Jumping with the Red Lions

With a GoPro camera strapped to his chest, The Straits Times executive photojournalist Mark Cheong goes on a tandem skydive with First Warrant Officer Dave Chong, a member of the Red Lions. See what it was like jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet.
The Straits Times photojournalist Mark Cheong (photo) putting nerves aside for a tandem jump with Red Lions First Warrant Officer (1WO) Dave Chong last Monday.
The Straits Times photojournalist Mark Cheong (photo) putting nerves aside for a tandem jump with Red Lions First Warrant Officer (1WO) Dave Chong last Monday. PHOTO: MINDEF
Here we go! ST photojournalist Mark Cheong and Red Lions First Warrant Officer Dave Chong moments after the jump in their tandem sky dive last Monday. The Red Lions' cameraman, Major Arnold Low, gesturing to Mr Cheong to smile for the camera. When th
Here we go! ST photojournalist Mark Cheong and Red Lions First Warrant Officer Dave Chong moments after the jump in their tandem sky dive last Monday.PHOTO: MINDEF
Here we go! ST photojournalist Mark Cheong and Red Lions First Warrant Officer Dave Chong moments after the jump in their tandem sky dive last Monday. The Red Lions' cameraman, Major Arnold Low, gesturing to Mr Cheong to smile for the camera. When th
The Red Lions' cameraman, Major Arnold Low, gesturing to Mr Cheong to smile for the camera. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Here we go! ST photojournalist Mark Cheong and Red Lions First Warrant Officer Dave Chong moments after the jump in their tandem sky dive last Monday. The Red Lions' cameraman, Major Arnold Low, gesturing to Mr Cheong to smile for the camera. When th
When they were back at the hangar, Mr Cheong (front) asked 1WO Chong how he fared in the tandem sky dive. The polite response: "At least you smiled for the picture!"ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

ST photojournalist takes the plunge in a tandem dive with a Red Lion

Having served in the Singapore Police Force as a full-time national serviceman, I had little experience with anything military.

So when my supervisor asked if I would like to experience skydiving by performing a tandem jump with one of the Singapore Army's Red Lions, the answer was yes.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2018, with the headline 'A lion-hearted dive and a smile to show'. Print Edition | Subscribe