Singapore Armed Forces announces new leadership changes to take place in March 2023

Singapore Armed Forces announces new leadership changes to take place in March 2023

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has announced that Rear-Admiral (RADM) Aaron Beng Yao Cheng will be replacing Lieutenant-General (LG) Melvyn Ong Su Kiat as the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) on 24 March 2023. Furthermore, RADM Sean Wat Jianwen, Fleet Commander of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), will assume the appointment of Chief of Navy (CNV) on 20 March 2023. These changes are part of the SAF’s continuing process of leadership renewal.

LG Ong has been serving the SAF with distinction since his enlistment in 1994. He has held various senior command and staff appointments, including Chief Guards Officer and Chief of Army. LG Ong was appointed as CDF on 23 March 2018. During his time as CDF, the SAF enhanced Singapore’s peace and security through various security operations.

He also led the SAF in high key security operations such as the DPRK-US Singapore Summit and the 33rd ASEAN Summit in 2018. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, LG Ong led the SAF’s pandemic response and ensured that the SAF maintained a high degree of operational readiness while minimising the risk of infections.

Under LG Ong’s leadership, the SAF increased the pace of its next-generation transformation efforts and made significant progress in several areas. Beyond Singapore, LG Ong has been instrumental in fostering good defence relations and professional collaborations with foreign militaries.

The incoming CDF, RADM Beng, joined the SAF in 2000 and was awarded the President’s Scholarship as well as the SAF Overseas Scholarship. Prior to his appointment as CNV in March 2020, RADM Beng held several other appointments in MINDEF and the SAF.

As CNV, RADM Beng has pursued organisational changes and capability development to prepare for the future. These included the operationalisation of the Maritime Security and Response Flotilla to protect Singapore’s territorial waters and respond to expanded maritime security threats.

RADM Wat, who will be assuming the appointment of CNV, joined the SAF in 2002 and was awarded the SAF Overseas Scholarship. During the course of his military career, RADM Wat has held several appointments, including Commanding Officer of the Formidable-class frigate RSS Supreme and Fleet Commander.

The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) expresses its deep appreciation to LG Ong for his sterling leadership and outstanding contributions to the SAF. LG Ong will continue to serve in the Public Service after he steps down from the SAF.

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