SHAH ALAM: One can huff and puff but the air force – with two Hawks and two Sukhois each – stole the show at the Army Firepower Demo held at Kem Sirajuddin, Gemas on Tuesday (July 9, 2013).
The air force contingent was supposed to be a bit player in the scheme of thing but the last minute cancellation of the “dynamic presentation” (live firings) from a variety of Army whoop ass team – PT91M Pendekar, Sibmas, Condor and other support weapons meant that the Sukhois and Hawks ruled the day.
The Army’s tube and rocket unit (81mm mortar, 105mm, 155mm and Astros MRLS) tried hard but as only their bomb bursts could be seen by the guests – headed by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Armed Forces Chief Tan Sri Zulkifli Mohd Zin and the Army top brass and other guests – it was the air force that stole the limelight even if their show was a brief one.
I am sure the Army boys who had trained hard for the occasion – since early last month as the demonstration was scheduled in late June but rescheduled due to the haze – was disappointed with the last minute cancellation.
Their segment was cancelled as Hishammuddin was running late with Kem Sirajuddin the third leg of his familirisation visit to the Army. He had earlier went to Kem Terendak in Malacca where he was presented with an honorary red beret courtesy of the 10 Para Brigade. From Terendak, he visited Kem Sungai Udang and the Special Forces Training Centre (PULPAK) though he did not get an honourary green beret this time around.
I was not purview for Hishamuddin delay (he was using the AW109LOH from Malacca, the weather was fine) but I guess since the Army top brass were not bothered with it, the boys and girls at Kem Sirajuddin will have to bear with it.
As part of his tour of Kem Sirajuddin, Hishammuddin drove a PT91M after a short instruction from Mej Zainuddin of the 11 Armor. Hishammuddin was also a given a brief tour of the prototype AV8 which was ferried to Gemas from Pekan for the visit. I have to report that no official update on the AV8 was given at the event.
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