Nearly 20,000 visit Air Force open day at Kuantan air base

A parachute display was among the highlights of the event. - Photo courtesy of Sinar Harian

KUANTAN: The Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) 66th anniversary open day at the air base here, recorded an impressive attendance of nearly 20,000 people to enliven the programme.

The occasion, which was last held in Kuantan in 2019, saw an extraordinary wave of visitors who took advantage of the school holidays to bring family members, with some arriving as early as 7 am.

Themed "Kuasa Udara, Perisai Kedaulatan Negara (Air Power, Shield of National Sovereignty)" in conjunction with RMAF's anniversary celebration, the open day gives the community the opportunity to get to know the role of the force at a closer range as various activities and demonstrations were held for visitors from 9am to 5pm.

The biggest attraction was the air show and static exhibition involving 23 RMAF aircraft including Sukhoi Su-30MKM, F/A-18D Hornet and BAE Hawk, C-130H transport aircraft and EC 725 helicopters.

Apart from that there was also a parachute show by 15 members of the Special Force (Paskau) as well as 29 exhibition tents, six ground support assets for static exhibitions and hostage rescue demonstrations.

The Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah attended the open day accompanied by Deputy Defence Minister Adly Zahari and Air Force chief Gen Tan Sri Mohd Asghar Khan Goriman Khan.

The open day is aimed at introducing the roles, duties and responsibilities of the air force besides displaying RMAF's social service obligations to the community.

For senior citizen, Ahmad Marqom, 79, who lives in Felda Jengka 16, it was to support his youngest son who is a member of RMAF and despite being in a wheelchair, he was excited to see the air show and the response from the young people to the programme.

Izhar Azmi Abdul Basir, 20, came with 10 family members including his wheelchair-bound father Abdul Basir Kasiman, 64, from Klang, Selangor, and did not feel their presence was in vain.

"A show like this is good because it is not easy to get into this air base and I feel it is the best way to raise the spirit of patriotism among young people," he said. - Bernama

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