The turning point
One afternoon in 1977, the second year into his service, Chief Cletus was the duty officer in charge of his shift at Tengah Airbase when he witnessed a pilot losing control of a plane.
“When you see an aircraft coming right at you, and you see it dropping, and then you see a ball of flame, your heart misses a beat”, recounts Chief Cletus.
“I realised that it was even more hazardous because we had to wade through a waist-high swamp just to reach the pilot, carrying an extinguisher.”
For him, that was the turning point in preparing for a long career with the service.
“You prepare yourself, you condition yourself, and many times it prepares you to make quick decisions, under very short, stressful times,” he said.