A news release from the Ministry of Defence, Singapore, on Friday, February 22, announced that the country will have a new Chief of Air Force by March 22, 2019.
Currently Chief of Staff-Joint Staff (COS-JS), Brigadier-General (BG) Kelvin Khong Boon Leong, will be taking over the position from Major-General (MG) Mervyn Tan Wei Ming.
Singapore’s Air Force’s incoming chief, BG Kelvin Khong Boon Leong, is an F-15SG pilot by training and was awarded the SAF Overseas Scholarship.
He served in different command and staff positions in his career, including Commanding Officer of the first F-15SG squadron in Singapore – 149 Squadron.
BG Khong has also served in the following positions in the country’s armed forces: Head Air Plans; Commander Air Combat Command; Head Air Operations; and Chief of Staff-Air Staff.
MINDEF’s release said that BG Khong had been instrumental in RSAF’s modernization and has participated in a variety of operations, training detachments, and exercises.
He also served as the Chairman of the RSAF50 Steering Committee, which oversees the organization of many activities throughout the year in celebration of the RSAF’s Golden Jubilee.
The outgoing Chief of Air Force, 46-year-old MG Mervyn Tan Wei Ming has been part of SAF since 1990 and was awarded the SAF Overseas Training Award (Graduating) two years later.
During his career with SAF, he held the following senior command and staff appointments: Commanding Officer, 121 Squadron; Head Air Plans; Commander Air Defence and Operations Command; and Director Military Intelligence and Chief Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence.
Appointed as Chief of Air Force on March 28, 2016, MG Tan has been the head of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) for the last three years.
MINDEF’s press release stated, “Under his leadership, the RSAF has maintained a high level of operational readiness to defend and safeguard Singapore’s sovereignty, and achieved mission success across a full spectrum of operations.
“These included the conduct of air defence operations during the DPRK-USA Singapore Summit as well as the alleged bomb threat aboard the Scoot flight TR634; the participation in the Defeat-ISIS coalition efforts in the Middle East; the contributions to regional and international Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief missions; and the successful conduct of the RSAF50 events to celebrate 50 years of safe skies with fellow Singaporeans.”
MG Tan’s other achievements include the following:
- guided the RSAF’s transformation to support the Next Generation SAF
- led the attainment of full operational capability for the Heron 1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and Surface-to-air PYthon-5 and DERby (SPYDER) Ground-Based Air Defence system
- positioned the RSAF for the future through the acquisition of the H225M Medium Lift and CH-47F Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopters, A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter platforms
- established the Air Warfare Centre to develop game-changing air warfare concepts
- set up the RSAF Innovation Office to drive innovation across the organisation
- transformed the training and development of the Next Generation Air Warfare Officer vocation
MINDEF’s release also says that as Chief of Air Force MG Tan forged stronger defense relations for the RSAF and achieved better ties for cooperation with other air forces and partner countries.
The Ministry extended its gratitude for MG Tan’s service “The Ministry of Defence expresses its deep appreciation to MG Mervyn Tan Wei Ming for his sterling leadership and outstanding contributions to MINDEF and the SAF.”