The 425th Fighter Squadron celebrated the National Day of Singapore Aug. 8 at Luke Air Force Base. The annual celebration is held in August to commemorate Singapore’s independence from Malaysia in 1965.
“Singaporeans have celebrated national day since youth; it has become a part of our lives,” said Lt. Yin Hou Hew, 425th FS weapons system officer. “In Singapore it’s a spectacular event that everyone wants to go to. People have to bid on tickets just to see the event because tickets are always sold out.”
There was traditional Singaporean food and desserts for everyone who attended. Children played games, which included fishing and using a dart gun to knock down cups. Singaporean music filled the air while people chatted and celebrated their heritage and country’s independence day.
“Every year since I’ve been in the military service, national day has created the strongest of feelings,” Hew said. “Being able to celebrate national day here is a great chance to bond with other Singaporeans and celebrate peace and safety.”
The Singaporean National Day song was performed by children who sang and danced on stage. Some Singaporeans also created and shared videos that demonstrated their love of country. They had a trivia session where they asked heritage questions such as who was the first prime minister of Singapore, the origins of Singapura, or the Lion City, which is the old Malaysian name for Singapore. Singaporeans and guests also viewed the official music video created for Singapore National Day and a video of how Singapore has developed over the past 49 years.
“I have never missed Singapore this much in my life,” said Military Expert Jayson Ng, Engineer 425th FS supply chain. “Yet, what I do as a service member is for my country. Even though I am at Luke, my heart and spirit are with Singapore, and it’s great to be able to celebrate national day even though we are so far away from home.”
Singapore has had a squadron stationed at Luke for more than 20 years and have participated in numerous Red Flags, a multinational advanced aerial combat training exercise war game that takes place in Alaska and Nevada, as well as Maple Flag, another large-scale air combat exercise that takes place in Canada.
They have also won best load crew for the first and fourth quarter and their maintainers have achieved 100 percent on their quality verification inspections for two consecutive months.
While the national day celebration at Luke may be over, Singaporeans look forward to a strong future filled with national pride as they continue to achieve excellence at the 425th Fighter Squadron, according to Ng.
“It is amazing how our small squadron has achieved so much over the years,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to see how developed Singapore has become and how our name is seen across the international stage.”