Mobile Column Showcasing Our Nation Strength at National Day Parade 2015

{Media Invite and National Day Parade 2015 Highlight}

This year National Day Parade (NDP) 2015 will feature a total of 179 assets from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

The Mobile Column will focus on showcasing the strength of our Nation with the aim to instill confidence in our SAF and Home Team in a grand, formal and precise display. This year Singapore’s 50 Anniversary for NDP, it is the time to celebrate, to remember our pioneers’ spirit whom have contributed greatly to the success of Singapore and to call on all Singaporeans to continue with our commitment in making our Nation strong and strengthen our defence across generations. 

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Our team highlighted some of the assets that will be participating in NDP for the first time. The 1st one is Singapore Armed Forces Protected Response Vehicle (PRV) mounted with an Integrated Remote Control Weapon System (RCWS) which allows it to configure between three weapons – the 7.62mm Machine Gun, 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun, and 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher, allowing it to respond to a multitude of threats. There will be three of this asset at the Parade. 

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The 2nd asset is Singapore Armed Forces The Leopard 2 Armoured Engineer Vehicle (L2-AEV). In the above picture is commander of the Armoured Engineer Vehicle, LTA Celestia Tan, 25. This vehicle is a three-man engineer tank which is able to overcome a variety of obstacles to support the advance of the SAF’s armoured forces. The L2-AEV is protected by a remote controlled weapon station (RCWS) mounted with a 0.5” Heavy Machine Gun. There will be one of this asset at the Parade. 

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The 3rd asset is Singapore Armed Forces Ford F550 Combat Ambulance which replaces the Land Rover ambulance to ensure that medical support is able to keep up with the SAF’s increasing spectrum of operations. It is mobile in a cross country terrain and equipped with Advanced Life Support equipment to enhance mobility and ensure better casualty care during evacuation. There will be two of this asset at the Parade. 

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The 4th asset is Singapore Armed Forces Leopard 2SG Main Battle Tank (L2SG) and this impressive asset provides the army with overwhelming mobility and firepower. The L2SG comes with armoured protection and networked communications capabilities that display precision manoeuvre and will be able to dominate the modern battlefield rapidly. There will be 13 of this asset at the Parade. 

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The 5th asset is Singapore Armed Forces Specialised Marine Craft  (SMCs). In the above picture is the commander of the SMC squadron, MAJ Lee Pui Yau, 34. The SMC form part of the Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN) capability in maritime security operations. The SMCs are deployed for base defence and force protection. They will also operate alongside the Patrol Vessels (PVs) / Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs) to deliver swift, flexible and decisive responses against maritime security threats. This asset is to replace the Fast Boats and it is designed and built locally by Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd. There will be one of this asset at the Parade. 

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The 6th asset in the above picture on the right is Singapore Armed Forces K-STER Expendable Mine-Disposal System which is a new addition to the the Republic of Singapore Navy’s Mine Countermeasure Vessels (MCMVs). The K-STER is highly manoeuvrable and can be deployed to neutralise various kinds of mines such as those on the sea-bed, partially buried, or floating in mid-water. There will be one of this asset at the Parade.

The 7th asset in the above picture on the left is Singapore Armed Forces REMUS Autonomous Underwater Vehicle which is an unmanned system which performs hydrographic surveys. The lightweight and portable system is easily transported and can be operated from different ships. There will be one of this asset at the Parade. 

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During the media preview on mobile column, the assets drove from Kallang to Suntec City, the impressive assets caught the attention of many passers-by both locals and tourists, many were seen taking pictures and watching the assets drove along the road. 

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The media had an opportunity to sit in an experiential ride to Suntec City, our team sat on a Bronco All-Terrain Tracked Carrier. We had a good chat with the soldiers who drove us in the Bronco. We are very impressed with their friendly attitudes, professionalism and dedication in serving our Nation. We can feel a strong sense of National Pride and Identity as the mobile column drove along the road. There will be 11 Bronco at the Parade. 

The mobile column celebrations trail will pass iconic landmarks along the Singapore skyline, such as The Float @ Marina Bay and Marina Bay Sands before joining Singaporeans on the Esplanade Bridge to recite the Pledge and sing the National Anthem at 20:15hrs. Please click HERE to find out more about National Day Parade 2015. 

National Education Gaming Championship (NEGC) 2015

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{Media Invite and Event Highlight}

The National Education Gaming Championship (NEGC) 2015 in its fifth year was organised by the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and supported by Ministry of Education (MOE). It is a great opportunity for students to participate in a virtual battlefield game and at the same time to learn more about the 3rd generation of Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and its role in Defence. 

Our Parenting World was recently invited to take part in the training of NEGC with several groups of students before they participate in the actual competition. Students from each participating institutions form teams of 10 players each and play Virtual Battlespace 2 (VBS2), a simulation game where players go through a wide range of military scenarios from a first-person shooter perspective. The players get to try out many virtual weapons currently used in the SAF, such as the Singapore Assault Rifle 21, Section Automatic Weapon, General Purpose Machine Gun and Man-portable Anti-Tank, Anti-DooR (MATADOR).

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NEGC was open to all Secondary Schools, ITE, Junior Colleges/Centralised Institutes/Integrated Programmes and Polytechnic students. There were a total of 64 teams participating in NEGC 2015 and each team will go through a 4-hour training session before they take part in the actual event. Our Parenting World junior journalist participated in one of the training sessions. Through the students’ experiences with NEGC, they realise and learn that “What you cannot defend, is not yours.” 

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Students listened attentively to Major Sheares’s lessons. 

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The training session started off with an hour briefing by a retired SAF Officer, Major Sheares on the need to maintain a strong military for Singapore as part of the National Education programme. Major Sheares spoke passionately about his military experience and also shared about his family’s suffering during the Japanese Occupations in Singapore during the Second World War. He spoke about the early days of SAF to counter communist insurgencies and how SAF evolved into the 3rd generation now. He is also the nephew of the late President Benjamin Sheares, who was the second President for Singapore. After the National Education briefing, the instructors guided the students on how to play this computer game. Each group of students will go through 4 hours of training before they were ready for the competition.

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A record number of 60 schools took part in this year competition and the NEGC was held at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central from 26 to 28 June 2015. 

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After many knockout matches among the competing teams, the final two teams face-off was held at 12.30pm on 28 June 2015 and eventually the team from ITE College Central emerged as the overall winner. The winner trophy was presented by Colonel (COL) Roland Ng, Director Nexus. Regent Secondary School and Seng Kang Secondary School won 2nd and 3rd place. Congratulations to the winning teams and also those who have participated in the event!

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Our Parenting World team with DJ Dee Kosh (Left) and DJ Michael Tan (Right) from Power 98FM who were the comperes of the event. 

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Let’s hear from Our Parenting World’s junior journalist what he has to say about this virtual reality battlefield game:

This is a fun shooting game. It is easy to move the soldier around. Using the arrow key, I can move my soldier to the left, to the right and move front or back. I can choose what role for the soldier I want to be in the game and the type of weapon I can carry. My favourite weapon is the SAW (Section Automatic Weapon). It is a light machine gun which can shoot a lot of bullets at one time and easy to carry around.

The aim of the game is to find the building with the flag and then defend the building from being taken over by the enemy. I can also use UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) to search for the locations of my enemies and then I can ask my teammates to destroy them. This is an interesting game to play. Through the games, we realise the importance of defence, why is it important to defend and the role of our national defence. 

I have watched the final game between the last two surviving team. It was very exciting to watch the two teams facing each other. They were very good. In the end, the team from ITE College Central won the trophy because they have better strategy and teamwork. The team launched a coordinated attack against their enemies in the first game and captured the building with the flag easily. In their second game, as defenders of the flag, they actually went out to attack their enemies and destroyed them before their enemies had a chance to attack them. Well done! It has been a thrilling final for us to watch and I look forward to the competition next year.

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