Ready to mentor the next generation

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04jul18_news2
04 Jul 2018 | MILESTONES

Ready to mentor the next generation

// Report by Teo Jing Ting

// Photos by Chua Soon Lye

English 华文

He was among the first in the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) to see the F-15SG in its natural skin and train on the aircraft.

Recalling his stint in 2009, Military Expert (ME) 4 Phuvdar Singh Dhami s/o Bhajan Singh said: "I was working on the F-16s…when I was offered a chance to train at the Boeing plant in the United States (US) for the F-15SG. It was an exciting time for the team."

Then a Weapons Platform Engineer, he spent more than a year training on the fighter aircraft and was part of the team that escorted the pioneer batch of F-15SGs from the US to Singapore.

On 4 Jul, the 46-year-old was among the 111 servicemen and women who were appointed as Senior MEs at Temasek Club.

"I'm very excited and it's a progression. The RSAF has given me a lot of opportunities to build up my skills," said Flight Lead of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Training Flight from 506 Squadron.

"As a Senior ME, I'm ready to use this knowledge and experience to coach and mentor the next generation."

At the Senior ME appointment ceremony, Guest of Honour Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman highlighted the importance of the ME Corps.

"The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) looks to our Military Experts for their leadership in technical and professional domain areas, such as intelligence, engineering, military medicine, cyber defence and many more…

"In the air, land, maritime and cyber domains, our Military Experts manage and maintain our high-tech weapon systems in order to maximise the effectiveness of our defence capabilities. This ensures that the SAF is ready in both its conventional and unconventional capabilities."

He added: "It is no small responsibility to keep the SAF sharp and ready, especially as security threats continue to evolve."

For ME4 Jasmine Ang, the Military Domain Experts Scheme (MDES) not only gave her the opportunity to hold different roles, but also to further her studies.

In 2013, the 34-year-old took up the MDES Study Award to pursue a part-time degree in Electrical Engineering at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (then known as SIM University). She graduated four years later.  

When asked what was memorable about the two-monthSenior ME course, ME4 Ang, a project officer in the Naval Logistics Department, said: "There were people of different ages and experience, and we were very forthcoming when sharing our knowledge and experiences.

"I can't wait to share my takeaways from the course and enhance the Navy's engineering capabilities. I want to contribute to the research progress in the technological or engineering area within the Navy."

At 54 years of age, ME4 Noordin Bin Jenun is the oldest in the cohort. But that did not deter him from building a strong friendship with his course mates, who were more than 20 years his junior. 

"They are energetic, creative and full of fresh ideas, but they are short of experience. That's where I come in – I would share my experience and advise them whenever they needed me to," said the Base Sergeant Major for the 9th Army Maintenance Base.

And because his younger peers were more technology-savvy, ME4 Noordin would approach them after class to keep himself updated with technological trends.

The course also gave the father-of-two insights into the decision-making process in the SAF, which he could now explain better to younger soldiers.

"We see things in a different perspective. Older soldiers like me tend to take instructions without questions whereas the young generation (today) always needs to understand why things are done in a certain way."

When asked why he still continued to serve in the Army after 36 years, ME4 Noordin only had one answer – passion.

"I love my job and I want to contribute to Singapore's defence. It's my responsibility to impart what I know to my children, and the future generations."

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