SAF officially launches Digital and Intelligence Service


The DIS will have a service center, four commands, as well as a Digital Ops-Tech Center that will provide the SAF with a rapid reaction force to meet new operational needs at the digital frontier.

At a media briefing on Wednesday, Col. Letchumanan Narayanan, who is leading the implementation of the DIS office, said it will take time to build the new service’s capabilities, citing challenges such as attracting new talent.

“We are currently primarily a (SAF) regular force, we have a good proportion of full-time National Soldiers (NSF) and Defense Executive Officers, but we expect the NSF and NSmen (operational National Soldiers) to grow over time.” he said.

Although he did not disclose the strength of the new service for operational reasons, COL Letchumanan said the bulk of the workforce will come from the military fields expert program, which recruits and trains SAF regulars to provide in-depth expertise and specialization in key areas such as engineering and Intelligence.

There are currently three careers within the program. They are: Command, Control, Communications, Computers Expert (C4X), Military Intelligence Expert, and Digital and Intelligence Systems Engineer.

NSmen with matching talents and relevant civilian expertise may also express interest in serving in the DIS through the Enhanced Expertise Deployment Scheme, which aims to better optimize and maximize human resources to meet operational needs.

In March, MINDEF announced that select NSFs will embark on a new program where they can take modules to earn academic credits at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). contribute to a degree in data science and AI, computer science or computer engineeringwhile serving four years of national service.

“It will be a generation’s work and I think in 10 years you should see a much more powerful DIS, but also still with the same spirit of starting fast and evolving fast, that’s the nature of our work,” said he Colonel Letchumanan.

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