DEFENDING THE DIGITAL DOMAIN
The DIS will have a service headquarters, four commands as well as a Digital Ops-Tech Centre, which will equip the SAF with a quick response force to meet new operational requirements on the digital frontier.
At a media briefing on Wednesday, Colonel Letchumanan Narayanan, who heads the implementation of the DIS office, said it will take time to build up the capabilities of the new service, citing challenges such as attracting new talents.
“We are currently mostly an (SAF) regular force, we have a good proportion of full-time national servicemen (NSF) and defence executive officers but we expect the NSF and NSmen (operationally-ready national servicemen) to grow over time,” he said.
While he did not reveal the strength of the new service due to operational reasons, COL Letchumanan said the bulk of the workforce will come from the military domain expert scheme, which recruits and trains SAF regulars to develop deep expertise and specialisation in key areas such as engineering and intelligence.
Currently, there are three vocations under the scheme. They are: Command, Control, Communications, Computers expert (C4X), military intelligence expert, as well as digital and intelligence systems engineer.
NSmen with matching talents and relevant civilian expertise can also express their interest to serve in the DIS through the Enhanced Expertise Deployment Scheme, which aims to better optimise and maximise manpower resources to meet operational needs.
In March, MINDEF announced that selected NSFs will undergo a new scheme where they can take up modules to earn academic credits at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) that contribute to a degree in data science and AI, computer science or computer engineering, while serving four years of national service.
“It’s going to be the work of a generation and I think 10 years from now, you should see a far more capable DIS but also still with the same mindset of starting up and evolving quickly, such is the nature of our job,” said COL Letchumanan.
Source: Channel News Asia