SINGAPORE - The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) celebrated 50 years of national defence on Wednesday, Jul 1, with a parade that featured a special heli-flypast of the Singapore flag and an aerial flypast of fighter planes, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
Held at the SAFTI Military Institute, it was attended by over 3,000 SAF regulars, operationally-ready National Servicemen (NSmen), full-time NSmen and pioneers.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officiated the parade, where he presented the State Colours to the 1st Commando Battalion, who were named this year's Best Combat Unit.
Also present was Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen, who presented the Best Unit and Best National Service Unit awards to 28 SAF units.
During the parade, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng led the SAF personnel in reciting the SAF pledge to reaffirm their loyalty to the country and their commitment to the defence of Singapore.
A minute of silence was also observed in remembrance of SAF personnel who had lost their lives.
Earlier on Wednesday, over 650 NSmen from 354 companies and their employers gathered for the SAF Day combined re-dedication ceremonies held at four locations around the island.
Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen officiated the re-dedication ceremony held at SAFRA Toa Payoh, where he delivered this year's SAF Day message.
In his message, Dr Ng said that a strong SAF had been built by the sweat and toil of successive generations of men and women.
"A new generation must now continue this task of keeping the SAF strong, committed, capable and able to deal with new and more complex security threats," he said, adding that SAF must build new capabilities, strengthen its networks and fight as an integrated force.
Dr Ng also thanked the SAF personnel for their dedication in protecting the country and the community for their support towards the SAF and National Service.