Army Open House returns after 5-year break, ticketed admission for crowd control

Visitors at the Army Open House 2017, the last time the event was held. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - After a five-year hiatus, the Army Open House (AOH22) will return at the F1 Pit Building and two heartland locations.

Unlike previous editions, this one requires visitors to apply for tickets, in order to control crowd size and facilitate the flow of human traffic.

This year's event will take place over three weekends, with the main exhibition at the F1 Pit Building from May 28 to 30, and the two heartland ones in Punggol from June 3 to 5 and Bishan from June 10 to 12.

The open house, themed "Generations of Strength", commemorates the 55th anniversary of national service in Singapore, with visitors able to learn both about the evolution of the mandatory obligation for men to be conscripted, and the achievements of national servicemen through an NS55 showcase.

The showcase will feature in all three of the physical exhibitions as well as a virtual one that will be accessible from May 16 to June 12.

Since it began in 1997, the open house has been organised in conjunction with significant milestones, with the first commemorating the 30th anniversary of NS and the previous two editions in 2012 and 2017 coinciding with NS45 and NS50, respectively.

Chairman of the AOH22 executive committee, Colonel Xu Youfeng, is very much looking forward to engaging and connecting with the public.

"Being a citizen army, it is important that Singaporeans know and understand who we are," he added.

Colonel Xu is also the army's chief infantry officer and commander of the 9th Division.

Entry into the main exhibit at the F1 Pit Building will be staggered via two-hour slots, with up to 6,000 ticket holders allowed in each slot.

Entry to the heartland exhibits will be capped at 400 per one-hour slot.

To book tickets, visitors will have to access the AOH22 website to create and verify their account. Each account will be limited to five tickets for each exhibit location.

For the first time, Singaporeans will be able to get up close with the Hunter, the army's newest armoured fighting vehicle. It was commissioned in 2019 and featured in that year's National Day Parade mobile column.

The Hunter will be on display next to Leopard 2 SG main battle tanks, as well as the existing Terrex and Bionix platforms and other vehicles from the combat, combat support and combat service support divisions.

Visitors will also get to ride on various land, air and sea platforms at the main exhibition, such as across Marina Bay in an M3G military raft, or experience a flight in a Chinook helicopter.

Other highlights include a firing range where visitors can test their marksmanship and a Soldier Strong obstacle course.

To take part in the rides and other activities, visitors have to book a slot on-site.

For more information, visit the AOH22 website or the Singapore Army's Facebook and Instagram pages.

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