Woo Xianxiang Gerald

Senior Officer (Ground Operations) Woodlands Command, ICA
Gerald graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental) at National University of Singapore (NUS).

My job

My job is to assist the Deputy Commander in managing ground operations at Woodlands checkpoint. Some of my responsibilities include proposing, conducting and embarking on projects to improve checkpoint processes and operations. I also review operational procedures and manage customers’ feedback. I work closely with the other Home Team agencies to keep Singapore safe and secure.

How I got my job

During the panel interview conducted by ICA’s senior management, I was asked to share on what I knew about ICA. In order to understand my personality and suitability for the job, I was asked to share on my personality traits and hobbies. One of the trickiest questions asked was why I chose ICA amongst the other Home Team agencies. I believe the honest reply I gave convinced the panel of my desire to join ICA.

Training and support

Newly appointed officers will undergo a 12- week Senior Officer Course at the Home Team Academy. Upon being posted to a checkpoint as a Duty Officer, I was attached to a mentor to undergo on-the-job training to familiarise myself with the checkpoint’s operations. After gaining experience, I was assigned the role of Staff Officer for Ground Operations. 

My motivation at work

I enjoy my job as it is neither mundane nor routine. There are always new challenges to keep me motivated at work. Being stationed at one of the world’s busiest land checkpoints – it handles about 300,000 travellers on a daily basis – the most challenging aspect of my job is ensuring that travellers are cleared expeditiously without compromising on border security.

A recent issue was the increasing number of motorcycles entering Singapore – with the increase, there was a need to increase the clearance capacity of Woodlands checkpoint. One way to do so was to convert the Old Woodlands Checkpoint (OWC) car counters and use them for clearing motorcycles during the morning peak hours. This provides an alternative clearance venue and holding space for motorcycles, relieving the motorcycle traffic at the causeway during peak periods.

The initiative optimised the use of existing infrastructure to ease the heavy traffic at the causeway. Working together with my colleagues, multiple trials were performed to identify the best approach. The hard work paid off when travellers were pleased with the concept as waiting time was reduced for the motorcyclists.

Some advice

One must be prepared to be able to multitask due to the dynamic job scope, as well as provide good service without compromising on security.