The Origin Story.

Over the years, the threats in the digital domain have grown in scale and sophistication, requiring the SAF to organise ourselves in more effective ways to tackle these evolving threats. This is a timeline of how our defence system has built up structures and capabilities in this new frontier, finally culminating in the establishment of the DIS.

Deployment to Afghanistan

The SAF deploys Imagery Analysis Teams (IAT) from the Imagery Support Group (ISG) to Afghanistan to support the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The ISG develops and operates the SAF’s imagery and geospatial capabilities, providing relevant imagery reports and maps, as well as imagery and geospatial analysis support.

Inauguration of the C4I Community

Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen officiates at the inauguration of the SAF’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) Community at Pasir Laba Camp. He highlights the importance of this community in supporting the networks that provide the SAF with its information superiority. This inauguration marks a key milestone in the 3rd Generation SAF's transformation into a networked and knowledge-enabled force.

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Creation of Defence Cyber Organisation (DCO)

The Defence Cyber Organisation (DCO) is established to drive cybersecurity across the Defence Sector, which comprises six sub-sectors: the SAF, MINDEF, DSTA, DSO National Laboratories, Defence Industry, and MINDEF-Related Organisations (MROs). Working closely with Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency (CSA), it provides the expertise and resources to support response and recovery operations in times of national crisis.

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Inauguration of the SAF C4 Command

The SAF C4 Command is set up to coordinate and implement C4 and cyber defence operations and capabilities. It operates and defends critical defence networks that support a full spectrum of SAF operations in both peace and war.

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Creation of Cyber NSF Work-Learn Programme

MINDEF launches the Cyber Work-Learn Scheme (WLS), which taps on the nation’s best cyber talents from the Full-time National Service (NSF) pool, to serve as cyber specialists under the DIS. Selected national servicemen serve for three to four years, and are trained to deal with advanced cyber threats, engage in real-world cybersecurity operations, and contribute to the national cyber ecosystem.

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Creation of C4 Expert and Defence Cyber Expert Scheme

MINDEF/SAF steps up efforts to attract and develop both military and non-uniformed cybersecurity professionals under the Command, Control, Communications, and Computers Expert (C4X) vocation, and the Defence Cyber Expert (DCX) job specialisation under the Defence Executive Officer (DXO) scheme.

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Establishment of Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Group

The SAF stands up the CTIG to raise, train and sustain personnel, capabilities and expertise for Counter-Terrorism Intelligence and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) in the SAF.

Inauguration of the C4I Wing in Officer Cadet School

At the commissioning of the 117/19 Officer Cadet Course, Deputy Prime Minister and then-Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat announces the inauguration of the C4I Wing in OCS, slated to take place in September of that year. He refers to the officiation of the Wing as another step towards deepening our cyber defence capabilities.

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Establishment of the Cybersecurity Task Force

MINDEF/SAF sets up the Cybersecurity Task Force (CSTF), under the command of Chief C4I. The CSTF allows for centralised command and control by bringing together various cyber units from MINDEF/SAF to conduct cybersecurity operations across the Defence Sector. The CSTF is later inaugurated in Jan 2022.

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Creation of Digital Work-Learn Scheme

MINDEF launches the Digital Work-Learn Scheme to tap on the nation’s digital talents to meet the ever-increasing AI and digitalisation needs. The Digital Specialists under this Scheme are trained to develop AI applications and perform software engineering tasks in support of MINDEF/SAF operations over a 4-year period.

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Establishment of the Digital and Intelligence Service

The inauguration of the Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS) is officiated by then-President Halimah Yacob on 28 Oct 2022 at the SAFTI Military Institute. Its establishment marks a key milestone in the transformation of the Next-Generation SAF. Entrusted to defend the peace and security of Singapore, the DIS protects against a full spectrum of external threats including those in the digital domain. The DIS Wing at OCS is also inaugurated later that year.

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2010 to 2013
2012 Apr
2017 Mar
2017 Nov
2020 Sep
2020 Dec
2022 Mar
2022 Oct