Republic of Singapore Air Force
Polytechnic | Republic of Singapore Air Force

Keeping Dreams in Flight

Military Expert 1 (ME1) Melinda Khor gives us a peek into her work at the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and why it is meaningful.

ME1 Melinda Khor 
Air Force Engineer

To keep Singapore's skies safe, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) draws on the expertise of many men and women, whose teamwork is essential in creating a strong and credible Air Force that stands ready to defend Singapore and her interests. 23-year-old Military Expert 1 (ME1) Melinda Khor is one such member of team RSAF — her work as an Air Force Engineer (Maintenance) (AFE(M)) is instrumental in making sure our pilots fly safely.

What do you find most fulfilling about your work?

As an engineer, I derive a great deal of satisfaction when I successfully identify and rectify any defects, and subsequently see the F-16 aircraft in our skies. As all defects must be corrected before the F-16 can be deployed for any missions, it is critical to work closely with my fellow airmen and women, who specialise in different areas of aircraft servicing, to maintain the airworthiness of our aircraft. It is also incredibly fulfilling to know that our work keeps our aircrew and Singapore safe.

Why did you choose to pursue engineering within the RSAF?

Intrigued by the mechanisms and engineering that makes airplanes fly, I decided to take up a diploma in Aeronautical Engineering. Learning about the aviation industry and a visit to the Singapore Airshow in 2014 opened my eyes to the military aspect of the industry. Beyond that, I was drawn to the impressive levels of teamwork and cohesiveness the Air Force displays in achieving mission success.

ME1 Melinda Khor

How has your career evolved since you first joined the RSAF?

On the technical aspect of the job, I am now qualified to run more aircraft servicing tests as I have gained more experience and training on the platform. My specialisation has improved my work proficiency, and allows me to perform more areas of servicing on my own. This allows the team to turn over more serviceable aircraft within a shorter period of time. I am also entrusted with greater responsibilities to guide the juniors in their work.

“If you are willing to learn, enjoy embracing new perspectives, and love challenges, your career with the RSAF will definitely be an enjoyable one. Just do it!” ME1 Melinda Khor

What are some of the more memorable moments in your career with the RSAF?

I was honoured to be part of the state flag fly-past team for the 2017 National Day Parade. I experienced firsthand the meticulous planning, coordination of logistics, and sheer hard work that went into the rolling, rigging, releasing and recovery of the state flag for the actual parade and all the rehearsals before that. Even though the segment is a short one, it is always heartening to see our Singapore flag flying high.

How has the RSAF helped you develop professionally and personally?

We are given opportunities throughout our careers to upgrade our skills on a professional and personal level. I've had numerous opportunities to improve my technical competency through continuous on-the-job and tools-of-the-trade learnings and sharings, thereby enriching my role as an AFE(M). I also participated in various personal development courses that aided in developing my soft skills and enabled me to be a more effective communicator. The resources and time that the RSAF sets aside to train and upgrade her people is something that I greatly appreciate.

Do you have any advice for graduates who wish to pursue a career with the RSAF?

If you are willing to learn, enjoy embracing new perspectives, and love challenges, your career with the RSAF will definitely be an enjoyable one. Just do it!