Fighter pilot Iskandar flies high

Actions
https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/wcm/connect/pioneer/8d884269-0868-488a-b63c-d69985fd6eb0/25jun21_news1_photo1.JPG?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-8d884269-0868-488a-b63c-d69985fd6eb0-nF2wkUP /web/wcm/connect/pioneer/8d884269-0868-488a-b63c-d69985fd6eb0/25jun21_news1_photo1.JPG?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-8d884269-0868-488a-b63c-d69985fd6eb0-nF2wkUP /web/portal/pioneer/article/feature-article-detail/milestones/milestones/2021-Q2/25jun21_news1
25jun21_news1 /web/portal/pioneer/article/feature-article-detail/milestones/2021-Q2/25jun21_news1
25 Jun 2021 | MILESTONES

Fighter pilot Iskandar flies high

CPT Muhammad Iskandar is among the 724 SAF personnel to be promoted to the next higher rank this year.

//Story by Koh Eng Beng

//Photos Courtesy of CPT Iskandar & Republic of Singapore Air Force

CPT Iskandar is a fighter pilot who flies the F-15SG.
English 华文

Being able to watch over Singapore skies as a fighter pilot was a childhood dream come true for Captain (CPT) Muhammad Iskandar Dzulfadhli Bin Abdul Rahman, an F-15SG pilot from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).

Since joining the RSAF in 2008, there were several occasions where he had to scramble his fighter aircraft within minutes, in response to potential air threats.

"The adrenaline (from) being put at the tip of the spear, responding to an actual scenario...knowing that I'm able to apply the years of hard work and training was something that I will always remember," said the 33-year-old who will be promoted to the rank of Major on 1 Jul.

CPT Iskandar (left) receiving his promotion certificate from Deputy Commander Fighter Group, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Mark Tan, at Changi Air Base on 24 Jun.

Here are five things you need to know about him:

1. Flying is his childhood dream

Since young, CPT Iskandar was exposed to the world of aviation by his dad who was an aircraft engineer with Singapore Airlines. As a kid, he would often be at Changi Airport, watching the planes while waiting for his dad to knock-off from work.

With his parents at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Flying Training Center, Canada. Then-Lieutenant Iskandar (centre) was there for training from 2010 to 2011.

In secondary school, CPT Iskandar joined the Singapore Youth Flying Club, where he learnt to build model planes. When he was in junior college, he progressed to actual flying training.

"That's where I first really experienced flying. Some of the instructors were former Air Force pilots and they were an inspiration to me, so I decided to pursue a career in the Air Force," said CPT Iskandar.

2. He's great at flying

From 2015 to 2019, CPT Iskandar was away in Canada and the United Kingdom for his university studies. Despite not having flown much for over those four years, he showed that he still had the moves – he won the Most Outstanding Pilot award during his F-15SG fighter pilot conversion course this year.

CPT Iskandar gearing up for a flight mission on board an F-15SG fighter aircraft.

"Before I left for my studies, I was trained to (fly at) a high level (of proficiency). So by the time I came back four years later, I was able to pick it up quite fast, because of the (strong) fundamentals," said CPT Iskandar, who used to fly the F-5S/T fighter aircraft.

He was part of the 144 Squadron that won the Best Fighter Squadron in the SAF Best Combat Unit competition in 2015

3. He's smart

CPT Iskandar has a Master's degree in Public Policy from the University of Oxford, one of the top universities in the world.

An SAF Academic Scholarship recipient, he also obtained a first class honours degree in Political Science with International Relations from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

CPT Iskandar graduated with a Distinction Award from the University of Oxford in 2019.

4. He's a proven large force mission commander

In 2015, he led over 70 aircraft from the Royal Thai Air Force, the United States Air Force and the RSAF to successfully complete a large force mission in Exercise Cope Tiger.

It involved fighter aircraft, helicopters, transport aircraft, and tanker aircraft. CPT Iskandar had to understand the capabilities of each aircraft type, put together a mission plan, coordinate and lead these warplanes to complete the mission in a safe manner.

5. He's keeping his feet firmly on the ground

He has won several international and local awards in his military career. For example, he was the top graduate twice at the NATO Flying Training Center, Canada, in 2010 and 2011.

And just two weeks ago, he was awarded the Distinguished Graduate for the SAF Tri-Service Warfighter Course. This is a course that develops mid-level officers for joint operations between the Army, Navy and Air Force.

But he is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, crediting his success to support from his peers and instructors in the Air Force as well as his family. "It's not a solo effort; I was really fortunate to have strong support, both at work and at home," he said.

CPT Iskandar will be taking on a staff appointment in the Air Operations Department in RSAF. On top of his flying duties, he will be working on strategic policies and doctrines related to fighter aircraft operations.

"I'm really living my dream of being a fighter pilot. And in the RSAF, any position that you hold, in any unit, there is a purpose and a mission to it. I don't consciously chase for certain positions or rank, I just do my best on the task at hand."

CPT Iskandar on his career aspirations
Suggested Reading
Girl power in the skies Feature
Girl power in the skies
PEOPLE
25-Sep-21

The RSAF's first all-female F-15SG aircrew hope to inspire young girls to be fearless and chase their dreams.

Semula, ma'am! Feature
Semula, ma'am!
PEOPLE
24-Sep-21

She looks fierce when she's not smiling – but beneath ME3 Eileen Tham's stern appearance is a warm and caring "ma'am" who often goes above and beyond for her trainees.

Fighting together as an integrated force
Cover story
Fighting together as an integrated force
OPS & TRAINING
24-Sep-21

Land and air elements worked hand-in-hand at Exercise Forging Sabre 2021 to give a clear picture of the battlefield and find the most optimal strike asset to take down the various hostile targets.

Smarter, more integrated fighting force Feature
Smarter, more integrated fighting force
OPS & TRAINING
23-Sep-21

It's the SAF's first integrated exercise since the COVID-19 pandemic, and land and air forces came together seamlessly to put their interoperability to the test.

Jetting Into the RSAF's Past
Jetting Into the RSAF's Past
OPS & TRAINING
01-Sep-21

What was the RSAF like 20 years ago? What protective gear did our pilots wear in flight? And what in the world is a "pager"? Step back in time as we unveil some classic items from a commemorative time capsule that had been sealed in 2001 to mark the Air Force's 33rd anniversary!

S'pore and US navies conduct maritime exercise in Guam
Cover story
S'pore and US navies conduct maritime exercise in Guam
OPS & TRAINING
08-Jul-21

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) conducted a series of air, surface and underwater naval drills alongside their United States Navy (USN) counterparts in Exercise Pacific Griffin 2021.

SAF preps for ops & training with endemic COVID-19
Cover story
SAF preps for ops & training with endemic COVID-19
OPS & TRAINING
01-Jul-21

In his annual SAF Day interview, Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen talks about aligning with the national COVID-19 stance, how ops and training will continue and the focus for the SAF moving forward.

Best Fighter Squadron: 143 SQN's winning edge Feature
Best Fighter Squadron: 143 SQN's winning edge
MILESTONES
22-Jun-21

One of the best feelings is to receive good news, especially during tough times. Imagine the elation of 143 Squadron (SQN) when they found out that they had won Best Fighter Squadron while undergoing an overseas detachment training.

The best gift for his children Feature
The best gift for his children
PEOPLE
18-Jun-21

Having gone through hardship in his growing up years, COL (NS) Chng Boon Kai worked hard so that his children could have a better future, and inspired his daughter CPT Eunice Chng to also join the RSAF.