Crowd favourite Mobile Column is back again. Every five years, the roads from Kallang Sports Hub to Padang are closed as hundred of Singapore Armed Forces and Home Teams vehicles proceed for their rehearsals.
This year, we see 177 vehicles participating in the mobile column. Full line up as below:
Vehicles of interest in *
Leopard 2 SG x 13
Leopard ARV Buffel x 1
Bionix Mk II 30mm , 40/50 x 11
Bionix Recovery x 2
Bronco 120mm Mortar/Ambulance/Line Charge Module*/Troop Carrier/ Signals* x 11
Terrex 12.7,Engineer*, 40/7.62 x 11
Himars x 2
Primus x 2
Pegasus x 2
L2 AEV Kodiak* x 1
PSB-2 L2 AVLB* x 2
Light Strike Vehicle Mk II x 8
Scout MB Wolf Jeep with Skyblade UAV x 3
Reece Bike x 2
Foldable Longspan Bridge Transporter x 1
Folable Longspan Bridge Launcher x 1
M3G x 2
Trailblazer x 2
Fast Response Vehicle Ambulance x 1
CBRE Team x 1
Unimog Radio Interference Det x 2
Unimog Tri Terminal Det x 2
MAN 5 Ton Very Small Aperture SAT Comm x 1
MAN 5 Ton Maintenance Task Vehicle x 2
High Mobility Cargo Transport Fuel Tanker x 1
High Mobility Cargo Transport Ammo (Fully Integrated Transport Container) x 1
Ford F550 Combat Ambulance* x 2
Mech Igla Firing Unit x 3
Igla MANPAD Slavo on MB Wolf x 2
SPyDER x 2
I-HAWK x 2
Bronco Maintenance Task Vehicle x 1
Water Purification on MB 290 x 2
ARTHUR Weapon Locating radar x 2
Mobile Field Unit (Kitchen) x 2
LARC 5 x 2
K STER REMUS USV on 5 Ton x 1
Scan Eagle on 5 Ton x 1
Protector USV x 1
Special Maritime Craft* x 1
(Much to my disappointment, the SMC on display is a prototype, and does not represent the real operationalised vessel)
Military Police Bike x 9
Renault HIGUARD PRV* x 3
MaxxPRo x 3
Fast Response Car Hyundai Elantra x 4
Unmanned Firefighting Machine x 1
Light Fire Attack Vehicle 4G* x 3
Achleitner Survivor APC with Dozer* x 1
K-9 Ford Everest x 1
Ford Jumbo Patrol Escort Tactical Response Van (PETRA) x 1
MB Vito Scene of Crime Unit x 1
Ford Everest All Terrain Vehicle x 1
Volvo S80 Expressway Patrol Car x 1
MB 1023A Tactical Assault Vehicle x 1
Compressed Air Foam Pump Ladder x 3
Heavy Rescue Tender* x 1
DART Team x 1
SCDF Ambulance x 2
HAZMAT Control Vehicle x 1
HAZMAT Mitigation Vehicle x 1
Personnel Decontamination Vehicle x 1
Combine Platform Ladder x 1
Aerial Ladder x 1
Foam Tender x 1
Chemical Tender x 1
Multi Utility Vehicle x 3
Each rehearsal is a full 32 hours operation from start to end, a Saturday rehearsal in fact starts Friday, 11pm. Vehicles are low-loaded from the respective camps and through the night to 7am they arrive at Kallang carpark.
They spent the morning between 0830 – 1000H briefing and walking the ground, familiarising themselves with the multitude of exits and turns around the Sports Hub.
1000-1200H – Servicing and Checks. I did see a number of tank proudly cleaning stains make off their vehicles with a Fenalite cloth.
Business starts at 1200noon, starting engines for the afternoon rehearsals.The Leopards, Bionix , etc exit from different exit points of the carpark, lining up nicely along Nicolle Highway and rumbling to St Andrews Road.
The first run starts at 1330 and the second at 1430. It is a well oiled process along the roads leading to Padang, 3 Div ushers and marshalers knew exactly when to narrow the roads for the egressing tanks, against the traffic of the mobile column still waiting to enter show centre.
They will spend the next two hours restaging the vehicles at Kallang. As well as distributing meals to the crew across the route and show centre to the 900 Vehicle Crew, 30 Police Officers, 135 Maintenance Personnel, 50 Trainers and Liaisons and 350 Supporting Personnel
The real show begins at 1830, syncing with the parade segment and navigating in low light conditions. Despite major road closures, locals and tourists alike never fail to top in their tracks to grab a rare glimpse of military vehicles in city center.
I stay by the ECP and I can hear the distinctive hiss of the M3G passing by even at midnight. By 4 am, they would have ceased operations and returned to their respective camps.
A special mention to the troopers from 3Div, some of whom are located at god forsaken corners of the route, in pairs, they sit under the blazing sun to ensure the safety and smooth running of the mobile column. Civil contractors deserve a pat for providing high availability of their low loaders for transport operations throughout the night.
Stay tuned for more scoops of the NDP 2015 at CnB!
Swift and Decisive