Thursday, January 29, 2015
No Singapore Armed Forces SAF Open House in SG50 year: Six things to know about SAF50@Vivo
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has no plans to stage an Open House during this milestone year which marks the SAF's 50th anniversary.
Compared to celebrations in 1990 which marked the SAF's 25th anniversary, this year's celebrations may seem muted.
But an Open House is just one way for our armed Services to engage you. And the means to do so have grown substantially since SAF 25.
Here are six things to know about SAF50@Vivo:
1. When the SAF turned 25, the SAF At 25 Exhibition was held over 10 days from 15 to 24 June 1990. This centrepiece of this event was an Open House at Paya Lebar Airport which featured a massive showcase of SAF war machines from the Army, Navy and Air Force. Some of you may remember that mega Open House.
2. The SAF50@Vivo show will stretch over just four days, from 12 to 15 February 2015 at the Vivocity shopping mall. This is akin to the Navy@Vivo show on steroids.
3. Compared to 1990, the SAF's operational tempo has increased substantially. This year's operational taskings include evergreens such as the National Day Parade at the Padang (there was also a big parade and Mobile Column during NDP 1990) as well as new taskings absent in 1990. These include the SEA Games, Shangri-La Dialogue, Singapore Grand Prix F1 race and the IMDEX Asia naval show just to name a few of the banner events. The SAF also has a number of overseas deployments scheduled for 2015 that will also demand bandwidth.
4. Compared to 1990, our threat environment has likewise changed beyond recognition. Today, non-state actors have made the threat from terrorism far more organised, globalised and lethal than what the SAF faced in 1990. This means that more than ever, our SAF Operationally-Ready National Servicemen, full-time National Servicemen and Regulars have to be at the top of their game 24/365.
5. In 2015, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and SAF can leverage on more channels to reach out and engage you. There was no Facebook in 1990, no websites or homepages to visit. Youtube was not invented till this century. The SAF, Singapore Army, Republic of Singapore Navy and Republic of Singapore Air Force have all ventured into the social media scene. This means engagement can continue year-round, instead of being anchored to a fixed geographical venue in the case of an Open House.
6. But even as we realise the benefits of social media as a communications tool, one hopes that Open Houses will continue to be on the calendar of SAF events after the surge of SG50 activities taper off. Open Houses have proven to be crowd magnets and people flock there for good reason. So MINDEF/SAF should bring back Open Houses when opportunities arise.
For more about SAF50, please visit www.saf50years.sg
Posted by David Boey at 2:40 PM