Major (MAJ) Sim Bao Chen has always been a techie at heart. In junior college, he was the club president of the Robotics Society, and led the school team to win various competitions.
So it seems fitting that the 29-year-old Battery Commander in the 3rd Divisional Air Defence Artillery Battalion is now responsible for the Battery that operates the RBS 70, a portable short-range air defence missile system that helps to safeguard Singapore’s skies.
MAJ Sim is also in charge of the operational deployment, training, welfare and logistics of more than 50 personnel, including full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) and regulars.
“I ensure that we develop each individual, not only professionally but also holistically as a person, so that they emerge from National Service (NS) as confident and capable men.”
As part of the larger Air Defence eco-system, he has been involved in various security operations during high-key events such as the National Day Parade, Asean Summit, and the historic summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un in June last year.
Learning to lead
As a recipient of the Singapore Armed Forces Merit Scholarship in 2009, MAJ Sim pursued a master’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Imperial College London, and was attached to different SAF units and departments during summer breaks.
“By observing the various Commanding Officers whom I was attached to, I was able to conceptualise my leadership philosophy, and hit the ground running when I came back in 2014,” he says.
Leadership development in the SAF is an ongoing process which cultivates both horizontal and vertical leadership skills through professional courses, experience gained from working with and leading diverse and professional teams, as well as exposure to a range of leadership styles in the organisation.
Ever the technology enthusiast, he is excited about inducting new Ground Based Air Defence capabilities and systems to enhance the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s capability to deal with aerial threats.
“I hope to contribute further in transforming the Air Force to fi ght leaner, smarter and more effectively.”