Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer
The highly anticipated Jamaica Military Tattoo concluded last Saturday at Polo Field, Up Park Camp, in Kingston, and hundreds of patrons left the event with high praise for the performances from the military and other support performers.
Assistant event director and officer with responsibility for the operations of the Tattoo Secretariat, Major Kevron Henry, said the event was the Jamaica Defence Force's (JDF) way of celebrating Jamaica and the army's 50th anniversary and, indeed, the celebration was a mixture of both.
There was something for everybody. The children were given the chance to take photographs with members of the military, parents were introduced to new products, courtesy of the numerous sponsors who had booths on display, and the grand show definitely had everybody cheering along as the military performed cleverly organised stunts while using a narrator to educate the audience.
Patrons received an unusual opportunity to see another side of the military via musical spectacle, skits and storytelling.
The activities included physical-education drills, self-defence demonstrations and military-drill routines.
The physical fitness stunt performances were seamlessly executed, as the soldiers used harmless weapons and other gadgets to show various methods of self defence, including martial arts. There was little room for error and there were none of any note.
The audience applauded the precision of the display.
The Bermuda Richmond Band performed after the stuntmen and gave a creditable musical display, after which it was more action as the military showed their speed and precision by attempting to build a house in seven minutes using only their muscles, two trucks and two front-loaders.
The team of builders included JDF engineers, electrical instillation personnel, plumbers and welders. All mentioned professions currently taught by the military institution.
The house was created in just over six minutes, and, again, impressed patrons applauded the performers for the final product.
However, that was not the end of the display, the military went further by setting the house on fire.
A helicopter and fire extinguishers were brought into play as they removed planted inhabitants from the house. To complete the rescue mission, the military were assisted by the Jamaica Fire Brigade who used two fire units to put out the blaze and bring the occupants to safety.
The performances concluded at minutes after 10 p.m. with the singing of The Jamaican National Anthem.
Following the dismissal, patrons then made their way to the Up Park Camp's Tent City where they viewed displays of military equipment, exploited sponsorship services and feasted on Jamaican cuisine.