Red Lions spotted conducting free-fall jumps in the heartland

A Red Lion is seen landing at an open field next to Bishan Junction 8 on July 15, 2021. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
A Red Lion is seen landing at an open field next to Bishan Junction 8 on July 15, 2021. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
A Red Lion over the Buona Vista drop zone on July 15, 2021. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
Red Lions doing test jumps at Bishan on July 15, 2021. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Residents were treated to a parachuting display on Thursday (July 15) as the Red Lions began conducting test jumps over various parts of the heartland in preparation for the National Day Parade (NDP).

Yellow barriers and a tent had been set up around a field across the road from the Ghim Moh Road Market & Food Centre and military personnel lined the area.

At about 9.15am, a crowd of about 40 people looked up and pointed as five Red Lions appeared as specks dropping from an aircraft high in the sky, before opening their parachutes and drifting down to the field.

Former civil servant Azman Kassim, 52, was on his regular morning jog along the nearby park connector when he saw the Red Lions and recorded their free-falls on his mobile phone.

"It's something that we don't see very often, we get this only on National Day, so I'm quite happy I caught it. It'll be good on the weekends when more kids and people are around to watch," he said.

Sky-diving enthusiast Roger Lim, 53, was spotted watching the Red Lions, some of whom are his friends.

"It's great that people can get really up close to watch their free-fall and landing," the airport aviation safety officer said.

At around the same time, at Bishan, a smaller group of about 10 people had gathered in an open area near Junction 8 shopping mall to watch the Red Lions. Several of the onlookers were friends and family of the skydivers.

They applauded as the skydivers descended with their signature red parachutes.

Mr Vernon Quek, 35, was there with his wife and two children, aged one and three, to support a friend. The pastor told The Straits Times that he decided to come with his family because it had been a while since they had seen the Red Lions at NDP and they were all looking forward to watching them next month.

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The skydivers are slated to make jumps at various heartland sites on Aug 7 and 8 as part of NDP.

While the actual sites for the National Day celebrations have not been announced, the Singapore Armed Forces said on Wednesday that suitability assessment jumps would be conducted from Thursday to July 29.

Members of the public are advised not to be alarmed and to keep clear of restricted areas within these regions for their safety.

This is the second time the Red Lions are slated to land in the heartland for National Day. Last year, they landed near Sengkang General Hospital and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital as a tribute to front-line workers.

A Red Lion landing at the Buona Vista drop zone on July 15, 2021. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

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