Airborne ordnance and Armament equipment are the materials that convert aircraft from work vehicles into combat weapons. Being an Armament Technician in the Air Force is demanding and carries great responsibility. This varied role includes being responsible for maintaining aircraft armament systems, military fire arms, explosives demolition, countermeasures, guided missiles and general munitions support for our fleet of aircraft.
This is a role that provides a diverse work environment from working within a component servicing bay to the set-up and control of an air weapons range.
Job on Base
As an Air Force Armament Technician, you will be responsible for maintaining and fault finding armament electrical, mechanical and pneumatic systems such as bomb racks and launching systems, rescue hoists, electronic control systems and guided weapons. You will also be required to manage stockpiles of pyrotechnics and explosives; and loading and arming aircraft weapons systems for operational tasks. You will be expected to perform aircraft ground handling and aeronautical maintenance duties.
The servicing, storing and testing of the full range of military firearms will be an essential part of your trade, as will the issuing of ammunition and maintenance of ground weapons ranges.
During your career, you will be given opportunities to work in Base Armament and Munitions Preparation Sections, Number 5 Squadron, Number 6 Squadron (which includes duties on NZ Navy Ships) and EOD Squadron duties.
Job on Deployment
Armament tradesmen deploy in NZ and overseas to provide armament support to RNZAF Squadrons. You will be responsible for the serviceability of aircraft armament systems and for the preparation and loading of aircraft weapons and munitions. You will also be responsible for the storage, handling and transport of explosives and the care, maintenance and security of personal weapons.
As an EOD operator you may also be tasked with EOD duties within a Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal environment.
Armament Technicians deploy on board NZ Navy ships, supporting helicopter activities. You may also deploy in support of number 40 SQN (C-130 Hercules) and number 3 SQN (Iroquois helicopters and soon the A109 and NH-90 helicopters).
As you gain experience and progress within your trade, you will be appointed to positions where you will be responsible for the supervision of squadron armament sections, armament component servicing bays or munition preparation areas. Armament Technicians are also required to work in technical administration sections to ensure that airworthiness standards are maintained on the squadrons and in the RNZAF as a whole.
The opportunity also exists for Armament Technicians to deploy on Royal New Zealand Navy ships in support of seaborne helicopter operations, and to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron, and to the Defence Munitions Management Group.
You are responsible for the personnel under your command, including the assessment of personnel performance, mentoring, personnel development planning, and the maintenance of discipline. You will also be responsible for compliance with munitions and weapon security regulations.
Careers in the Air Force are well-rewarded, as well as being diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, you will see your salary rise accordingly.
While undertaking initial Recruit Course you will be paid as a Recruit (see attached pay table). On completion of your Recruit Course you will be paid as an Aircraftsman and your pay will continue to increase as your career progresses.
- You must be at least 17 years of age.
- Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain CV security clearance which is the minimum requirement for this trade.
You must have achieved NCEA level 2 with a minimum of 12 credits in level 2 Science.
Upon successful enlistment into the Air Force you will be posted to RNZAF Base Woodbourne (near Blenheim) for your Recruit Course. Here you will do 12 weeks of basic military training to find out if you’ve got what it takes to be in the Air Force, and learn various subjects including:
- Organisation and Administration
- RNZAF Customs and Protocol
- Drill and Parades
- Military Field Skills and Weapon Training
- First Aid, and Search and Rescue Techniques
- Physical Fitness
- Teamwork and Self Discipline
Aeronautical Engineering Fundamentals Course
After your Recruit Course you will complete a full-time 17 week Aeronautical Engineering Fundamentals Course at RNZAF Base Woodbourne. This course covers:
- Personal Qualities and Attitudinal Expectations in the Aviation Workplace,
- Aviation Workplace Safety,
- Aeronautical Engineering Trade Science and Administration,
- Aeronautical Engineering Tooling and Processes,
- Aeronautical Components/Systems, and
- Maintenance Practices.
This course is a requirement for all technical trades within the RNZAF and sets you up well for your career as an aviation technician.
Primary Trade Training
The Aeronautical Engineering Fundamentals Course is followed by a 27-week full-time Armament Mechanic course, also at Woodbourne. This course will provide you with the fundamental skills to become an Armament Mechanic. After completing the course, you’ll return to an operational unit on either RNZAF Base Auckland or Ohakea to consolidate your skills in the workplace before commencing your Armament Technician Course. It is during this time that a typical Armament Mechanic will be moved around different work areas in order to provide them with a wide grounding in Armament skills before commencing their Technicians training.
Advanced Trade Training
The Armament Technician Course is a 13-week fulltime course at RNZAF Base Woodbourne that will further develop your skills as an RNZAF Armourer. After graduating, you will return to a base as a qualified trade person.
As your experience grows, there are a number of post graduate courses to focus your talents in various specialised fields. These courses include; Explosive Ordnance Disposal , Range Safety, Examiner and Inspector of Explosives and Explosive Facility Test Certifier.
RNZAF armament trade training is conducted at RNZAF Base Woodbourne, near Blenheim. Areas of training that are common to the Army, Navy and Air Force are being consolidated with certain aspects of armament training being conducted at Trentham Camp.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal training and Explosive Ordnance theory and regulations are examples of common training conducted at Trentham Camp. Over time more generic training courses will be provided in this manner.