RSAF Open House returns as part of RSAF55 celebrationsTo commemorate the RSAF's 55th anniversary, the RSAF Open House will be returning to Paya Lebar Air Base this September holidays.
//Report by Thrina Tham / Photos by Chai Sian Liang
After a seven-year hiatus, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will be opening its base to the public again with the RSAF55 Open House.
Visitors can expect familiarisation flights with the crowd-favourite CH-47 Chinook helicopter, as well as the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) – for the first time.
They will also get to watch capability demonstrations, such as an air defence display, and get up-close and personal with RSAF assets and personnel at the static display.
The open house, held from 9 to 10 Sep at Paya Lebar Air Base, is part of a series of events to commemorate the RSAF's 55th anniversary (RSAF55).
Chairman of the RSAF55 steering committee, Brigadier-General (BG) Chan Ching Hao, launched the celebrations with the unveiling of an F-15SG commemorative tail flash at Paya Lebar Air Base on 8 Jun.
"The RSAF has come a long way in the past 55 years and we are commemorating this milestone with a series of events…as well as to thank fellow Singaporeans for their support throughout the years," said BG Chan.
The milestone celebration, with the tagline "Defending Our Skies, Securing Our Future", will see the RSAF55 Open House as its capstone event.
Aviation enthusiasts and families will get to see aircraft first-hand – including the F-15SG fighter jet in its new RSAF55 livery – along with ground-based systems such as the Aster 30 Missile system.
Take a quick peek behind-of-the scenes of the new RSAF55 tail flash!
Visitors will also be able to interact with airmen and women, and learn more about their various roles.
A crowd favourite, familiarisation flights will also return, including a ride on the A330 MRTT for the first time. The tanker was used in a humanitarian mission to evacuate Afghanistan evacuees from Qatar to Germany in September 2021.
Balloting for the flights will open in July, while online contests will also be organised for the public to win seats. More details will be announced on the RSAF's social media platforms.
"We hope to see more Singaporeans soaking in the carnival atmosphere and we've prepared a whole range of aircraft and weapon systems on the ground and in the air. We hope (visitors) get a chance to experience what it's like to be in the Air Force for a day," said BG Chan, who is also the Chief of Staff-Air Staff.
The RSAF55 celebrations will also see the air force put on an enhanced aerial display at the National Day Parade, showcasing their latest flying assets. These include the H225M Medium Lift Helicopter and CH-47F Heavy Lift Helicopter.
The RSAF will also hold a parade on its 55th anniversary on 1 Sep, and launch the RSAF Cares campaign in June. The campaign aims to encourage its airmen and women to participate in various community service efforts.
Military Expert (ME) 1 Tan Wan Yi led efforts for 129 Squadron (SQN) to volunteer with non-profit organisation BYTE, where they gave digital literacy lessons to children from low-income families for over six Saturdays from November to December 2022.
"We initiated a Christmas party for the children last December, where we brought them presents and log cakes, and they really enjoyed all these little things we prepared for them," shared the Air Imagery Intelligence Expert on her experience.
As part of RSAF Cares, ME1 Tan approached BYTE for the squadron to hold another two sessions this June holidays.
"It's very meaningful to engage the organisation… and I gained a better understanding of the challenges faced by non-profits… They were very happy when we expressed interest to continue our collaborations with them."