26 July 2009 Sunday | 18:26 | National Day 2009
“Am I allowed to gush?”, said BG Tan Chuan-Jin on the NDP website two months ago. The NDP Exco Chairman was on an aerial recce to check out the routes for the Flag flyby and the Total Defence display. They didn’t put me on a helicopter, but they got the Navy guys to bring me out for a ride!
Previously when the Parade was held at the National Stadium and Padang, the Navy’s involvement was rather limited. The event shifted to the Floating Platform two years ago, and the waters at Marina Bay provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the three Services in the Military Defence component.
Yes, my fellow passengers were senior officers in the Army and Airforce. I never felt safer.
The audience at the NDP Combined Rehearsals and National Education shows had an adrenaline rush when the land, air and sea elements rolled out before their eyes. It’s not just what you see. It’s what you hear.
I wish I could have taken more pictures, but erm, I was holding for dear life. In this simulated scenario, the Navy boats are giving chase to the bad guys armed with explosives. People standing at the Merlion Park and the Esplanade might just get that additional surprise when the choppers and boats get close. Raincoats aren’t unnecessary, but expensive cameras should be kept away.