A NEW WAY TO SERVE
SAF is opening its doors to a broader community who want to contribute to national defence.
15 Dec 2014, 1425 hours (GMT +8)
The Singapore Artillery The red background signifies firepower, while gold and blue represent loyalty and royalty respectively. Motto On 22 Feb 1888, the Singapore Artillery was formed. It lays claim to being the oldest formation in the SAF, hence its motto In Oriente Primus, which means First in the East. Did you know? The pair of crossed cannons, a common representation of Artillery units worldwide, was incorporated into the design of the logo by General Artillery Headquarters in 1967.
12 Dec 2014, 1730 hours (GMT +8)
Servicemen and women in the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) community can now look forward to a more comprehensive and structured career development. Under iLEAD - a new people development and engagement framework that was launched by Chief C4I Brigadier-General (BG) Mervyn Tan on 11 Dec - the C4I community will introduce a slew of human resource initiatives to hone the leadership and professional development of its staff. The acronym iLEAD stands for Image and identity, Leading and learning, Engaging hearts and minds, Achieving mission success, and Developing professionals. The C4I, which brings together C4 and intelligence elements across the three Services and Joint, will come up with new leadership courses for its junior Military Experts (MEs), and Defence Executive Officers (DXOs). In addition, all servicemen will be given protected time to pursue a personal or leadership development course annually. New senior MEs in C4I will be better prepared for the demands of joint intelligence work with the implementation of a mentorship programme. The C4I community is also developing an individualised Route of Advancement (iROA) for each serviceman to better chart his or her own career development and training needs. This will be rolled out in early 2015. Guiding C4I community's growth The new iLEAD framework will set the strategic direction for enhancing the C4I community's identity, learning culture, engagement process, leadership development, and professional competency. At its launch, BG Tan noted the importance of iLEAD to develop committed and professional C4I warriors who can meet the challenges of the future battlefield to deliver mission success for the SAF. To come up with the framework, a series of focus groups and online surveys had been conducted to gather feedback. For instance, junior MEs and DXOs highlighted that they wanted more leadership training. In an interview with cyberpioneer, Colonel (COL) Ng Chad-Son, who headed the iLEAD project, noted that most of the training for personnel holding the rank of ME1 and ME2 had been focused on honing their professional expertise. But because they will need to lead teams early in their careers, they need some (more) leadership development, explained the Head of Joint Intelligence Plans. More senior positions had also been created for DXOs within C4I, hence the need to equip these non-uniformed staff with the right skills, he added. At the iLEAD launch, BG Tan also launched a book titled Our People Our Stories. A collection of 100 stories on servicemen and women who displayed exemplary leadership and professionalism, the 145-page tome aims to inspire all C4I personnel to take pride in their community and to excel. For instance, there is the story about a Full-time National Serviceman who was born deaf but chose to serve National Service despite being exempted, and a Military Expert who cancelled his marriage leave to take part in a critical mission. If all of us play our part in our leadership responsibility, we can make a difference, said BG Tan.
12 Dec 2014, 1000 hours (GMT +8)
Minister for Manpower, Brigadier-General (BG) (NS) Tan Chuan Jin fulfils a promise to his men in 662nd Battalion, Singapore Guards (662 GDS) and joins them for their final In-Camp Training (ICT). Recently in October, I joined 662 Guards for their last ICT. I was there when it all began. Most of the men enlisted in December 2000 and were part of the 10th Mono-Intake, 3 GDS. I remember the day they came into Bedok Camp - they were from all walks of life, only to become one when we shaved their heads to a severe, but stylish, crew cut. Back at the start... We took our responsibilities seriously. The mission statement we came up with for ourselves was To build a cohesive and operationally ready elite warrior battalion with the will to fight and win in the event of war. We volunteered for every conceivable live-firing opportunity there was. We experimented and did more urban fighting training than the syllabus required. We were one of the first units to carry out homeland security duties in the aftermath of 9/11, working out new drills and Standard Operating Procedures. We believed in the dictum train as we fight, fight as we train. We also spent much time engaging and building up the camaraderie among our Guardsmen because we knew that that would be the spirit that would hold the unit together when it came to the crunch. The unit ORD-ed (Operationally Ready Date) at the end of 2002 and became 662 GDS as an Operationally-Ready NS Battalion. Some soldiers also joined them from other units. Friends reunited Over the years, I visited them during their various ICTs. I have literally seen them grow from boys to men. Some have become quite prosperous! Friendships have been forged in ways only NSmen (Operationally Ready National Servicemen) can understand. Many remember the silly pranks they played, or the tekan (punishment) sessions they received when mistakes were made. Many now remember fondly the arduous, soul-sapping training in humid jungles overseas, or the wonderful cool nights in Shoal water Bay, Australia, gazing at shooting stars and the Southern Cross before commencing a dawn attack on some steep hill in the bush. Many have attended one another's weddings and baby showers. And there have been a few funerals as well. I caught up with a number of them during the few days of their ICT, during the route march, rappelling, shooting and at their last parade. They are a veritable cross-section of our society. We have teachers, engineers, cooks, security personnel, etc. Many have their own homes and families. Some continue searching for their life partners. What was quite clear, however, was that regardless of race, language or religion…they were a band of brothers. A close-knit family Over the years, they have been weaving bonds that bind. Possibly for a lifetime. And perhaps these would be the very bonds that would be the foundation upon which our nation will continue to be built. I started this journey with many of them 14 years ago. And towards their journey's end, I wanted to march their last steps by their side. Ultimately, our nation is really about our families, friends and loved ones. And in many ways, all of us will continue to defend those whom we love in the many years to come. Thank you guys for serving and protecting us all.
11 Dec 2014, 0945 hours (GMT +8)
In the desolate deserts of Afghanistan, a sand-coloured truck carrying a section of soldiers is speeding across the rough and unforgiving terrain. Half a kilometre away, well hidden in their fortified enclave, sits a group of insurgents, their RPG launcher trained on the lone personnel carrier. Upon a command, the RPG is fired and streaks towards its target. A normal vehicle would have been obliterated by this attack. Surprisingly, the RPG detonates but the truck trudges on, relatively unscathed, with the soldiers inside nothing more than a little shaken. Such attacks are a daily threat in deployments in Afghanistan. Since 2009, the British Army has been utilising the Tarian (Welsh for shield) RPG Armour on its vehicles to make sure that surviving situations such as the above-mentioned are the norm rather than the exception. Designed to replace traditional slat or bar armour which forms a metal cage over military vehicles, this innovative new armour is actually a net made of super-tough fabric. Lightweight tactical Developed by AmSafe Bridport in collaboration with the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, the patented Tarian system can weigh as little as 5.7 kg/m2, providing weight savings of up to 80 percent compared to traditional bar armour. This also means additional equipment and protection can be added elsewhere on the vehicle. And in replacing heavy bar armour, the Tarian system will improve a vehicle's fuel consumption. With fuel in the battlefield running at a cost of up to $130 a litre, the Tarian system offers savings of US$70,000 ($89,400) per vehicle in a six-month time frame. The system's lightweight nature also allows it to be deployed on vehicles such as the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (commonly known as the Humvee) that cannot take the weight of heavier RPG armour systems. Fitting Tarian onto these light vehicles broadens their operational capabilities by enabling them to operate in more high-risk environments. Strong protection Like bar armour, the Tarian system counters the shaped charge of RPGs. A shaped charge works by detonating at a distance from the surface of the target. The charge, a hollow cone of explosives usually lined with copper, forms a thin pencil of incredibly hot and high-velocity molten metal that penetrates armour plating. When the nose cone of the RPG collides with the Tarian system, it is damaged and deformed, causing the fuse mechanism of the shaped charge to fail. As a result, the charge does not detonate at the optimum distance from its target. The Tarian system is able to withstand two to three incoming RPGs per square metre of armour. It achieves this by utilising a patented knotless construction to form a net structure with interwoven cords. The base material of this net is a gel-spun, multi-filament fibre produced from Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene. A flexible mounting system The Tarian Flexible Mounting System consists of a series of metallic components used to attach the Tarian armour nets to the vehicle. Unlike other rigid mounting frames which have to be removed before the vehicle is loaded onto an aircraft or ship, the Tarian swing arm brackets can snap flat against the vehicle, allowing the entire system to be folded flat within minutes. The armour nets are thus conveniently stowed against the side of the vehicle for transportation and storage. Band-aid for bar armour AmSafe has even produced a spin-off product. Using the same technology as the Tarian RPG Armour, the Tarian Quickshield was designed to serve as a temporary solution for damaged bar armour. The Quickshield comes packaged in a vacuum-packed kit, allowing it to be stowed in any vehicle and be rapidly deployed when the need arises. Crew in vehicles with damaged armour can thus continue on their mission with no loss of protection.
08 Dec 2014, 0145 hours (GMT +8)
The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) PRoductivity and Innovation in Daily Efforts (PRIDE) Day honours individuals, groups and units that have embodied the movement's spirit of organisational excellence, innovation and productivity in the workplace. This year, more than 170 teams and individuals were recognised across MINDEF and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
05 Dec 2014, 1720 hours (GMT +8)
The DSO National Laboratories are well equipped to handle the Ebola virus, if it ever reaches Singapore's shores. Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen said this after his visit to a DSO National Laboratories facility located in Kent Ridge, on 5 Dec. Designated as the national testing facility for Ebola by the Ministry of Health since 1 Aug, the facility is rated at Bio Safety Level (BSL) 3. The highest level of bio-containment measures are designated BSL-4. Speaking to the media after his visit, Dr Ng said: I wanted to get a better sense of our capabilities and, of course, the people (behind this). We have professional, well-trained people. During the visit, Dr Ng saw a demonstration of the processes used to screen blood samples from persons suspected to be infected with the Ebola virus. If ever the Ebola virus or an infected patient does come here, I think (DSO National Laboratories) are prepared. It was a very reassuring visit, said Dr Ng. The laboratory has tested two suspected Ebola virus samples, which eventually turned out negative. Said defence researcher, Ms Ting Peijun, who is part of the core team running the Ebola tests: Everything we do here is safe - as long as we follow the established protocols - and there is very little risk of being exposed to the pathogens. She was also part of the team that worked on developing a diagnostic control for hospital laboratories during the H7N9 outbreak. Director of DSO's Biological Defence (BD) programme, Dr Tan Boon Huan, said: DSO is prepared to deploy our expertise to assist Singapore in times of national crises. This is not the first time that DSO is providing its expertise. Since 2003, the BD programme's researchers have been called in to respond to outbreaks such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS, as well as H1N1 and H7N9.
04 Dec 2014, 1000 hours (GMT +8)
In today's military context, knowledge management and a strong learning culture are just as important as weapons and ammunition. The military of today is not just about hi-tech equipment and hardware; soldiers have to learn and adapt quickly too. New and more complex weapon systems are created each year. Military forces take on more roles such as humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping missions. Add to that mix the fact that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is a largely conscript force made up of Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) who typically serve two years full-time during their late teens, and it is clear why the SAF has to have a top-notch learning system backed by a robust knowledge management framework. Even then, the system itself has to constantly evolve with the times as learning tools and trends continue to change. Sea change Over the past decade, the SAF has participated in multinational reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, as well as responded to natural disasters such as the recent Typhoon Haiyan which devastated parts of the Philippines. On the technological front, the SAF has also welcomed more advanced weapon platforms into its fold. The Army's High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, the Air Force's F-15SG fighter aircraft and the Navy's Archer-class submarines are examples of sophisticated networked systems that demand more from their operators in terms of knowledge and expertise. Simply put, being an expert in your domain is becoming more and more challenging. And to fight as an integrated whole, the SAF and its soldiers must be intimately aware and knowledgeable of what their brothers-in-arms do. New culture This called for changes in the way which the SAF learnt. Traditional military culture demands compliance, regimentation and obedience to authority. A knowledge-based SAF demands the opposite; it called for an organisation which is always learning, receptive to new ideas and tolerant of mistakes. The SAF leadership spearheaded the change by introducing new learning methodologies which encouraged commanders and subordinates to learn from each other and generate new and novel solutions to problems. Real action Today, this mindset has taken root in the SAF's training centres. For Military Expert (ME) 3-3 Yap Eng Seng, his role as an instructor in Air Force Training Command (AFTC) is more of a facilitator than a rote-instructor. We encourage the trainees to learn by pointing them in the right direction. We don't spoon-feed them anymore, explained ME3-3 Yap. He teaches aircraft engineering and hydraulic systems at the AFTC. In SAF units, commanders and their men regularly conduct briefs after each training session. This reinforces the idea of making learning a habit. This approach to capture experience builds knowledge that can then be used to streamline (future) operations, said ME3-3 Yap who has been serving in the SAF for the past 25 years. People power One of the most visible signs of the SAF's commitment to building knowledge in its people lies in the creation of the Military Domain Experts Scheme (MDES). This scheme, introduced in 2010, allows soldiers to serve longer while developing deep expertise in their chosen fields over the span of their careers. And it is not just a skin-deep rank insignia; new career paths, long-term academic learning programmes and attractive salary packages were created with the aim of building an SAF with a wealth of knowledge in the MDES Corps. The SAF also created a whole new structure to look into learning needs. We have created the Centre for Learning Systems (CLS). The CLS sets the strategy and plans for longer range learning for what learning systems ought to be, in order to drive the SAF, said then-Commandant SAFTI Military Institute Brigadier-General (BG) Benedict Lim. We also set up the Institute for Military Learning. It is important because it helps us to bridge certain gaps; technology moves so fast your learning pedagogies have to evolve. He added: For example, we have to make sure instructors, who have been schooled in a different time and are comfortable with certain styles of teaching, adopt more current teaching methods. That's I.T. On the virtual front, the SAF has moved to build IT systems to help servicemen and women better archive knowledge and learn new skills. Specifically, the SAF integrated several IT systems to create the Enterprise System for Innovation, Learning and Knowledge (eSILK). This common repository brings together all official documents and reports, forming a collection of lessons learnt from exercises and operations that are searchable and accessible on demand. For Staff Sergeant (SSG) Tan Kok Soon, eSILK proved to be an invaluable tool before his deployment to Afghanistan in 2010. He used the system to look up information related to his job there as a radar operator helping the international coalition forces identify incoming rocket attacks to provide early warning. In addition, returning teams were roped in to brief the teams bound for Afghanistan. We didn't know what to expect, so having the earlier teams come and share their firsthand experience was helpful and useful in prepping us (for the mission), he explained. In his current job as the Sergeant Major of Tactical Fires Centre in the Artillery Formation, SSG Tan also used eSILK to create lesson plans for Full-Time National Servicemen (NSFs). We update the lesson plans regularly on eSILK. That way, everyone can access the latest version, said the 28-year-old. To reach out to the wider National Service population, a system called LEARNet was created to support self-learning. It was recently updated to LEARNet Portal 2.0, which allows users to access training information anywhere. The updated version boasts many new features that support learning. They include an integrated set of learning tools such as forums, blogs and knowledge repositories, which can be accessed with a single login. Previously, users had to login multiple times to access various applications within the portal. It's also about the reach - LEARNet Portal 2.0 allows NSmen, Regulars and NSFs outside SAF premises to be able to pull (learning) content, said BG Lim. In addition, content organisation has been streamlined so that learners can have a better overview of the topics which they are interested in. Knowledge hubs Recognising that no single organisation within the SAF can possess the full knowledge of the entire system, the SAF formed knowledge hubs to enable its people to share information more effectively. These hubs also let task forces tap on expertise throughout the SAF to meet their mission objectives. For example, the Changi Command and Control Centre is one of the hubs. It integrates maritime security expertise from the Republic of Singapore Navy, global partners and other government maritime agencies. This structure helps Singapore and regional navies to fight the scourge of piracy in the region through the sharing of knowledge. These efforts have not gone unnoticed; the SAF has consistently topped the Asian Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise (MAKE) awards. It has won the award five years in a row, and was ranked first this year. The MAKE awards are conferred by global research firm TELEOS and online knowledge-sharing community The KNOW Network. It recognises organisations for their ability to use enterprise knowledge to deliver results in the areas of innovation, operational effectiveness and excellence. The SAF had earlier clinched the Overall Winner's title for the Global MAKE Individual Operating Unit in both 2013 and 2012.
03 Dec 2014, 1000 hours (GMT +8)
Have you always wanted to trade in your school blouse and skirt for military fatigues and join Dad for his In-Camp Training (ICT)? Perhaps you often find yourself listening with envy as your male colleagues share stories about their NS days, and wish you could be one of them. Or maybe you recently made Singapore your home, and would like to do your part in keeping it safe for your family and friends. You'll now have the chance to fulfil these wishes. Come 2015, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will welcome more people into its family of Regulars, Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) and Full-time National Servicemen (NSFs). With the establishment of the SAF Volunteer Corps (SAFVC), non NS-liable Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) - such as women, first-generation PR sand new citizens - will now be able to contribute to national defence, show support for NS, and deepen their understanding and ownership of national defence. During his Committee to Strengthen NS Press Conference on 22 May, Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen noted that through the year-long process of engaging the public and listening to their ideas and feedback, committee members met with many, who do not have NS obligations, but wanted to contribute to national defence. Thus, the SAFVC, a uniformed volunteer scheme, was set up following the committee's recommendation.
02 Dec 2014, 1610 hours (GMT +8)
It is the home stretch as the final 10 teams hunker down to produce their short clips for this year's N.E.mation! competition. They are now in the final week of a three-week production period since 17 Nov, working in their studios located at Nanyang Polytechnic. The champion will win a fully-sponsored trip to a renowned animation studio. This year's competition focuses on Singapore's pioneer generation. Based on the theme, Believing in Singapore: Because this is home, the teams have to produce a video that pays tribute to those who have contributed to what Singapore is today. One of the teams has been busy mixing a little of the old and the new. Using text messages as a backdrop, the team from Kent Ridge Secondary School (KRSS) - interestingly named JJKN59 (more on that later) - tells an updated story of sacrifice by Singapore's pioneers. We wanted to tell the story through text messaging, as a way to show that our pioneers were 'cool' in their own way, explained team member Jolene Loh, 14. When asked what inspired them, another team member Khalisah Naseem said: Next year is Singapore's 50th year of independence, and we wanted to tell people about the efforts of our pioneers who put in so much to build this country. The team's moniker is a mash-up of the members' names: Jolene Loh, Jeanine Ong, Khalisah Naseem and Nikki Koh, all 14. JK59 is the number of the long-haul bus that goes to Malaysia and we decided to use it because we wanted to show that we can travel far (like to the US, if we win)! said the team. Two other teams interpreted the theme slightly differently from JJKN59; choosing to focus on Singapore's military. Using an animated pop-up book and stop-motion techniques, the team from CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School wants to encourage more gratitude towards soldiers and those who protect the nation. We also want more people to know what the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) does, said Quek Min Yin, 14. Her elder brother served in the Republic of Singapore Air Force. Both of us are also in the uniformed groups in school, so maybe that's why we can feel for the soldiers more. We want to dedicate our work to them, said team member Siow An Qi, 14. One of the challenges they faced came from making the props for the stop-motion clip, said team member Kay Yeung. Making them was time consuming, especially when we had to think of how to make them pop-up from the book. The other team with a military slant is the team from Commonwealth Secondary School. Simply titled, SAF never sleeps, their clip shows the three different Services (Army, Navy and Air Force) working round the clock to keep the country safe. Apart from telling people about the sacrifices that our soldiers make to protect the country, we also wanted to tell people not to take security for granted, said Niger Lim. Fellow team member Lim Xun Yi said: While making the clip, we learnt that all three Services are important. We cannot just focus on one. The 10 finalist teams will complete their production on 5 Dec. Their work will be revealed to the public for voting in January next year. Winners will be announced in February. Visit nemation.sg for more information.
01 Dec 2014, 1910 hours (GMT +8)
Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) troopers can now undergo more realistic, effective and efficient airborne training with the new Airborne-Trooper Training Facility (ATF), which was launched by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen on 1 Dec. Located at Pasir Ris Camp, the ATF consists of two training facilities - the Parachute Training Facility and the Rappelling Training Facility. Effective and progressive training were key reasons for this integrated training amenity. As an indoor all-in-one facility, the ATF allows soldiers to hone their skills in basic airborne, heli-rappelling insertion and heli-roping insertion anytime and regardless of the weather conditions. It also eliminates the need for trainees to travel between the old training facilities which are located a distance apart, thus saving time and increasing training opportunities for the soldiers. At the launch, Dr Ng commented that the ATF was a worthwhile investment as it was important that the SAF's elite forces had the confidence to respond to real-life situations. At the old facility, a lot of it was broken up and it wasn't dynamic. But in this facility, everything is autonomous and you get as close to real-life situations as possible. At the same time, trainers are able to break down the performance and give you your critique. So I would consider it a very significant improvement, he said. Under the Parachute Training Facility, trainees have to go through three trainer systems under the Basic Airborne Course - the Landing Trainer System, the Rotational Trainer System and Airborne Trainer System. The first station, the Landing Trainer System, is where trainees learn various parachute landing fall positions. While the old version at Hendon Camp could only bring trainees up to 3m, theLanding Trainer System boasts two variable heights of 4m and 8m. The latter also allows trainees to experience different rates of descent at 2m/s, 3m/s and 4m/s. Chief Commando Officer Colonel (COL) Simon Lim explained that these options also help instructors to design more progressive training modules, such that weaker trainees can better up build their confidence. They (instructors) now take more ownership cos they can now calibrate training - the height and the rate of descend. For trainees who take slightly longer to learn a particular drill, they can calibrate the facility to the needs of these soldiers. The second phase of training takes place at the Rotational Trainer System, where trainees learn how to control their parachute and perform emergency drills. With the number of equipment doubled from 10 in the past to the current 20, more students can go through the different drills at the same time without having to wait for one another. Comparing the Rotational Trainer System to the old version at Hendon Camp, 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) Muhammad Faris bin Asnin felt that the former was more realistic, given that it was fully automated. When we jump, there are certain parts where we have to face the wind. In this apparatus, they input that into the system such that when we pull the knot, the apparatus will turn our bodies (accordingly) to face the wind. The 21-year-old trooper from 1st Commando Battalion added that in the past, they could only go through the motion of pulling, and this required a fellow trainee to manually turn his friend according to the direction which he was pulling. This reduction in the manpower required also meant trainees now have more time to undergo training, should they require more practice. The last of the stations, the Airborne Trainer System, allows trainees to experience exiting from a height of 11.2m and practising various flight drills before landing. Advantages of using this 200m monorail-like track include the ability to simulate different emergency scenarios such as partial and total malfunction, and dragging a trainee upon his landing. We can (also) simulate strong winds and increase the travel speed for the parachute to land, added Master Warrant (MWO) Ow Beng Lee. The Officer Commanding of Static Line Wing Special Operations Training Support Centre also commented that the time taken to complete the track was two minutes, similar to the time taken to land from 1,000ft (305m) in a live jump. This thus made the training all the more realistic. For the Rappelling Training Facility, progressive training was also a key consideration when designing the course and this was marked by the three clusters. The Basic Training Cluster consisted of a 60-degree and an 80-degree slope to simulate cliff rappelling. The Intermediate Training Cluster featured various heli-rappelling and roping training from mock-ups of a Chinook CH-47 ramp door and the side of a Super Puma helicopter. The Advance Training Cluster included free-climbing and rappelling from balconies. With the exception of the Basic Training Cluster, the Rappelling Training Facility also boasts an indoor segment which allows for night training to be conducted during the day. Basic Airborne Course training will be moved to the ATF by the end of the year.
28 Nov 2014, 2200 hours (GMT +8)
Age is just a number. Continuing to serve and contribute in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is more important. This mindset was what spurred Military Expert (ME) 3 Chia Yew Lam on to join the Military Domain Experts Course (MDEC) at the age of 56, making him the oldest graduand of the course to date. The Senior Instructor of Navigation Systems firmly believes in continual learning and service to the nation. His love for the SAF is testament to his decision to extend his service by five years, in order to share his knowledge and experience with his younger colleagues. Some of the experiences he shared included managing and looking after the men in their charge. He said: I tell my colleagues: You're a lead engineer and you're only in your 20s. What if you have a warrant officer under you who is in his 30s? How are you going to handle him? It's not easy. You can't teach experience and I hope to pass on my experience to my juniors, added ME3 Chia, who has served almost 38 years in the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). His advice to those who want to follow in his footsteps? Try to bridge the generation gap, and keep abreast of technology. Don't look at how many years you have left in the service. Continue to press on till you reach the finishing line. If you don't continue to learn, you become obsolete. His efforts have paid off. ME3 Chia was among the 50 servicemen and women who were appointed Senior Military Experts at a ceremony held at SAFTI Military Institute on 28 Nov. Speaking to the graduands, guest-of-honour, Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki bin Osman, said their specialised knowledge and deep expertise in areas such as engineering, intelligence and cyber were more valuable than before in today's security environment, given the expanding threats to the nation's security. He said: We will look to you, as Military Experts, for the innovative solutions that will provide the SAF with the leading edge, and enable us to pre-empt tomorrow's challenges so the SAF can stay ahead of the curve. For Sword-of-Honour recipient ME4 Malcolm Teo, being appointed senior ME was a dream come true. The 26-year-old always had an interest in the military and wanted a career where he could contribute to society. This was the reason he chose to join the SAF after graduating from Nanyang Technological University last year. During National Service, I saw that defence is important, and what we enjoy today is based on our strong defence. In a way, this shaped my career path, explained ME4 Teo. The Senior Military Intelligence Expert admitted that, while it would not be easy leading men in his unit as most of them were more experienced and senior than him, he was ready to take up the challenge. I think that the way to win over their trust and respect is to approach them with a sincere heart and work hard. And when people see that you're there to help and contribute, (you are starting) off on the right foot. Making a mid-career switch might not be easy, but that did not stop ME4 Ong Wan Ying from doing so. The 33-year-old was previously working in SIA Engineering as a fleet management executive, and subsequently taught aerospace engineering at the Republic Polytechnic. However, her desire for more hands-on experience and a passion for the aviation industry prompted her to sign on as an Air Force Engineer two years ago. Coincidentally, she was posted to the Transport and Training Branch where she would be handling the warranty and repair of aircraft such as the Hercules C-130, a position similar to her previous job at SIA. And she is all geared up for the challenges ahead. Being in the commercial sector for many years,it wasnot easy to adjust to the military culture. But I hope to bring my experience from my previous job to the SAF. This graduating cohort comprised 14 from the Republic of Singapore Air Force, 21 from the RSN, four from the Army and 11 from Joint. Among those present at the ceremony were Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General (LG) Ng Chee Meng, Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Lai Chung Han, senior SAF officers as well as friends and families of the graduands.
28 Nov 2014, 1700 hours (GMT +8)
Want to find out more about the Army? Make your way to the open field outside Tampines MRT station, which has been transformed into a battlefield for a three-day public exhibition, starting on 28 Nov. Members of the public can get up close and personal with military vehicles such as the Military Police's bikes, and the Guardsmen’s Light Strike Vehicle Mark II. They can also experience an army operation by shooting air rifles, or walking through a dark forest with the aid of night vision googles. 3rd Warrant Officer Low Kay Kee, who was manning the Commando booth, said the exhibition aimed to reach out to the public. We want to create awareness of what the Army is all about. For example, visitors can see and touch the parachuting gear that the Commandos use in operations. It is for this reason that Madam Lina Lim took her two grandchildren to the exhibition. The boy has to serve National Service one day so it's good for him to find out about the Army, she said. Former Army Regular Tan Kheng Peng was there to reminisce about his younger days as a radar specialist with the Artillery Formation. It's an eye opener to see real army gear after leaving the SAF for so long. My children and wife also enjoyed playing with the gadgets, said the 48-year-old engineer. Curious foreign visitors also dropped by to find out about the military. Mr Regie Tayao and his friends from the Philippines were particularly impressed with the Light Strike Vehicle Mark II. This vehicle with the machine gun is excellent, and the structure is very cool, said the aircraft technician. The Army exhibition at Tampines will end on 30 Nov, and the next one will be held at Jurong East from 5 to 7 Dec.
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