SAF's director of military intelligence appointed as chief of new Digital and Intelligence Service
SINGAPORE — A Brigadier-General (BG) who is the director of military intelligence at the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and headed its contact tracing operations during the pandemic has been appointed its first chief of the new Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS).
- Brigadier-General Lee Yi-Jin has been appointed the first chief of the new Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS)
- He had joined the Singapore Armed Forces in 1999, and has served in various command appointments, including being the director of military intelligence
- President Halimah Yacob said at DIS' inauguration ceremony on Friday that its establishment is a "timely and necessary" one
SINGAPORE — A Brigadier-General (BG) who is director of military intelligence at the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and headed its contact tracing operations during the Covid-19 pandemic has been appointed its first chief of the new Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS).
BG Lee Yi-Jin had joined the SAF in 1999 and has served in various command appointments, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said in a statement on Friday (Oct 28).
The DIS was set up by the SAF to address emerging threats in the digital domain, and will be the fourth service alongside the existing Army, Navy and Air Force.
Mindef said that operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) with "matching talents and relevant civilian expertise" may also apply to join the DIS.
Before his appointment as chief of DIS, BG Lee was the chief of the Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) community, and had "laid the foundations" for the establishment of the DIS, Mindef said.
The 42-year-old had also played an "instrumental role in charting out its mission, defining its role within the SAF, and designing the DIS’ organisational and manpower structure", it added.
BG Lee had served in several leadership roles before his involvement with the DIS, such as as the commanding officer of the 21st Battalion Singapore Artillery, commander of the 3rd Singapore Infantry Brigade and commander of the 6th Singapore Division and Headquarters Sense and Strike, an integration of the SAF's intelligence and artillery units.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, BG Lee oversaw contact-tracing operations as commander of the SAF's Health Surveillance Task Force in 2020.
He had also held various "key staff appointments", such as in roles dealing with policy and strategy at Mindef.
BG Lee was presented a letter of appointment as chief of the DIS by President Halimah Yacob at the Safti Military Institute on Friday evening.
President Halimah said during her speech at the inauguration ceremony that the establishment of the DIS is a "timely and necessary" one.
"In the past decade, we have witnessed many attacks on other countries, not through traditional armed conflicts, but through the digital realm," she said. "The impact of these digital attacks is real and can result in disruption of essential services, data theft and even local elections."
Such “hybrid warfare”, can be a preamble or part of an orchestrated campaign against a target nation by state and non-state actors, she added.
"Just as the SAF defends Singapore in the air, land and sea, the fourth service will provide us the capabilities to defend ourselves against attacks in the digital domain."
The DIS comprises a service headquarters, selected joint and cyber staff departments, four commands and a digital ops-tech centre, Mindef said.
HOW SERVICEMEN CAN BE PART OF THE DIS
Mindef said that the DIS will also "leverage national servicemen to develop its digital workforce".
For instance, NSmen with matching talents and relevant civilian expertise can "express interest" to serve in the DIS through the Enhanced Expertise Deployment Scheme.
This scheme allows Mindef and SAF to "better optimise and maximise expertise that NSmen have picked up in their civilian lives" to better meet SAF's operational needs.
Full-time national servicemen with suitable skills may also be offered opportunities in DIS-related work-learn schemes.
They will be able to undergo military training and serve NS while attaining academic credits in areas such as computer science, or vocational experience in dealing with cybersecurity threats.
These credits will contribute to the eventual completion of a relevant university degree, Mindef said.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in Parliament in August that the DIS will aim to compete with other major organisations for talent, so that it is “on par with the army, navy and air force” and provides an attractive workplace.
CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this report stated that BG Lee Yi-Jin was SAF's director of military intelligence before his appointment as chief of the new Digital and Intelligence Service. Mindef has clarified that he will retain his role as director of military intelligence alongside his new concurrent appointment.
Related topicsSAF Mindef Digital and Intelligence Service digital warfare
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