We are pleased to kick off our POINTER Supplement for 2013 with an Air Force-themed issue in conjunction with the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) 45th anniversary. The theme is "The RSAF Journey - Voices from the Past, Present and Future." Under this theme, the various articles featured reflect on the key developments of the RSAF since its inception, take stock of current developments, highlight less publicized but yet important vocations of the RSAF and look ahead to the next spiral of RSAF's transformation.
The supplement begins with an account of the history of the RSAF, "RSAF in the Past 45 Years" written by SLTC Tay Boon Chong, MAJ Kam Kai Qing and MAJ Oliver Siah. The article traces the development of the RSAF, starting with the First Generation RSAF which focused on building core tactical competencies and capabilities that laid the foundations for protecting our nation's airspace. The Second Generation RSAF expanded operational domains and capabilities and concentrated on hardware acquisitions and structural changes. In the mid-2000s, the transformation of the Third Generation RSAF took place, with key emphasis on technology, force modernization and personnel development and training in a new operational environment.
The second article, "Reflections from Past RSAF Commanders" by LTC Maximillion Goh Wei Shin, MAJ Liao Minghao and CPT Janice Quek, provides insights on issues like leadership, people development and safety, gleaned from interviews with four senior former commanders and the first Chief Warrant of the Air Force (CWAF). The four commanders are MG (NS) Ng Chee Khern, BG (Vol) Jimmy Tan, BG (Ret) Loh Kok Hua and BG (Ret) Gary Yeo. SWO (Ret) William Ng was the RSAF's first CWAF.
ME6 Loh Wai Mun, LTC Aldrin Tan and MAJ David Koh present their perspective on "The RSAF's Training Transformation Journey" which focuses on how the RSAF's training system needs to keep pace with the demands of advanced capabilities and a changing operating environment to better prepare its airmen to meet new challenges.
The fourth article, "The RSAF's Medical Warriors" by LTC Won Jiunn Shyong, ME6 Jeffrey Sim Vee Ming and MAJ Marcel Xu discusses the crucial roles played by the medical community in the RSAF, their capabilities and their contributions in keeping the airmen fit and mission-ready.
ME6 Lim Tiong How, Nelson and MAJ Seah Pi Yee in their article, "The UTG Command Experience," cover the experiences of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Task Group (UTG) which was deployed to Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan, Afghanistan. In this article, the authors stressed that the success of the UTG was due to the effectiveness of the ground commanders in leading, managing and commanding a dedicated crew, working towards a desired outcome.
The next article, "The Demographic Strategic Imperative and Its Implications for the RSAF" is by MAJ Ingkiriwang Shawn Wei Zhong, MAJ Clement Wee and MAJ Foo Tng Loong. This article describes Singapore’s shrinking demography and examines the long term implications and the possible solutions that the RSAF should consider in the light of these challenges.
Finally, we are honoured to have an article by MG Ng Chee Meng, Chief of Air Force (CAF) who provides his insights and take in "Our Culture: The Cornerstone of Our Enduring Success." In this article, CAF shares his reflections on the Air Force culture. He discusses the strategic challenges faced by the Air Force and suggests that dynamic leadership, high professional standards in safety and innovation and fostering a Mission Success-People Centric Culture will help raise the Air Force to the next level in its transformation journey.