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SAF – The Sky Is The Limit

Captain (CPT) Nah Jinping shares the excitement of being a Fighter Pilot in the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).

Upon graduation from junior college, I was in search of a career that is exciting, different and ­purposeful. I was also extremely fascinated by airplanes, and after speaking to RSAF personnel, who shared with me the nature of the job and possible career development opportunities, I was hooked. I love the ­prospect of a non-desk bound job that sharpens my vocational skills and challenges my thinking at the same time. All these factors combined threw the thought of becoming a lawyer – a career interest I originally harboured — out of the window. Eventually, I applied for the SAF Merit Scholarship (Women), signed on as a pilot in the RSAF and never looked back.

A Flying Career
Before joining the RSAF, I have always wondered how a small state like Singapore protects itself against security threats. However, being in the RSAF and having participated in multiple local and overseas exercises, I have learnt that every Singaporean has a part to play in building a strong and capable defence force so that we can continue to secure the peace and security of our nation. This requires not just the most advanced military technologies and equipment but also you and me, the people of Singapore.

As an operator of the F-15SG, my ­training has taken me to countries like Australia, the United States and Thailand. I even had the opportunity to do live bomb drops in Australia, working closely alongside our Australian counterparts. I am honoured to be part of the RSAF team when we travel for overseas exercises, as the exposure to new cultures and ­people has not just broadened my horizons, but also allowed me to forge ­meaningful friendships with comrades from abroad while ­strengthening ties with my ­fellow teammates.

Of course, every job has its ­challenges. Being a pilot also means that the working hours vary from day to day, as the various flying squadrons share the tight training airspace in Singapore. Despite having to make some small ­sacrifices, the most satisfying aspect of my job is knowing that I made a difference to Singapore by keeping my country, family and friends safe.

For Those Interested

I am thankful for the opportunities that the scholarship has offered me. In addition to paying for my overseas education fully, it has allowed me to broaden my horizons, sharpen my thoughts and grow holistically as a person through the experience of new cultures and people. Moreover, developmental opportunities are endless when you join the MINDEF/SAF. For professional and personal development, MINDEF/SAF has a structured route of advancement roadmap which details the courses you may attend at different points in your career.

For those considering a career in ­MINDEF/SAF, it’s not just about being smart. It is very important to remain down-to-earth, as you will be constantly learning and be pushed to your limits. MINDEF/SAF is a people centric environment and you will need the passion and heart to lead the people who believe in you. With the right attitude towards the job, you would find the job more satisfying and not be easily deterred by challenges. For those ­passionate to serve and willing to take on this ­challenge, I look forward to having you as part of the RSAF team!

Cpt Nah Jinping
SAF Merit Scholarship (Women)
Age: 28
Now: Fighter Pilot @ 149 SQN
From: Bachelor of Science (2nd Class Hons) in ­Psychology from the University of ­Nottingham, UK; Master of Arts (Educational Studies) from the University of Michigan, USA
From: Raffles JC