Super Puma touches down in the heartland

Visitors taking part in interactive activities at the exhibition. The event also featured a naval helicopter simulator as well as different aircraft displays. RSAF medical officers carrying a "casualty" on a stretcher to a Super Puma that had landed
RSAF medical officers carrying a "casualty" on a stretcher to a Super Puma that had landed yesterday at a field near the Sembawang MRT station. It was part of a demonstration of the helicopter's search and rescue capabilities. ST PHOTOS: KELVIN CHNG
Visitors taking part in interactive activities at the exhibition. The event also featured a naval helicopter simulator as well as different aircraft displays. RSAF medical officers carrying a "casualty" on a stretcher to a Super Puma that had landed
Visitors taking part in interactive activities at the exhibition. The event also featured a naval helicopter simulator as well as different aircraft displays. ST PHOTOS: KELVIN CHNG
Visitors taking part in interactive activities at the exhibition. The event also featured a naval helicopter simulator as well as different aircraft displays. RSAF medical officers carrying a "casualty" on a stretcher to a Super Puma that had landed
Constance Chee, six, was among the visitors at the two-day event in Sembawang celebrating RSAF's golden jubilee.ST PHOTOS: KELVIN CHNG

A Super Puma touched down and took off from the open field beside the Sembawang MRT station yesterday.

Medical officers were also seen carrying a "casualty" on a stretcher to the helicopter under its whirring blades.

The action was a simulation by the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) 125 Squadron and 1 Medical Squadron personnel.

The display of the helicopter's search and rescue capabilities was part of the RSAF's golden jubilee celebrations in Sembawang.

More than 30,000 people are expected at the two-day event, which ends today.

Team leader for the demonstration, Major Roy Chew, said: "We hope that through this demonstration, exhibits and interactive activities, Singaporeans can better appreciate the operational readiness of the RSAF to defend Singapore's skies."

The RSAF first commissioned the Super Puma in 1985.

Last August, Super Pumas flew on search and rescue operations after the USS John S. McCain warship collision in Singapore waters.

The helicopters evacuated injured American sailors to the Singapore General Hospital after the vessel collided with a commercial oil tanker, killing 10 people.

Since 2002, the RSAF has been involved in 317 search and rescue missions across the region.

At yesterday's exhibition, visitors could also try out an S-70B naval helicopter simulator, as well as tour static and interactive aircraft displays.

More RSAF50 celebratory events lined up include a fly-past over Marina Barrage during the National Day weekend in August.

The events will culminate in the RSAF50 Parade on Sept 1, to be attended by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The RSAF50 exhibition will next make a landing in Punggol on April 14 and 15, Bedok on May 12 and 13, as well as Jurong East on May 26 and 27.

Each two-day exhibition will be held from 10am to 9pm.

Last month, the RSAF displayed the Spyder, a ground-based air defence system that can take on multiple aerial targets at the same time, at the Toa Payoh HDB Hub.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 01, 2018, with the headline 'Super Puma touches down in the heartland'. Print Edition | Subscribe