SINGAPORE: Rear-Admiral (RADM) Aaron Beng Yao Cheng will take over as Chief of Navy on Mar 23, replacing RADM Lew Chuen Hong.
The change is part of the continuing process of leadership renewal in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), said the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) on Tuesday (Feb 25).
RADM Beng, 38, the current Chief of Staff - Naval Staff, has held various appointments during the course of his 20-year military career.
He was previously Commanding Officer of the frigate RSS Intrepid, Commanding Officer of the Frigate Squadron, Director, Defence Policy Office, as well as Fleet Commander.
RADM Beng joined the SAF in 2000 and was awarded the President’s Scholarship and SAF Overseas Scholarship. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Yale University.
His predecessor, RADM Lew, who became Navy chief in June 2017, has served the SAF with distinction, MINDEF said.
He oversaw maritime security operations during the DPRK-US Singapore Summit and ASEAN Summit in 2018, and led the inter-agency Crisis Management Group that deals with maritime security risks like terrorist threats.
RADM Lew, 43, also drove organisational changes and capability development to improve the Navy's operational readiness, MINDEF said.
This includes the construction of four Type-218SG Invincible-class submarines, commissioning of eight Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessels and initiation of the Multi-Role Combat Vessel project.
"During RADM Lew’s tenure, the RSN furthered Singapore’s defence policy space as well, through co-organising and contributing towards the inaugural ASEAN-China and ASEAN-US Maritime Exercises respectively," MINDEF added.
"And, as co-chairman of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Maritime Security, led the adoption of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) by all 18 ADMM-Plus nations."
MINDEF said it deeply appreciates RADM Lew's "distinguished service and sterling contributions" to MINDEF and the SAF.
RADM Lew said he has not made "firm plans" on his future, adding that his focus is on his current duty as Navy chief to ensure it remains ready.
"The priority now is to ensure a smooth transition over to RADM Aaron Beng, to allow him to take the Navy to even greater heights," he said.