SINGAPORE - Bishan and Ghim Moh residents were treated to a parachuting display by the Red Lions on Thursday (July 28), their last rehearsal before the actual show on Aug 7.
The free-fall jumps over heartland locations by the Singapore Armed Forces Parachute Team, better known as the Red Lions, are meant to spread the National Day spirit ahead of the nation's birthday on Aug 9.
While the National Day Parade and its previews are being held at The Float @ Marina Bay, celebrations are also being brought closer to heartlanders.
There will be carnivals in five locations and the Red Lions' show on the weekend before the parade, as well as fighter jet and flag flypasts, and fireworks displays in five locations on Aug 9.
At Thursday's rehearsal in Ghim Moh, safety nets were placed strategically on the open field opposite Ghim Moh Road Market and Food Centre, while military personnel and the media stood outside the parachutists' landing area.
Around 30 passers-by and residents huddled under a shelter overlooking the field.
At about 9.40am, six Red Lions jumped out of an aircraft. A few minutes later, their parachutes bloomed open and they gracefully landed onto the drop zone in the field.
This is the third year that the Red Lions are performing their free-fall jumps in the heartland.
In 2020, the parachutists landed near Sengkang General Hospital and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital as a tribute to frontline workers. Last year, they held their display in Ghim Moh and Bishan.
Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, who met the Red Lions at Paya Lebar Air Base before their jump on Thursday morning, said in a Facebook post: "At the break of dawn, our Red Lions were already geared up for their rehearsal jump. I saw how dedicated and focused they were during their pre-flight preparations, and their strong sense of camaraderie."
He urged Singaporeans to cheer for them and RSAF personnel on Aug 7 and 9, when they will be performing flypasts.
He added: "Kudos to our servicemen and women who stand ready to protect our nation. I thank all of you for your many contributions to our nation's defence."
The Red Lions' performances on Aug 7 will take place at the field beside the Bishan MRT station from 8.40am to 9.30am, and in Ghim Moh from 9.10am to 10am. Tickets are not needed to catch the show.