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Singapore Announces New Air Force Chief

January 29, 2016 (Photo Credit: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)

This article was originally published Jan. 29, 2016.

Singapore’s Brigadier-General "Mervyn" Tan Wei Ming will take over from Major-General Hoo Cher Mou as chief of the Air Force on March 28. The changeover is part of the normal “renewal” leadership process, according to a Jan. 29 news release from the Ministry of Defence.

The announcement comes two weeks before the biennial Singapore Airshow, which takes place Feb. 16-21. The event is now the second-largest air show in Asia, now overcome by Airshow China.

Tan, as the director of military intelligence (DMI) and chief of Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I), “played a key role in raising, training and sustaining the military intelligence community to ensure the SAF [Singapore Armed Forces] remains at the forefront of military intelligence amidst an evolving security environment,” according to the news release.

Tan, 44, joined the military in 1990 and during his career held appointments of commander of the Air Defence and Operations Command (ADOC) and head of the Air Plans Department. As ADOC head, Tan was “responsible for the high operational readiness, morale and safety standards of the groups and squadrons charged with safeguarding the security of Singapore's territorial airspace round-the-clock,” the release said. During his time as head of the Air Plans Department, he led the review and development of the armed force’s force structure and manpower establishments, it stated.

Hoo, 50, has held the post of chief of the Air Force since March 2013. During his tenure as air chief, the Air Force has participated in several peacetime support operations, including search operations for the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 in March 2014 and the search and recovery operations for Air Asia Flight QZ850 in December 2014.

During his tenure, Hoo introduced a number of initiatives including the reorganization of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Command to better deliver air intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and led the operational efforts of key capabilities, such as the Boeing F-15SG Strike Eagle fighter aircraft, advanced data link network, and the Elbit-built Hermes 450 and IAI-built Heron-1 UAVs.

The F-15SG fighter, Hermes 450 and Heron-1 UAVs will be exhibited at the upcoming Singapore Airshow. Other Singapore Air Force equipment slated for display include the AH-64D Apache Longbow Attack Helicopter, G550 Airborne Early Warning Aircraft, F-16C/D fighter, CH-47 Chinook helicopter and AS332 Super Puma helicopter.

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