Close to a decade after being commissioned as an Air Warfare Officer (AWO) (Ground-Based Air Defence) (GBAD), my RSAF experience is one that has been filled with an abundance of memories and defining moments. It has also been a journey of continuous learning and self-discovery. I was commissioned in 2006. After serving my Fire Unit Commander tour in 165 SQN, I was offered the SAF Academic Scholarship in 2007. I went to pursue my studies at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science with Honours in 2011. While graduation from university was momentous, returning back to the RSAF was extremely exciting. Upon my return to 165 SQN, I was cross-trained to the then newly-acquired Surface-to- air PYthon-5 and DERby (SPYDER) GBAD system. I was simultaneously exposed to operational and strategic aspects of operations as well as organisational challenges. These experiences allowed me to better understand the RSAF’s mission and the important role that I play as a Fire Unit Commander — in ensuring that mission success is always achieved.
Subsequently, I was posted to Air Manpower Department (AMD) as a Staff Officer. I had never felt more rooted to the RSAF due to the initiatives we helmed. One such initiative, and the prized achievement during my time at AMD, was the revamp of the Air Force Museum Gallery. I will always remember how I visited every nook and cranny of the RSAF to find pieces of history and artefacts that could be used to tell the Air Force Story. While I was serving my staff tour at AMD, I also attended two Route-Of- Advancement courses, the Tri-Service Warfighting Course and the Air Force Advanced Course — courses that all RSAF Officers are expected to complete. I managed to emerge as the Top Graduate for both courses. I believe that the key to my success was my drive to learn and to always strive to do better. I also learnt that consistent work to the best of one’s ability was important in ensuring that every task was successfully executed. During the courses, I was provided with the invaluable opportunity to interact and work with different Officers from all three Services, with whom I have forged strong friendships which I will always cherish.
My experiences both as a ground COMD and a Staff Officer have allowed me to better understand the RSAF’s mission as well as the requirements of my present appointment as an Officer Commanding (OC) in 165 SQN. It is only in my current appointment that I realise that the RSAF’s training and development process has groomed me to live up to the expectations of an OC. This is CARDINAL in effect for me, developing airmen and women and allowing them to realise their potential. It has been a fulfilling decade in the RSAF and I continue to anticipate my journey ahead.