14 Juli 2012

RSAF Launches New Air Imagery Intelligence Expert Vocation

14 Juli 2012

Heron UAV (photo : Militarynuts)

Newer and more advanced air imagery, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, such as the Heron 1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) System, are able to collect vast volumes of information within a short time.

But information, without analysis, is meaningless. To enable the study of such information for actionable intelligence, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) introduced a new vocation at Chong Pang Camp on 11 Jul.

Known as the Air Imagery Intelligence Expert or AIRIX in short, this new vocation focuses on analysing real-time images collected by the air ISR platforms before passing the findings to relevant agencies for action.

At the AIRIX vocation launch ceremony, 31 RSAF personnel received their AIRIX badges from Chief of Air Force Major-General (MG) Ng Chee Meng, who officiated at the ceremony.

Hermes 450 UAV (photo : kawasumi)

In his speech, Commander of the UAV Command Colonel Tommy Tan explained why UAV Systems Specialists, who operate UAVs, were identified to be the first batch of AIRIX: "This was to capitalise on their existing competencies and rich experiences both in aviation and imagery intelligence."

He continued: "The vocational change entails a shift from aviation-oriented skills to analytical skills that are required of the IMINT (Imagery Intelligence) exploitation professionals."

To the AIRIX, he said: "I hope you will continue to put in great effort to anchor your competencies and more importantly, forge a strong AIRIX identity that each and every one of you can be proud of."

Military Expert (ME) 3 Francis Lim, an Operations Warrant Officer from 116 Squadron, which operates the Hermes 450 UAV, was among the 31 to receive the AIRIX badge.

He elaborated on his change in job scope: "In the past, our job involved flying the UAVs. Now, we won't fly the UAV, but we'll work hand-in-hand with the UAV pilots to convert raw images into useful information, to provide timely and relevant intelligence for our front-end warriors."

Considering it a privilege to be among the pioneers of this new vocation, he said: "I'm looking forward to the job, knowing that I am part of the pioneering batch of AIRIX that will help to realise the full potential of the Air Force."

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