Earlier in September, the RSAF and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a Work-Study Diploma (WSDip) in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, allowing ITE graduates to serve as Air Force Technicians during their National Service while attaining a Diploma at the same time! Now, let’s meet two of our RSAF airmen who are on their way to earn their Work-Study Diploma, and find out why they decided to join the programme!
Please share more about your daily duties!
JH: I’m CPL Poh Jun Han, an Air Force Technician (AFT) from 145 SQN. Part of my daily duties are to do pre-flight or post-flight inspections on the aircraft that are assigned to me. We do thorough checks of the F-16D+ aircraft before it takes to the sky. Our role is important in keeping the pilots safe from any dangers so that they can carry out their missions successfully, and return to us safely.
L: I’m PTE Livanesh Ramu, currently training as an AFT in Air Force Training Command (AFTC), Aircraft Engineering School. Part of my responsibilities as a Flight Line Crew is to do pre- and post-flight inspections on the aircraft, similar to Jun Han.
Why did you choose to join the WSDip programme? What are some key benefits of this programme that you are interested in?
JH: This WSDip allows me to get a diploma at the end of this programme and gain hands-on experience on the fighter jets along the way. As an AFT, it will allow me to learn various skill sets that will be extremely useful to me in the future, whether I continue my career in the RSAF or in other commercial aviation companies.
L: I am more of a hands-on, practical learner. I have never been the theoretically studious type, which is why technical education appealed to me. Based on my childhood ambition, which was fuelled by mechanics, my dream job is to work in the aviation sector and the WSDip programme provided an avenue for me to take my first step into the industry. The WSDip also appealed to me as an opportunity to educate myself further while learning essential hands-on skills which brings extra fulfilment to my National Service.
How has your journey with the RSAF been like thus far? What are some key highlights of your training in the RSAF?
JH: My journey with the RSAF has been great thus far. Before my transition to the unit, we underwent a training programme in AFTC before we are qualified to work on the aircraft alone. There will be a supervisor guiding you along the way during training so you can have a deeper understanding of the key pointers to be a qualified technician, which enriched my learning and expertise.
L: I have been really enjoying my journey in the RSAF. While learning more about the different types of aircraft under great mentors, I’ve gained deeper insights on the practical aspects of my chosen vocation. I am looking forward to be posted to a unit after my training in AFTC so that I can further contribute to the RSAF’s operations.
What are some of your plans for the future after the programme?
JH: I’m hoping to see the aviation industry recover from COVID-19. After I complete my programme in 2024, I wish to contribute in whatever ways I can with my expertise as a technician/engineer, whether it be with the RSAF or commercial aviation companies.
L: Yes, I am looking forward to signing on with RSAF as working in the aviation and aerospace industry has been a childhood dream. Given the opportunity with this WSDip programme, I am learning skills and gaining experiences, which I hope will be useful to excel in this industry.
What are some words of advice you would give to juniors who wish to join the WSDip in the future?
JH: If you are in love with aviation aircraft and love to fix, maintain and rectify issues pertaining to an aircraft, this WSDip is definitely for you. You will be able to gain in-depth experience and hands-on skills. This programme allows aviation lovers to showcase your talent and to prove that you are capable of what you set your mind to do.
L: I would say it’s a very good opportunity for them to study and gain work experience at the same time. They should enjoy the process of having the best of both worlds, gain as much experience as possible, and pave their path into the industry.