NDP to feature new Total Defence segment with 20 assets

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17 Jun 2023 | COMMUNITY

NDP to feature new Total Defence segment with 20 assets

Audiences can expect a grand showcase of six floats and drive-past of 20 military and Home Team assets during the Total Defence segment at this year's NDP.

//Story by Thrina Tham / Photos by Chua Soon Lye

The National Day Parade (NDP) will return to the Padang in full scale for the first time since 2019.

More than 1,700 participants from 34 marching contingents will take part in its Parade & Ceremony (P&C) segment, which includes 24 contingents from youth, social and economic groups.

The parade will see the inaugural participation of the Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS) – which was formed in October 2022 – in the Guard-of-Honour contingent.

It will also feature a new Total Defence Parade (TDP) comprising a drive-past of 20 assets and a showcase of six large floats – each representing a pillar of Total Defence.

The TDP segment will be capped off with a finale moment, where participants will unfurl a TDP flag to salute all Singaporeans.

Crowd favourites such as aerial displays are also set to return to P&C. Look out for this year's "Salute to the Nation", which will feature eight fighter aircraft – up from the usual five.

Other highlights include the Military Tattoo performance featuring 133 participants from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Band, Singapore Police Force (SPF) Band, and a Combined Schools Band.

There will also be a Choir Music Video with 127 participants from SG Enable, Pathlight School and some secondary school students.

Get to know some of the people on parade:

LTC Ragumaran (right) and MWO Pandykumaran will be the Parade Commander and Parade Regimental Sergeant Major at this year's NDP.

Parade Commander & Parade RSM

Leading the parade this year are Parade Commander Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Ragumaran S/O Davindran, 38, and Parade Regimental Sergeant Major Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Pandykumaran S/O Arthiappan, 45.

LTC Ragumaran, the Commanding Officer of Supply Base North, is the first Supply Officer to command NDP. "It is an honour and a privilege to...represent the army logistics community, also known as Combat Service Support Command, and also the Supply Formation. This is a testament to how the formation has grown over the years," he said.

The father-of-two added that his son, Jivith, was excited to be a part of NDP with him – the 7-year-old will be a participant in the TDP segment.

"When he knew I was this year's Parade Commander, he straightaway raised his hand and volunteered to join me."

This is ME5 Yong's third NDP, but her first with the SAF.

Commander of the new DIS contingent

It may not be Military Expert (ME) 5 Audrey Yong's first NDP – or even first time as contingent commander – but it is her most significant. She will be commanding the DIS contingent as they make their debut in the NDP Guard-of-Honour contingent this year.

The 30-year-old previously marched with the Girl Guides, as a participant in 2007 and then contingent commander in 2009.

"With this opportunity also comes responsibility – not just to put up a good show on 9 Aug, but also to ensure that the men and women marching with me understand why we are doing this for DIS and Singapore," she said.

On rehearsals, ME5 Yong – who is in the Joint Intelligence Command – said: "The hours are long; it's challenging but definitely rewarding. The NDP trainers have put in a lot of hard work to support us."

3SG Arnaav is the man behind the lion mascot at this year's NDP.

Singa the Kindness Lion

Who's the man behind the lion? 3rd Sergeant (3SG) Arnaav Karan Chabira, 20, will be donning the Singa the Kindness Lion mascot and be on the Psychological Defence float as part of the TDP segment.

Currently a Full-time National Serviceman in the Singapore Army, 3SG Arnaav is a survivor of the 2015 Sabah Earthquake – he was there on a school trip at the time. Although he suffered multiple broken bones, he made a full recovery with the support of his family and friends.

MSG Nurizliana will be on the Military Defence float in her first NDP.

Military Defence float participant

First-time NDP participant Master Sergeant (MSG) Nurizliana Binte Mohd Rizal, 29, will be standing on the Military Defence float as it makes its way to the Padang stage during the TDP segment.

"It's an overwhelming experience, especially since it's a big role for my first NDP – instead of being in a supportive role, I'm at the frontline waving to the audience. But I'm honoured to be part of the nation's celebration," said the Supply Ops Warrant in Supply Base West.

SGT(3) Ameen will be behind the wheel of the SPF's new TSV as it makes its NDP debut.

Driver of the SPF's new TSV

Making its NDP debut: The Tactical Strike Vehicle (TSV) is the latest addition to the arsenal of the SPF's Special Operations Command (SOC).

Behind the wheel of this mean machine is Sergeant (SGT) (3) Syed Ameen Hussain, 28, who is also participating in his first NDP. "Honestly, rehearsals have been tiring as they have been on the weekends…while my shift work as part of the SOC is still going on. But I make time to be a part of the rehearsals."

"I'm glad to be given this opportunity, especially since this is the first time the SPF is showing off the TSV at NDP," he added.

SGT2 Koo will be commanding the SCDF's LF6G as it drives down St Andrew's Rd in front of the Padang.

Vehicle Commander of the new-gen Red Rhino

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)'s 6th Generation Light Fire Attack Vehicle (LF6G) – or Red Rhino – will also be making its first NDP appearance, along with its Red Rhino Robot.

Said Vehicle Commander SGT2 Andy Koh, 23: "My role is to ensure the safety of my crew as well as to ensure a precise and accurate positioning, especially during tight turns at the junction. I make sure that we are synchronised (with the others) as all the vehicles are driven off."

"I'm excited to see participants from all walks of life coming together to put this year's NDP into a good show," he added.

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