1 July marks another milestone for Our Army as we celebrate another year of peace in Singapore. Since 1969, the SAF Day Parade is organised annually to commemorate the founding of the Singapore Armed Forces.
Today we take a look behind the scenes to see what it takes to organise the SAF Day Parade, and hear from some of our SAF Day Parade 21 committee members who have been hard at work to enable the parade to be carried out smoothly and safely. The committee consists of a total of 14 Sub-Committees, each in charge of different functions, working hand-in-hand to put the SAF Day Parade together. Let's Go!
The Infrastructure and Decorations Sub-Committee setting up the static display.
Working as an integral part of the SAF Day Parade, the Infrastructure and Decorations Sub-Committee lays down the foundation of the parade, setting up the various decorations facilities such as the static display of our military assets during the parade, while also carrying out routine check-ups of the condition and cleanliness of the SAFTI MI facilities in preparation for the SAF Day Parade.
CPT Clement Neo, Secretary for Infrastructure and Decoration Sub-Committee.
Serving as the Infrastructure and Decoration Sub-Committee Secretary, CPT Neo shares about the challenges they faced while setting up the groundwork of the parade, "The greatest challenge would be the deployment and redeployment of the six military assets at the parade square of SAFTI MI. In order to preserve the condition of the floor tiles at the parade square while the assets moved across them, wooden planks were laid along the movement route of the assets. For this, 400 pieces of the wooden planks were deployed with each plank requiring 2-4 people to carry. The task was definitely physically demanding, but the fighting spirit our soldiers displayed was admirable, as they successfully delivered. This commitment and dedication were shown on a daily basis during training so as to ensure that we stand ready to defend our country."
The various Sub-Committees work hand-in-hand to ensure that SAF Day Parade runs smoothly and safely.
All parade participants have to undergo weekly swab tests to ensure their safety.
The COVID Management Sub-Committee ensures everyone's safety during the SAF Day Parade. Liaising with the Medical Sub-Committee, the Covid Management Sub-Committee plans out weekly swab tests, while working towards the vaccination effort for all parade participants and committee members. Furthermore, the COVID Management Sub-Committee carries out routine spot checks to ensure everyone follows the Safe Management Measures put in place.
The medical stretcher team carrying out practice drills for emergency cases.
Apart from COVID management, the Medical Sub-Committee plays a key role in ensuring the safety and security of all participants, guests, spectators and working parties during the SAF Day Parade. The Medical Sub-Committee consists of various medical teams, such as the Stretcher teams, to ensure sufficient medical coverage and evacuation plans in cases of emergencies.
CPT Marcus Goh Cheng Han, Dy Operations and Contingency.
The Command and Control Centre monitoring the execution of SAF Day Parade 21.
CPT Goh, Deputy Operations and Contingency Sub-commitee of the Command and Control Centre, is responsible for coordinating with the various Sub-Committees to monitor the execution of critical events, while ensuring that Safe Management Measures are in place. "The COVID-19 plan was formulated based on the national COVID-19 guidelines and also inputs from our Medical Officers. This gives us confidence in the measures put in place to ensure the well-being of our servicemen and women. Our servicemen and women are also subjected to weekly Rostered Routine Testing, and we have in place plans to isolate and conduct contact tracing in an event of a positive COVID-19 case, so that the parade can be safely organised and executed."
Preparation for the uniforms for parade participants.
Meanwhile, the Logistics and Finance Sub-Committee is responsible for the preparation of all the SAF Day Parade Logistics requirements; uniforms for the parade participants, rations, water points, cleaning services, rest areas and also rubbish disposal points etc. Moreover, the committee also plans and coordinates a contingency plan for critical resource and power failures.
2SG Omana Priya Suria, Logistics and Finance Team IC.
As the Logistics and Finance Team IC for the SAF Day Parade, 2SG Omana mentioned that having been a part of the 2019 SAF Day Parade Committee, there is a reduction in the manpower during this year's SAF Day Parade due to COVID-19 Safe Management Measures. "For this year's parade, due to COVID-19 Safe Management Measures and cohorting measures, we have reduced the manpower available, and hence each of us had to do more. Despite these challenges, Logistics is integral to any event in the SAF. And my role as the Logistics and Finance team IC gives me great satisfaction, as I believe that the hard work and diligence that my team put in allowed the rehearsals to progress as smoothly as possible."
LTA Soh Jun Yong Edric from the Pledge moment, Content and Public address, Sound Comms (PASC) Sub-Committee.
As a Signal Officer in 3 Division Artillery Headquarters, LTA Soh's role was essential in improving and maintaining the communications between the various Sub-Committees during the parade setup and rehearsals. Even though his original ORD Date was on 2 May 2021, LTA Soh chose to extend his service as he knew that there was a shortage of manpower.
LTA Soh giving out communication devices to the various committee members.
LTA Soh shared how he felt compelled to extend his service, in hope of sharing the burden with his fellow officers during this year's SAF Day Parade. "I volunteered to extend my service as I knew my unit required the support, and with my expertise I was certain that I could lead my platoon in the upcoming SAF Day Parade successfully. Additionally, I wanted to experience the SAF Day Parade one more time, to gain some knowledge of how far SAF has come, as I believe this would be a very enriching experience." LTA Soh added how he was thankful for the support of his family during this time, "After informing my parents about my decision to extend, my parents were very supportive of my decision. Throughout my National Service journey, my parents have always been very supportive and are my mental support. Without my family, my parents, I do not think I would have been able to come this far."
SAF Day Parade 2021 has only been successfully conducted through the efforts of our SAF Day Committee, with each Sub-Committee working hard and toiling behind the scenes. Our Army would like to take this opportunity to bring to light their achievements and thank each and every one of them!
Written by: LCP Steve Lee (Army News)
Photos by: Mr Aloysius Lum, LCP Dylan Seah, PTE Isaac Loh (Army News) and SAFDP Media Team.