RSAF lands at HDB Hub to mark golden jubilee

Minister of Defence Ng Eng Hen with RSAF airmen at the celebrations at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh yesterday. The event showcased the force's capabilities through static displays of aircraft and weapon systems.
Minister of Defence Ng Eng Hen with RSAF airmen at the celebrations at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh yesterday. The event showcased the force's capabilities through static displays of aircraft and weapon systems.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Owen Tan is only six but already dreaming of soaring through the skies for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) when he grows up.

The Primary 1 pupil was one of the visitors at the RSAF50@Heartlands celebrations, which kicked off at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh yesterday. "When I grow up, I want to fly an Apache helicopter as it's so powerful," he said.

About 50,000 people are expected to turn up at the two-day event, which ends today, to celebrate RSAF's golden jubilee. After this, the exhibition will move on to Sembawang, Punggol, Bedok and Jurong East.

Visitors get to interact with RSAF airmen, as well as learn more about the force's capabilities through static displays of aircraft and weapon systems.

They can also contribute to the RSAF50 Mural by taking photos at special booths featuring different animated backgrounds. Visitors also have a chance to don RSAF uniforms for these photo sessions.

The RSAF's history goes back to September 1968, when it was started as the Singapore Air Defence Command and had only two Cessna aircraft for basic flight training. It was formally inaugurated as the RSAF on April 1, 1975.

The air force's golden jubilee celebrations had kicked off earlier at the Singapore Airshow on Feb 7, when three F-15SG fighter jets soared through the sky in a flypast over Changi.

The deputy chairman of the RSAF50@Heartlands organising committee, Colonel Ho Yung Peng, said: "We want to reach out to as many Singaporeans as possible. For the air show, there was a huge attendance, but there are many people who have not seen the exhibits at the air show."

The RSAF50 exhibition will be in Sembawang on March 31 and April 1, Punggol on April 14 and 15, Bedok on May 12 and 13 and Jurong East on May 26 and 27.

The exhibition will be open from 10am to 9pm at each location.

Shaffiq Alkhatib

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 11, 2018, with the headline 'RSAF lands at HDB Hub to mark golden jubilee'. Print Edition | Subscribe