.

Remember DRSABC CPR, every minute counts.
scdf-myresponder

More details about PA courses can be found on their website.

Our previous emergency preparations and activities :
http://sengkangbabies.com/family-2/trip-emergency-preparedness-centre
http://sengkangbabies.com/parenting/stay-prepared-in-an-emergency

Visit to Harmony In Diversity Gallery

[ Media Invite ]

What does SG Secure means to you?
The kids were not even born when 911 terrorism striked World Trade Centers. 15 years later, I still cannot fathom why anyone would want to drive Boeing 747s into buildings!

2016 National Day Rally, PM Lee mentioned that terrorism is getting nearer to our shores. Not a matter of IF but WHEN.

Chilling thought, but this is the World which our kids will inherit.
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Protecting Singapore is not just the job of our security agencies or armed forces. It requires every citizen to be vigilant and if the unthinkable should happen, we must carry on with our way of life.

Go to school or work place, do your grocery shopping and commute as per normal.
If we allowed terrorists to disrupt our lifestyles, to allow fanatics to tear our communities apart, we would have been defeated, Singapore would cease to exist.

In that context, I thought it was timely to orientate the kids with Singapore’s multi-ethnic society at Harmony In Diversity Gallery (HDG).
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There are four sections within Harmony In Diversity Gallery.
– Gallery One: Journey of Faith
– Gallery Two: Seeking what is Common
– Gallery Three: Many Faiths, One People
– Gallery Four: WE, THE PEOPLE OF SINGAPORE

Ten religions from Singapore are featured in the gallery, I admit I only know the main religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christians etc) from the main races makeup in Singapore.
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Q&A, no right or wrong answer, follow your heart. We are tested on our understanding of inter-faith relationships in Singapore.
Sample question “Are all Indians Hindus?
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Viewing a running commentary of how the Maria Hertogh riots happened in Singapore. There are plenty of interactions within the different sections.
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Harmony In Diversity Gallery

Fortunately for us, we do not have to read about terrorists attacks on our soil yet. But these newspaper clippings proved our forefathers’ lived through the turmoils in the 50s and 60s.
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Two generations have grown up in stable Singapore, it is always a challenge to remind my kids to treasure Singapore’s peace and not take our religious harmony for granted.
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Singapore’s policies aim to be secular, so that everyone can practice their faiths with freedom. However, there are laws to protect Singapore’s state of religious harmony (just in case some fanatics, not necessary Muslim, decide to preach hate rhetorics which pits races and religions against each other).

In my own view, people who claim “freedom of speech” to blemish other faiths is all bullshit. I hope my kids will be accountable and responsible (sensitive too!) for words coming from their own mouth.
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Looking for common grounds among the inter-faiths. It is always easier and more effective to work together based on our common strengths.

I truly believe that all Religions teach us to do good, it is only humans who distort teachings to suit their own agenda.
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Meditation and Fasting across religions, and I thought only Muslims Fast during Ramadan 🙂
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We learned that beads are used by many Faiths.
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Golden Rules among the religions in Singapore, common traits like charities and giving back to societies, helping the weak.
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Contributing and improving the standard of Health, Education and Charities.
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Different areas of worship and their significance. Example of Chinese and Indian temples (Waterloo’s Sri Krishnan and Kwan Im ) devotees visiting both temples to seek blessings.
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Shared experiences and memories among Singapore’s different ethnic and religious makeup. Interactions along common areas like coffeeshops, void decks and letter boxes.
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We have seen so many weddings and funerals in nearby vicinity, which is unique in Singapore. What is remarkable is everyone is accommodating and understanding.
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Coffee shops where everyone mingles regardless of our faiths and believes.
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Kids will have some clue books and tasks to complete during their tour. This might help them to understand Singapore’s unique diversity and better appreciate our differences.
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In the last gallery, we each pledge to make Singapore better. I wish to expose my kids to more of Singapore’s various cultures.
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To quote from HDG “Will we let our differences divide us or our commonalities unite us?“. Embrace each other’s differences 🙂

More info about Harmony in Diversity Gallery :
– Website – https://www.harmonyindiversitygallery.sg
Facebook
– Ministry of National Development (MND) Building Annexe B, 7 Maxwell Road, #04-05/06, Singapore 069111
– Entrance is free and open to public, Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm
– Nearest MRT is Tanjong Pagar (5 min walk)

* Singapore SG Secure initiative (link)
** Harmony in Diversity Gallery should not be confused with The Harmony Centre (An-Nahdhah Mosque) in Bishan

You might be interested to know how SengkangBabies prepare for emergency or our thoughts on racism in Singapore :
http://sengkangbabies.com/family-2/trip-emergency-preparedness-centre
http://sengkangbabies.com/parenting/stay-prepared-in-an-emergency
http://sengkangbabies.com/campaign/total-defence
http://sengkangbabies.com/parenting/what-can-we-learn-from-the-riot
http://sengkangbabies.com/parenting/are-you-a-racist