The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) welcomed Major-General (MG) Melvyn Ong Su Kiat as its Chief of Defence Force (CDF) at a Change of Command Parade held at the SAFTI Military Institute this evening. Witnessed by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, MG Ong, the former Chief of Army (COA), received the command symbol from the outgoing CDF Lieutenant-General (LG) Perry Lim Cheng Yeow. LG Lim also reviewed a Guard of Honour and the 14 marching contingents formed by servicemen from the Army, Navy and Air Force.
MG Melvyn Ong, 43, joined the SAF in 1994, and has held several key appointments, including Chief Guards Officer, Commander 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade and Head Joint Plans and Transformation Department. As COA, MG Ong steered the "Army Ready, Soldier Strong" efforts and strengthened the Army's operational readiness and homeland security capabilities against terrorism. MG Ong also maximised soldier performance, and enhanced National Service (NS) training and experience. As Chief Guards Officer, he led the establishment of the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre (Changi RHCC). As Commander 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade, MG Ong led the SAF contingent that assisted in earthquake-relief operations alongside the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) following a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in Christchurch in 2011. As Head of the Joint Plans and Transformation Department, MG Ong led the SAF's transformation efforts in the domains of new operational concepts, future capabilities, organisational restructuring and resource optimisation. MG Ong was also the Head of the Personnel Development Branch in G1-Army during the formulation of the SAF HR Schemes.
Outgoing CDF LG Lim was appointed as CDF on 18 August 2015 and has served the SAF with distinction since 1990. Under LG Lim's leadership, the SAF maintained a high level of operational readiness and conducted round-the-clock security operations to defend Singapore and safeguard our peace and sovereignty. The SAF deployed forces to Kuwait and Iraq to contribute to international counter-terrorism efforts. LG Lim also led efforts to strengthen the SAF's counter-terrorism capabilities and inter-agency cooperation for homeland contingency operations. LG Lim led the continued implementation of our 3rd Generation SAF transformation and was instrumental in developing the blueprint to anchor the sustainable development of the SAF against future challenges. Through professional exchanges, LG Lim enhanced the reputation and international standing of the SAF, positioning the SAF as a valuable defence partner.
The change of command is part of the continuing process of leadership renewal in the SAF. The parade was attended by Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, senior MINDEF and SAF officers, as well as the military diplomatic corps.