I am 3SG Shaun Wee, and I am an Air Defence Weapons Specialist (ADWS) from 160 SQN. I have been operating the Agile Multiple Beam (AMB) radar system that conducts air surveillance and monitors our skies. This is my Air Force story.
After completing my Basic Military Training (BMT) in Mar 2020, I moved on to Specialist Cadet School (SCS). There, I completed eight weeks of foundation term before being posted to Air Force Training Command (AFTC) to begin my ADWS training. As cadets, we were taught basic air defence knowledge and the necessary skills to operate our system. With the guidance of my instructors, I was awarded the Distinguished Honorary Graduate award.
In Aug 2020, I was posted to 160 SQN and began supporting the RSAF’s mission of protecting Singapore’s skies round-the-clock. Learning about our mission and the significance of sensors like the AMB in our air defence made me feel blessed to be given the opportunity to participate first-hand in the defence of our nation. Hence, when I was offered the chance to defer my National Service (NS) to pursue my studies in medical school in 2021, I chose to turn it down so that I could continue contributing to the defence of the nation.
Having served the majority of my NS during the pandemic, I learnt the importance of maintaining our operational capability regardless of the circumstances. We had to adhere to cohorting and other Safe Management Measures, and be ready to adapt to the constantly-changing COVID-19 situation to ensure we remain operationally ready 24/7. The defence of our country is integral to our nation’s success and these additional measures ensure that our nation’s defence remains robust.
Throughout my NS journey, I have received tremendous support from my parents through the highs and lows. They would often encourage me to persevere through the challenges and were always willing to lend a listening ear. With their support and encouragement, I chose to extend my NS for another six months to guide my junior specialists and continue to play a part in 160 SQN’s mission.
This year, I had the opportunity to participate in Exercise Cope Tiger (XCT) held in Thailand. It was exciting to operate our AMB system alongside other air defence systems and we also had the chance to interact with some of the airmen from the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF). Through this exercise, I learnt the importance of being adaptable and resourceful. These valuable lessons that I have learnt, not only from XCT but throughout my NS journey, will stay with me and guide me as I navigate through my next phase of life. I will always remember to expect the unexpected and to keep calm when challenges arise in order to formulate the most efficient way to resolve issues.
The decision to extend my NS has always felt like the right one. Not only have I learnt countless life skills that I know I will be able to apply in the future but I have also forged deep-rooted friendships and made lasting memories during this NS journey. The months spent learning, training and applying new skills really do fly by in an instant. So to all pre-enlistees, cherish the time spent with your buddies as before you know it … ORD loh!