The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) says that all is in place for the highly anticipated Jamaica Military Tattoo, which begins on June 28.
The event, under the theme: ‘Precision, Pomp and Pageantry: The First Five Decades’, is being staged to commemorate the JDF 50th anniversary and Jamaica’s Golden Jubilee. It will be an exciting, colourful show of lively military displays and performances.
Civil/Military Co-operation Officer at the JDF, Captain Basil Jarrett, told a recent JIS Think Tank (June 18) that the organisers have planned for every eventuality, including inclement weather.
“The JDF plans for all eventualities and I can assure you that something will be in place. We did our forecasting, looking at trends over the past years and that was part of the reason why we had selected that particular week. I do not expect that something like a light drizzle will affect the show but if we are being influenced by something as significant as a tropical storm we will have to take the necessary decision, but a little rain is not going to stop us. The show will go on,” he said.
A large audience is expected to witness the showcase, which will be at the Polo Field at Up Park Camp. It will feature several stunts, drills, precision displays and manoeuvres executed by trained local and international military personnel.
There will be participation from a regiment from Bermuda; the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force steel band; the Guyana Defence Force parachute team; the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marine from the United Kingdom; the District of Columbia National Guard from the United States; a pipes and drums band from Canada, among others.
A Tattoo village is to be set up, which will showcase the work of the JDF, the guest forces and private sector partners.
“This Tattoo village will be a display area where the JDF will put some of its weapons, vehicles, equipment etcetera on display for the public to see and interact with. The village will also be an area for sponsors to display their products and services,” Captain Jarrett said.
The term Tattoo is derived from the Dutch phrase “doe den tap toe” which means “turn off the taps” and was communicated by drum beat (and later by bugle call) as a warning to innkeepers that they should turn off the beer taps and for soldiers to return to their quarters for the night. Today, it has evolved into an elaborate display of lively marching bands, precision drill movements and dynamic military displays and performances by other non-military organisations and agencies.
Military Tattoos are infrequently held and are usually tied to some significant national occurrence as there is a huge absorption of resources, manpower and equipment. There have been four Tattoos in Jamaica’s history: 1933, 1953 (Coronation Tattoo), 1968 and 1983. These were signal events, which received national acclaim for their entertainment value, meticulous organization and professional execution, and had the effect of building the confidence of performers and spectators alike
Tickets for this year's event range between $500 and $2,000 per day and the showcase begins at 7:30 p.m. nightly.
By O. Rodger Hutchinson, JIS PRO