SINGAPORE – The cellular pillar, a drive-past of army vehicles and resources, will likely be scaled down to this year’s National Day Parade, together with 66 assets in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) onscreen screen.
There’ll likely be 22 distinct kinds of equipment rumbling through five paths since the cellular column makes its way to the heartland for the next year in a row.
This contains the audience favourite Leopard 2SG primary battle tank and the SPF’s brand new, next-generation speedy response car.
The cellular column in the past year’s NDP featured 79 forms of gear along with a total of 171 assets.
All the five paths for this season – at the north, south, west, north-east and south-west regions of Singapore – will comprise 13 or 14 resources and 60 into 70 participants, including the cell column team. Around 100 front-line workers combating the Covid-19 pandemic and essential employees are also aboard vehicles.
The paths will cover a whole distance of approximately 200kilometers, the longest space covered with a cell column from the heartland up to now. Last year’s paths totalled 133km along with the prior one in 2010 totalled 80km.
“The NDP mobile column is a display of our nation’s strength and unity. It is a perennial Singaporean favourite,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Low Youwen, chairman of the mobile column committee, at a media briefing on Saturday (Aug 1).
He said the goal was to bring the mobile column to as many residential areas as possible so viewers can experience it safely from their homes.
Lt-Col Low said the NDP organisers have adopted safe management measures to ensure the mobile column segment of the parade is carried out safely, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He added that the mobile column will also salute healthcare workers as it travels past several key locations.
These include Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Sengkang General Hospital, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and the community isolation facility at Singapore Expo.
One of the crew members participating in the mobile column this year is Captain Eastina Tan, 29, who is the formation liaison officer for the Terrex infantry carrier platform.
The SAF regular, who is taking part in the NDP for the second time, said honouring healthcare workers on the front line as part of the mobile column will be especially meaningful for her, as her mother is a nurse with the Methodist Welfare Society who continued to look after patients during the circuit breaker period.
Cpt Tan said the drive-past and salute will pay tribute to the perseverance and dedication of front-line workers during the pandemic.
Another serviceman taking part is Cpt Syafiq Mohd Abdul Muhaimin Ong, 25, an SCDF regular who has been deployed to the command centre of a government quarantine facility to help with administrative and logistical work.
He will be a vehicle commander for one of the SCDF’s fifth-generation Pump Ladder fire engines in the mobile column.
“This NDP is not just a tribute to our front-line fighters, but also a celebration of Singaporeans’ resilience, adaptability and compassion,” said Cpt Syafiq.
Station Inspector Jacky Kwan, 38, will be a vehicle commander for the only asset to make its NDP debut this year, the SPF’s next-generation fast response car.
The new police dispatch vehicle is being rolled out progressively, with new systems and features to help ground response officers like him respond quickly to 999 calls.
Station Insp Kwan, who is participating in the NDP for the first time, will drive past his own neighbourhood in the Whampoa area on his designated route.
He added that his son and daughter, aged seven and five respectively, are looking forward to cheering him on.
The mobile column will travel through Singapore from 10am to 1pm on National Day, after the morning parade at the Padang.
It will also be broadcast live on free-to-air TV channels and the NDPeeps YouTube channel.