LTA Ayush Das is a trainee at the Fighter Wings Course under the NATO Flying Training in Canada (at time of publication). The SAF Merit Scholar will be pursuing a Bachelor of Science in International Relations course at the London School of Economics in 2021.
Like many airmen and women from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), Lieutenant (LTA) Ayush Das was passionate about aviation since childhood. However, as much as he loved planes and everything related to them, the notion of joining the Air Force never crossed his mind back then. It wasn't until his instructors at the Singapore Youth Flying Club shared their experiences in the RSAF with him that he saw the organisation as a possible career choice.
For LTA Ayush, having previous and current employees advocating the RSAF wholeheartedly is a sure sign that the organisation is a great place to work at. “The camaraderie they shared, the challenges they went through, the sacrifices they made, all for the singular purpose of defending Singapore to the best of their ability – these experiences really resonated with me,” LTA Ayush said.
“After doing my research, from a clueless high school student who had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, I became the surest I had ever been that I wanted to be a fighter pilot in the Air Force.”
He added, “I also knew that the RSAF works with other Air Forces around the world. The opportunity to interact with our counterparts and learn from them, while enhancing our defence diplomacy at the same time, was very interesting to me.
“Before I made my final decision, I looked into what each Service's mission was, and found that the RSAF's aligned with mine. As a fighter pilot, I will be the tip of the spear in defending Singapore's skies – having that ability to make a difference in Singapore's safety as the first line of defence cemented my decision.”
A Bright Future
LTA Ayush, who is currently on the Fighter Wings Course under the NATO Flying Training in Canada, was awarded the SAF Merit Scholarship in 2019 and will be pursuing International Relations at the London School of Economics in 2021. He will experience the camaraderie and pivotal operations of the RSAF first-hand when he returns from the United Kingdom in a few years' time.
“With the opportunity to study overseas with people from all over the world, I believe I will benefit from the breadth of experiences and views that I would otherwise not have been privy to.”
He felt that having an academic background in International Relations will build a strong foundation for him as an Air Force officer.
“The primary mission of the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) is to enhance Singapore's peace and security through ‘deterrence and diplomacy'. Having a formal education in that subject will allow me to analyse issues in a more thorough way through the principles and frameworks that I will be learning in university,” he elaborated.
Having a world view will help in his career, but for LTA Ayush, nothing beats the feeling of being up in the air and being in command of a finely tuned machine.
“I am looking forward to sitting in the cockpit of a real fighter jet and flying it once I return to the RSAF! But more than that, I am looking forward to being entrusted with responsibilities that truly allow me to make a positive impact on peoples' lives,” he exclaimed.
An Air Force officer will be expected to take on a variety of roles and responsibilities such as managing an operational squadron, staff roles in headquarters to manage policies, and working with the other Services.
“These wide-ranging opportunities are exactly why I am so excited to complete my studies and come back to do what I can for this organisation, to the best of my ability.”
LTA Ayush urged aspiring individuals to join him in the RSAF. “If you are looking for a challenging career with limitless opportunities for you to contribute and grow, and you feel a sense of duty towards the country and its people, this is the career for you because it is that sense of duty that will keep pushing you forward.”