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Military intelligence is a fascinating area of our operations and you will be at the heart of it, interpreting intelligence data on a wide range of missions at home and overseas.

  • Service
    Air Force
  • Specialisation
    Intelligence, IT and Communications
  • Location
    Auckland, Ohakea, and Wellington
  • Starting Trade Training
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About the role

As an Intelligence Officer, you will interpret and analyse a wide variety of information to help inform modern air operations. This will include analysing, evaluating and fusing information in the context of the operation or activity you are supporting. Ultimately the result of an Intelligence Officer’s assessment helps better inform decision making for tactical, operational or strategic commanders and to ensure the safety and security of our people and the operations we are conducting at home and overseas.

In the broader Intelligence Officer role you will be involved in functions such as the production of all-source intelligence products and the review and amendment of intelligence policy. You will also be involved in the management of intelligence personnel, development and support of Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, fixed wing transport or rotary wing capabilities, mission planning, managing projects, security and intelligence processes and outputs.

Intelligence Officers will likely be deployed on operations, supporting a platform or as part of a wider air operations team, holding responsibility for co-ordinating and delivering critical intelligence support to the operation. This will include the application of analytical thinking, analysis, preparation, co-ordination and implementation of intelligence functions associated with the conduct of Air Operations.

Your role will see you having a high degree of computer literacy; utilising a variety of computer based systems and applications. This will include both web based applications as well as digital data libraries and tools. Technology and learning are staple aspects of your job with the next challenge only another mission away. You will also have strong public speaking skills, briefing crews and commanders on a day-to-day basis.

You will usually work in a secure environment with a close knit, highly motivated team who are very mission focused. As an Air Force we are always ready to respond, with intelligence support being a 24 hour job, you may deploy at short notice and operate in various locations throughout the world. This offers diverse, challenging and rewarding opportunities.

Job on base

You will be employed on an Operational Squadron preparing, co-ordinating and presenting intelligence briefs and products, conducting debriefs and providing advice to Squadron members and commanders. This will involve liaising with various stakeholders and ensuring effective intelligence support is implemented to support the mission. You will also support the various air-related activities relevant to New Zealand’s interests, analysing intelligence received from various sources and interpret the significance of this data to Air Force operations.

Job on deployment

Intelligence Officers will likely have the opportunity to deploy with squadrons on exercises or operations. You could be called upon to spend time in other countries and experience a diversity of cultures and conditions as you support the activities of the Squadron you are deployed with. Your duties on deployment will draw on your training and have you working alongside aircrew and other intelligence staff.

At times you may be called upon to deploy on some of these operations at short notice and to work long shifts. The role of an Intelligence Officer is varied and dynamic. You may be supporting an Exclusive Economic Zone Patrol around New Zealand one day, and the next deployed overseas working in a multi-national exercise involving aircraft, ships and land forces.

Career progression and training

Career Progression

Basic Training

Job Training

Ongoing Training

Specialist Training

You will initially be employed at 230 (Mission Support) Squadron in Auckland or Ohakea, responsible for mission support to RNZAF Air Operations. Other opportunities include posting to Wellington to support Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand, or Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force, or other Intelligence Organisations. During your career you may be involved in exercises, operations, temporary and permanent postings in New Zealand and also overseas. You may also have the opportunity to complete six to twelve month exchanges with other New Zealand Defence Force and allied units.

As an experienced Intelligence Officer your career will increasingly involve time at operational and strategic Headquarters elements and intelligence units in Wellington, supporting operational and strategic decision making. You will also develop both your leadership and management skills that are critical in advancing to become a senior intelligence leader.

RNZAF Officer Commissioning Course (ROC)

(26 weeks) Location: RNZAF Base Woodbourne

All individuals selected to become Commissioned Officers in the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) are required to complete this course. It is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and experience necessary for commissioned service and the beginning of a career in leadership. This course will cover various subjects including:

  • RNZAF Customs and Protocol
  • Drill and Parades
  • Military Law
  • Military Field Skills and Weapons Training
  • Defence and Strategic Studies
  • Personnel Administration
  • Communication Skills
  • Command, Leadership and Management
  • First Aid

After successful completion of your RNZAF Officer Commissioning Course, you will gain experience in the RNZAF Intelligence workplace while your Security Vetting is processed. This will likely be at RNZAF Base Auckland, but could also be at RNZAF Base Ohakea or in Wellington. Within two years you will attend an Air Intelligence Officers’ Course overseas, usually in Australia or Canada, but may also include the United Kingdom. This is typically a six month course that provides the core component of your Intelligence Officer training. Courses normally culminate in a major exercise that will test your capacity and competency to support Air Operations in a complex warfare environment.

On return you will likely be assigned to an RNZAF Squadron where you will start putting your skills to work supporting RNZAF Air Operations.

There are continual learning opportunities throughout your career that include both professional and general military courses in New Zealand and overseas.

As well as the intital courses, at some stage during your career you will be required to complete the Intermediate Command Courses. These courses last between one and two weeks at RNZAF Base Woodbourne, and is a continuation of your training in command, leadership and management. Once you progress further there are also courses through Command and Staff College to promote to a senior Officer.

All RNZAF Intelligence Officers must complete the Intelligence Officers Course to qualify.

Thereafter specialist training can take a variety of forms from formal classroom based training through to on the job experience either in New Zealand or overseas.

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Salary and benefits

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.


Under Initial Training


Starting Trade Training


Future Potential Earnings

Figures updated on July 1st 2023

Military Factor

Earn a competitive salary while training or learning your trade, along with additional allowances for time spent in the field, at sea, overseas, or deployed on operations.

In addition to salary and allowances, other benefits of joining the New Zealand Defence Force include:

Access to your Service marae or tūrangawaewae

Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Free access to gyms and swimming pools on camp and bases

Opportunities to travel

Free and subsidised medical and dental care

Subsidised food and accommodation on camps and bases

Free and subsidised insurance cover

Help to buy a home and save for retirement

Entry requirements



Fitness and Medical


Period of Service

  • You must be 19 years or older on date of enlistment.
  • Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain TSV security clearance for this trade.
  • You must pass a full Psychological Assessment.

You must hold a Bachelor Degree in Intelligence, Defence or Security Studies, Politics, International Relations, Law, Economics, Geography, Sociology, Anthropology, Religious Studies, Engineering, Computer Engineering/Science, Data or Information Science, or similar.

  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required TSV security clearance for this trade.

Find out if you’re eligible here.

There is a return of service obligation on completion of the overseas Intelligence Officer Training Course.

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