Posted: 23 Mar 2007, 1600 hours (GMT +8)
Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean witnessed Major-General (MG) Desmond Kuek Bak Chye receive the SAF symbol of command from the outgoing Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General (LG) Ng Yat Chung, at a Change of Command Parade held at the SAFTI Military Institute today.
The parade was made up of contingents drawn from all formations of the SAF and attended by senior MINDEF officials and SAF officers, as well as the military diplomatic corps and other invited guests.
MG Desmond Kuek, aged 43, joined the SAF in 1981. He has held various senior appointments in the SAF, including the posts of Director, Joint Intelligence Directorate; Commander, 3rd Division; and Assistant Chief of General Staff (Operations). He was appointed Chief of Army on 1 April 2003, and recently handed over this appointment to Brigadier-General (BG) Neo Kian Hong on 20 Mar 07. He played a vital role in steering the Army towards organisational excellence, enhancing its capabilities and operational efficiency.
LG Ng Yat Chung has been instrumental in the transformation of the SAF into a networked, knowledge-based force. As CDF from 2003 to 2007, he laid the blueprint for the 3rd Generation SAF, forging closer integration between the Services, overseeing the development of new operational concepts and introducing cutting-edge technologies to build up the SAF's new force structure.
LG Ng is widely recognised for having significantly strengthened the SAF's full spectrum capabilities to meet new security challenges such as terrorism and low intensity conflicts. He effectively commanded peacetime operations such as the SAF's humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) response in Aceh and Phuket following the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004, as well as similar missions to Yogyakarta and Phitsanulok (Northern Thailand) last year.
LG Ng has also helped to broaden and deepen the SAF's extensive network of professional relationships with other armed forces, and further Singapore's role as a constructive partner in regional security. LG Ng will return to the Administrative Service after attending the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard University.
The change of command reflects the continual process of leadership renewal in the SAF. The Ministry of Defence wishes to express its deep appreciation to LG Ng Yat Chung for his sterling service and outstanding contributions to the development of the SAF.