ABOUT THE RSAF
The RSAF is an operationally ready airforce, equipped with various platforms and systems to safeguard our airspace 24/7. Our multi-layered air defence shield comprises Fighters, Ground-based Air Defence systems, and Surveillance Radars. From our modest beginnings of a basic Singapore Air Defence Command in 1968, the last four decades saw the rapid transformation of the RSAF into a cutting-edge 3rd Generation Air Force, which is Full Spectrum, Integrated and Ready.
ORGANISATION AND STRUCTURE OF THE RSAF
At the helm is the Chief of Air Force. He is assisted by the Air Staff, which coordinates policies with MINDEF and Joint Staff, and the other two services. The RSAF's activities are managed in six functional areas, namely manpower, intelligence, operations, logistics, plans and training. The Air Staff reports to the Chief of Air Force through the Chief of Staff (Air Staff).
The Air Manpower Department is responsible for personnel management - strategic manpower
planning, recruitment, development and upgrading of RSAF staff, effective human resource
management and delivery of quality manpower services to support the RSAF mission.
A department of the RSAF that deals primarily with the intelligence requirements of the country's air
In charge of the control of all air operations, tactical doctrines and warfare strategies. The Air
Operations Department cooperates with the land and sea forces. It also works with the civil
authorities in search and rescue missions.
The Air Logistics Department provides engineering support as well as formulates doctrines, policies
and plans for the maintenance and material support of RSAF assets. It identifies, acquires and
integrates new systems and platforms, draws up logistics plans, service instructions and policies, as
well as performs quality assurance services
Formulating the functions and missions of the RSAF, the Air Plans Department explores the
organisation and establishment of Air Force Units. The department continually reviews orbat (order of
battle) to maintain an effective edge, evaluating alternative aircraft and Air Force related weapon
systems. It also reviews and controls the RSAF's operational and capital expenditure, advising
respective departments of the need to operationally economise, if necessary.
Coordinating and supervising all RSAF training policies, the Air Training Department develops training
doctrines to enforce realistic, vigorous and quality training. Training standards are monitored and
training resources properly allocated to maximise returns.
Other than the Air Staff, there are two specialist agencies. They are the Air Force Inspectorate and HQ Medical Service, which report directly to the
Chief of Air Force.
The Air Force Inspectorate, or the AFI, is responsible for promoting safe air and ground operations. It focuses on accident prevention through education and open reporting. Since its inception in 1985, the AFI has been successful in cultivating a safety culture in which we believe that a zero accident rate is achievable. Through this culture and system, we have maintained high safety standards, and this demonstrates the RSAF's ability to manage risk effectively while pushing operational envelopes.
The RSAF Medical Service, which is headed by the Chief Air Force Medical Officer, provides aeromedical consultancy and services. They ensure that our aviators are fit for flying, and also have a critical hand in ensuring the sharper screening of pilot trainees through the use of the COMPASS. COMPASS stands for Computerised Aptitude Selection System, and helps reduce attrition rates in flying training school. Other contributions by the HQ RSAF Medical Service include efforts to alleviate Singapore's myopia problem, which affects recruitment. Three quarters of Singaporeans suffer from myopia, so we have been exploring the latest technology in vision correction.
TRANSFORMATION TO THE 3RD GENERATION RSAF
The 3rd Generation RSAF was conceptualised to become a highly responsive force, capable of handling a full spectrum of missions from peace to war. Through the years, we have established core competencies such as attaining an excellent safety record, and high operational and professional standards. The transformation into the 3rd generation RSAF will take a stronger integrative and systems-level approach. In order to be an integral part of a closely-networked SAF, we have combined new operating concepts, systems and capabilities, organisational structures and people development. Right now, we have adopted a comprehensive framework to guide our transformation. It has four key dimensions – concepts, technology, people and organisational structure – which are supported by a set of programmes.
In terms of concepts, operational strategies in the 3rd Generation RSAF will take an integrated
approach in combining cross functional and cross Service capabilities. The 3rd Generation RSAF would move beyond air defence and air superiority towards being a full-spectrum integrated force, capable of decisively shaping and influencing ground and sea campaigns from the air.
When it comes to technology, the 3rd Generation RSAF is proceeding steadily with advanced platforms and capabilities that can undertake networked, integrated joint warfare. New capabilities, such as naval and attack helicopters, will deliver enhanced air power to decisively shape SAF's land and sea campaigns. In 2004, we brought home our Apache attack helicopters, and looking ahead, we are taking delivery of our first F-15SG this year. We will also continue to field rapidly evolving technologies like the UAVs.
However, our aircraft and systems are only as good as the people who operate and maintain them. Our people are the key factor in the success of the RSAF. Developing our people continues to be our priority in the 3rd Generation RSAF, and we will continue to seek to bring out the best in every serviceman. We have developed a people development framework which enables us to review the desired attributes of airmen, their grooming process and training roadmap. Technology is also used, where possible, to further develop the professional skills of our people. Of notable example is the Air Mission Trainer (AMT) which
was unveiled in August 2006. The AMT links pilots and mission commanders in a multi dome
environment, so that they can fly in the same synthetic world. All these initiatives ensure that
the RSAF personnel possess the desired attributes, skills and knowledge to operate effectively in a wide spectrum of operations.
The last but equally important dimension, our organisational structure, was fundamentally revamped to allow the RSAF to be better able to meet the mission requirements of a 3rd Generation Air Force. This restructuring saw the creation of highly integrated and task-oriented operational commands that would enable the RSAF to fully exploit new operational concepts.
THE RSAF ORGANISATIONAL RESTRUCTURING
In January 2007, the new RSAF organisational structure was unveiled – the RSAF would be reorganised into five new operational commands, namely the Air Defence and Operations Command, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Command, the
Participation Command, the Air Combat Command and the Air Power Generation Command.
The Air Defence and Operations Command was the first of the new Commands to be inaugurated in January 2007. It represents the RSAF’s high readiness core, and is the principal agency for the planning, control and execution of all peacetime operations and air defence. ADOC also ensures the development and operational readiness of the command and control (C2) and ground-based air
defence units of the RSAF.
The UAV Command was next to be inaugurated, in May 07. The UC underscores the SAF’s growing emphasis on the development of unmanned capabilities for its operations. The UC's main roles will include surveillance support for the SAF, as well as the development of unmanned systems capability and its personnel in unmanned systems operations. The UC comprises personnel from the three Services and Joint.
Moving on, Participation Command, which was inaugurated in January 2008, drives the combined development and deployment of air power for the land and maritime theatres. By doing so, it strengthens the level of integration of air support with surface and naval campaigns in a more closely networked and integrated SAF.
Both the Air Combat Command and the Air Power Generation Command were inaugurated in Aug 08, completing the restructuring. Inaugurating the two Commands together reflected the symbiotic nature of their operations. The ACC will bring together fighter and transport squadrons under one command, with central planning, control and execution of the air battle in operations. On the other hand, the APGC will enhance the missions of the ACC by ensuring the operability of the air bases, as well as improving the servicing and turn-around of aircraft to ensure continuous and
responsive air operations.
These five Commands will provide the RSAF with the flexibility to meet increases in operational tempo, and the scope to assimilate new concepts and technology in support of SAF operations in an increasingly complex environment. This will allow the RSAF to contribute more effectively to the SAF’s operations across the air, land and sea domains.
Last updated on 24 Apr 2010