Sunday, June 26, 2011

23 SA gunners all fired up for the National Day Parade 2011; HIMARS rocket launchers to take part in NDP for the first time

All fired up: Singapore Artillery gunners Third Sergeant Joel Tan (left), 3SG Alson Tan and 3SG Guo Jun Guang (right), from the 23rd Battalion, Singapore Artillery, at a photo call before taking part in the second Combined Rehearsal on Saturday 25 June'11. The gunners will show how a HIMARS rocket launcher prepares its rockets for a fire mission when HIMARS appears at NDP for the first time on 9 August 2011. The trio of 20-year-old gunners are taking part in NDP for the first time. 

You can probably guess where National Day Parade 2011 participant, Third Sergeant Joel Tan (left), will be spending the next few Saturdays.

Half of his weekends will be claimed by NDP rehearsals at Marina Bay, where hours of waiting and pre-show preparations will be rewarded with a defence display lasting less than two minutes. Watch 3SG Joel and his team in action in this YouTube clip:

His show item, called the Dynamic Defence Display, gives the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Home Team a chance to showcase some of its urban counter terrorism and conventional warfare capabilities.

The Singapore Artillery gunner at least gets a chance to show his face to NDP spectators as he stands in the top hatch of the M142 HIMARS vehicle.

NDP spectators will not get to see the other two gunners in the HIMARS firing team as 3SG Alson Tan and 3SG Guo Jun Guang will remain in the armoured cab of the vehicle as it demonstrates how the six-rocket pod prepares for a fire mission by aiming the rockets towards a mock target.

That said, the trio of 20-year-old full-time National Servicemen from Bravo Battery, 23rd Battalion, Singapore Artillery, feel the abbreviated weekends are worth it because the parade is meaningful and is something most Singaporeans look forward to. All are taking part in NDP for the first time and are eager to put on a good show.

The parade marking Singapore's 46th independence day on 9 August will be preceeded by a series of Combined Rehearsals and National Education shows for students and new citizens in the lead up to the actual day's parade.

3SG Joel, who was from Yishun Junior College, said on behalf of his rocket crew: "This new weapon can contribute a lot to the defence of Singapore. I feel a sense of pride and am very honoured to be chosen to take part in the National Day Parade."

Catch the HIMARS as it drives past the Singapore Flyer at 18:00 Hotel every Saturday till National Day.

A word of thanks to NDP 2011 EXCO for facilitating access to CR2.

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