The Singaporean Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has announced two new cyber expert schemes and opened the new Cyber Defence School (CDS). These took place on the sidelines of an Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) visit to Stagmont Camp, which was hosted by Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How. During the visit, ACCORD members were briefed on MINDEF and the Singapore Armed Force (SAF)’s cyber defence set-up. This visit follows the launch of Digital Defence as the sixth pillar of Total Defence on 15 February 2019.
To develop a highly skilled cyber workforce, MINDEF/SAF have created the uniformed Command, Control, Communications and Computers Expert (C4X) vocation for military personnel, and Defence Cyber Expert (DCX) job specialisation for non-uniformed personnel. The C4X and DCX personnel will work together with cyber NSFs (Full-time National Servicemen) to defend MINDEF/SAF’s systems. The CDS will serve as the centre for cyber defence training and education across MINDEF/SAF.
Speaking at the visit, Mr Heng highlighted MINDEF/SAF’s commitment in boosting cyber defence capabilities for the long-term. He said, “Today, the SAF is using networks and a networked force to fight. So inherent in this approach is the use of high-end technology and digital means. This allows us to multiply the effectiveness of our forces. But at the same time, it also opens up us to being attacked by cyber means. This is why we have set up these cyber capabilities in order to defend our systems, to ensure that our systems are resilient against these attacks and that we are operationally ready so that we can protect our sovereignty and give peace of mind to Singaporeans.”
The new cyber expert military vocation, job specialisation for non-uniformed personnel, and the opening of Cyber Defence School are part of MINDEF/SAF’s efforts to strengthen its cyber security eco-system, which is led by the Defence Cyber Organisation (DCO). Cyber defence operations across the defence sector include SAF military networks and systems, MINDEF corporate IT and internet-facing systems, as well as Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA)’s, DSO National Laboratories (DSO)’s, defence industries’, and MINDEF-related organisations’ networks and systems.