The Army Open House (AOH) returns back to the city after a 5-year absence, and this year’s edition will be held on the 27-28 May at the F1 Pit, next to the Singapore Flyer. The theme for this year is “Army Ready, Soldier Strong”, and it promises to be an engaging event for all ages. In addition to the F1 Pit, AOH 17 will also bring the Army experience into the heartlands at Punggol and Jurong East. (Details at the end of this article). The Military Aviation Photography Singapore (MAphotoSG) group was invited to a media preview on 23 May to have a first-hand look at the various activities and displays that the public can expect this coming weekend.
2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of National Service (NS) in Singapore, and the theme is “From My Generation to Yours” as the baton is passed onto the 3rd Generation of National Servicemen (NSmen). Located on Level 1 of the F1 Pit, and divided into a Prologue and three Zones, visitors are able to enjoy a hands-on experience to learn about the evolution of NS through the years, as well as learning more about the achievements of our NSmen from the SAF, Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force, in safeguarding Singapore.
Photo opportunity spots and Augmented Reality (AR) booths allow fun photography moments for all in the family, while digital interaction tables showcase and provide information on key events such as the Hotel New World collapse, Operations Swift Lion and Exercise Northstar. Visitors can also take digital photo pledges in the Pledge Booths and fill in Reflection Cards on what NS means to them.
Dynamic Defence Display (D3) Show
A crowd favourite, the D3 Show is packed full of action and showcases a gamut of the Army’s fighting vehicles and personnel. Highlights include the SAF Military Dogs display, the ever popular SAF Red Lions free-fall team, and for the first time, the Special Forces will be displaying their capability in taking out a simulated terrorist hideout. The locally-made Belrex Protected Combat Support Vehicle (PCSV) also makes it debut public display since it was commissioned into service in November 2016.
Seven obstacles, inspired by past and present SOC (Standard Obstacle Course) stations and VFT (Vocational Fitness Training) modules, allows participants to experience the adrenaline pumping course. Both adult and kid-sized obstacles are placed side by side, encouraging particpation from parents and children, as they run the course, symbolising the handing over of “my generation to yours”.
Army Platforms Display
Stretching the length of the F1 Pit straight, the vehicles on both sides show the line-up of the Army’s military vehicles, together with the Republic of Singapore Air Force and Republic of Singapore Navy assets. Catch the Next Generation Armoured Recovery Vehicle and the Very Slender Vessel (VSV), and find out interesting facts and figures from the vehicle ambassadors at each station.
AOH is never complete without Battle Rides, and this year is no exception. The Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV), Bronco All Terrain Tracked Carrier (ATTC), Light Strike Vehicle (LSV) Mark II and Peacekeeper Protected Response Vehicle (PRV) make up the Land Rides, while the Sea Rides comprise of the LARC-V and M3G vehicles. Both the Peackeeper PRV and M3G are making their debut as ride platforms for the public.
Kids & Games Zone
Designed with kids in mind, and located on Level 2 of the F1 Pit, it is filled with stations such as a mini SOC, Bionix shooter games, mini battle rides and a photo booth for them to try on mini Army uniforms for a photo moment. The air-conditioned environment ensures that the young ones enjoy their activities, regardless of the weather.
Army Open House 2017 App
Download the Army Open House 2017 (AOH 17) mobile app, available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play, and participate in the Army Hunt Augmented Reality game to win limited edition souvenirs. Hidden throughout the AOH premises are 8 virtual models, and uses can capture them all through the app. The app also contains information on the event, programme and attractions, with a handy interactive map.
Fun for All
Visitors can discover the marksmen in themselves by engaging enemy targets with a SAR 21 or Matador at the Battlefield Zone. They can also pit their shooting skills against enemy targets in an interactive urban environment simulating a FIBUA (Fighting In Built-Up Areas) situation. On Level 2 of the F1 Pit is the Night Walk Zone, which allows visitors to navigate a dark environment using night-fighting equipment, and the Technology & Innovations Zone, showcasing technology exhibits produced in collaboration with the local Defence Technology community.
Next to the NS50 Showcase on Level 1 is the Army Formations exhibition, allowing visitors to learn more about the various formations, their weapons and equipment. There are also interactive activities such as roping and locating IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) to better understand the operations conducted by the formation soldiers. SAFRA Radio and the SAF Music & Drama Company will be performing at the Main Stage to provide a carnival atmosphere for everyone throughout the day, and the SAF Central Band will be performing popular tunes at the D3 Zone in the evenings.
AOH Visiting Tips and Information
- As the majority of AOH 17 takes place under open skies, please remember to stay hydrated or be prepared for inclement weather.
- Please do wear covered footwear for activities such as Soldier Strong and Battle Rides.
- While children can participate in most activities, do take note of the minimum 1.2M height requirement, especially for Battle Rides.
- To ensure the safety of all, please follow the safety guidelines at the various event zones
- First Aid Posts and Toilets are located at inside the F1 Pit building and outside at the zones.
- This is a smoke-free event and smoking is strictly prohibited within the AOH 17 premises.
AOH17@City is opened from 9am to 8pm on 27-28 May, and the key event timings are as follows:
27 May (Sat)
Dynamic Defence Display Show – 10:00am / 3:00pm
SAF Central Band Performance – 7:30pm
28 May (Sun)
Dynamic Defence Display Show – 10:00am / 4:00pm
SAF Central Band Performance – 7:30pm
AOH17@ Heartland will be at the following locations:
Punggol (open field beside Punggol MRT Station): 2-4 June, 10:00am – 10:00pm
Jurong East (open fields beside Jurong East MRT Station): 9-11 June, 10:00am – 10:00pm
(Editor’s Note: All information and timings are correct at time of publishing and are subject to change by the organisers)