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XXX Restricted Access @ MyQueenstown #8 - Farewell Ayer Rajah Camp (Part II)

By my queenstown on Sunday, November 21, 2010 with 4 comments

Training to be soldiers, fight our land!
Once in our lives, two years of our time.
Have you wondered, why must we served?
Because we love our land and we want it to be free, to be free.

Two years of "blood and sweat" and two years of devotion to an obscure term called "defending the nation" can be a enormous opportunity cost for many young men in Singapore. Life is the army can be torturous for individuals who struggle  to make personal sacrifices to conform to the many regimental requirements. But life can also be enriching for those who made blossom friends and learn new skills at the camp. National Service came at the prime of every male Singaporeans' lives. One young man's personal endeavours and achievements can be summed up in his life in National Service. Today, let's make a final journey to Ayer Rajah Camp, which was closed in October 2010 for the development of One North.

The signs are all but removed

Foyer at OETI

The Ordnance Engineering Training Institution (OETI) was the most prominent unit or training school at Ayer Rajah Camp. This is the institution whcih groom many technicians and combat support staff to fix the army's wide array of sophisticated equipment and tanks. Formed in 1982, the OETI was established at Ayer Rajah Camp to succeed the Ordnance Maintenance Base (OMB) Traiing School and to undertake all ordnance training within the Army. 

Foyer at Ayer Rajah Camp

Where the Trainees will march.... at the Parade Square

The Workshop which has trained countless of technical support staff 

The Big Workshop Where Many trainees Got "Tekan" 

The tanks and equipment were all gone when Desmond Tan, 22, returned to OETI. This training school was where he learnt his skills to serve as a technician sergeant during his National Service. He recalled his platoon mates falling in the parade square every morning for roll call while waiting for the regulars to arrive and park their cars at the designated parking lots in the parade square. His lessons commenced at the workshop, where his enciks will demonstrate various maintenance procedures at the workshop. This was where he worked: 
Equipment at the Workshop

Stacked and ready to be moved away

One Final "Embrace"

Posters at the Work Shop

The Cook House was the favourite place for every Full-time National Serviceman (NSF). Besides the Tekong's Basic Military Training Camp (BMT), lunch time in cook house is the only period when NSFs can free themselves from the rigid routine and 'demanding' superiors. Of course, it's one of the few occasions when you get to ogle at female regular soldiers, who are lunching as well. The Cook House in Ayer Rajah Camp is particularly memorable for Desmond, who was gratified to "escape" from the "tough" training regime. He claims that the food offered at the cook house is wonderful and it makes him look forward to every lunch break!

Signs to the Cook House

Sorry, No More Food Today!

Have you remembered to scan your 11B?

Feedback on SFI Food

The Giant Refrigerator Where We Got Our "Ice" for Battalion Runs 

Goodbye Cook House =(

Stairs Leading to the Multi Purpose Hall Behind the Cook House

The Multi Purpose Hall was Where Talks are Held

Every morning or late afternoons, physical training will be conducted to train the soldiers' fitness and mental strength. In Ayer Rajah Camp, battalion-level or unit-level runs follow the parameters of the camp. "The camp is huge and the prospect of the run can be arduous. But when you complete them, the sense of achievement is wonderful." Trainings can be tougher before the Half Marathon (or full marathon) run conducted by SAFRA in July or August every year. Runs of up to 24km can be conducted. 

Runs along the parameter of the camp 

Lush and winding stretch of the Run


Road Signs Indicating the Directions of the Run

Some of the seminar lessons were held at the Headquarters of Maintenance and Engineering Support (HQ MES), a street across the OETI. The HQ MES also housed the bunks for stay-in personnel from OETI. Night Time is the only personal time that a soldier can have for himself. Showers, playing games or making phone calls to their loved ones - because he is unable to meet them face-to-face. 

HQ MES



Figurines at the Foyer of the Camp

Armskote Room.. Have you checked clear and oil your rifle?

Signs leading to the bunk rooms

Bunks and the familiar metallic Cupboards

Level 5 of the HQ MES was also the home (or bunk) for Desmond during his stay in the camp. Like every soldier, he holds fond memories of the camp despite "graduating" for many years. Life is a highway. Every single person we met along the way and every piece of memory etched make us who we are today. For those who had spent a part of their lives at Ayer Rajah Camp, who could forget the sights and the sounds? We tracked back to the guard house and looked back at the camp for one last time... Memories are made of these.

Goodbye Ayer Rajah Camp

You may wish to read the first part of the Farewell to Ayer Rajah Camp here!

All photos on the Ayer Rajah Camp are copyrighted and republication of any photos in this post is prohibited because of military laws. Please contact MINDEF or myqueenstown@gmail.com for more details.


Category: Places , recent , Restricted Access

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...
November 22, 2010 at 4:16 PM

My mom used to worked as an attendant in the Tanglin Infant School next door. During school holidays, I would go with her to the school and roam about. Used to see those botaks being terkan and running around like monkeys. 14 yrs later, it was my turn to be the victims. But never got my revenge of terkaning the newbies. Thats almost 20 years ago..... What plans does the gov't have for these fine place ?

Jimmy Ng

Anonymous said...
November 24, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Fond memories of this camp.

12 years ago... this camp has the world's best mee rebus n chicken wing

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