SAF special forces to stage hostage rescue demo at NDP

Leopard tanks and elite naval divers to feature in Total Defence Display too

Special forces elements from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will stage a hostage rescue demonstration from a "hijacked" public transport bus in what will be a first for this year's National Day Parade (NDP), said the parade organisers yesterday.

Audiences will see rescuers storm the bus and blow up one of its windows to save hostages from terrorists.

The Total Defence Display (TDD) - last seen in 2017 - will also feature an amphibious operation by the navy's elite naval divers as well as the army's Leopard tanks driving onto the promenade at the Marina Bay floating platform.

The display will involve more than 500 participants and over 50 assets from Singapore's security and defence agencies. The new Chinook chopper, the Hunter armoured fighting vehicle, as well as next-generation police cars and the Singapore Civil Defence Force's (SCDF) pumper firefighting machine will make their debuts in the segment.

SCDF's Red Rhino, tactical response police motorcycles and troopers from the army will also be in action.

NDP organisers revealed these details at an NDP event at Marina Bay's floating platform yesterday.

The TDD will be interwoven with the largest marching parade in three years as the NDP aims to return to its pre-Covid-19 scale. The parade will see 2,000 people from 37 physical and virtual marching contingents participate.

In addition to the Home Team and SAF contingents, the parade will include school and civilian contingents such as youth uniformed groups and socio-economic groups that did not participate in person in 2020 and last year.

In celebration of 55 years of National Service (NS55), the parade will pay tribute to the country's past and current national servicemen. The youth contingents will march to form an NS55 shape as a salute to all such personnel.

Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) (NS) Desmond Fu, 40, will be commanding the parade. He said he was very glad to represent and pay homage to NSmen in the parade this year.

The father of a seven-month-old said that having a child has made him realise the importance of keeping the country safe.

He said: "We need to do what we can to ensure that our everyday life, the way we go about with confident assurance that we live in a safe environment, continues."

ME3 Abdul Razak Mohammed Noor, 59, who is part of the SAF band, will be joining the parade for the 40th consecutive year.

Recalling his best memories of those four decades, he said he is grateful to have found love while pursuing his passion for music.

He met his wife in the SAF band in 1986, and they got married three months after sharing a stage together as clarinettists. Performing in the yearly celebration is something he holds close to his heart, and he is sad to be retiring from active service later this year.

He said: "I'm very sad, I'll miss all the good friends I've made over the years. I cried knowing I will retire. I've put in all my effort, my heart and my soul for the NDP and for the nation."


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2022, with the headline SAF special forces to stage hostage rescue demo at NDP. Subscribe