I am LTA Karthikasan S/O Natarajan, a Platoon 2IC from 6 DA Bn in the RSAF. I was enlisted for National Service (NS) on 11 Aug 2018 and was posted to my unit on 16 Sep 2019, where I have been operating the Basic Giraffe radar system that performs air surveillance to watch over Singapore’s skies.
My NS journey has been a fulfilling and fruitful one. My Operationally Ready Date (ORD) was originally on 10 Aug 2020, but I decided to extend my NS by an additional 8 months. The additional time spent in service has taught me many invaluable lessons that I believe will be useful for my personal development beyond the RSAF.
Having served a significant portion of my NS amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt the calling to contribute to the SAF’s support for Singapore’s fight against COVID-19. My Commanders encouraged me to do so as they knew that I am passionate about helping people, and felt that I would be able to contribute in the Medical Operations Task Force (MOTF). Thus, I extended my ORD and volunteered my service to be a part of the MOTF.
As part of the MOTF, I was in charge of planning and scheduling the conveyances of migrant workers to the community care facilities. My responsibilities included verifying the records of all migrant workers to ensure accuracy in their allocation to various facilities. In addition, I monitored and updated the serology test results of the migrant workers, and closely coordinated with their dormitories and the relevant healthcare agencies to ensure that all details were accurate.
Through my time in the MOTF, I realised the importance of our responsibilities as we were the last line of checks prior to routing the migrant workers to their respective facilities. I had to be very meticulous in carrying out my duties. As the process was heavily dependent on data entry, my role was to validate the timeliness and accuracy of swab test results to prevent human error. Thus, it was crucial and critical that our checks were conducted thoroughly to prevent any mistakes from happening.
This experience has taught me that as an airman, we must remain adaptable to whatever situation we encounter. The RSAF has continued to remain operationally ready despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with new workplace safe management measures put in place. I can confidently transfer this skill to my daily life. It enables me to react quickly and appropriately to any challenges I may face in the future.
Furthermore, my time in the MOTF, as well as my interactions with the Commanders from my unit, such as my current Battery Commander, MAJ Teng Wen Jie, has imparted life lessons and skills that are relevant to my life beyond NS. I have a passion for helping others, and am glad that I got the chance to do so through my NS. I previously studied a Diploma in Biomedical Sciences, and my NS experiences have convinced me to pursue further studies in the field of Medicine. I hope to achieve my dream of becoming a doctor so that I can help more people. Lastly, I also look forward to continue my contributions to the RSAF as an NSman in the near future.