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Test your skills at home and overseas as you learn how to produce accurate intelligence from imagery, electronic signals and geospatial information.

  • Service
    Air Force
  • Specialisation
    Intelligence, IT and Communications
  • Location
  • Starting Salary
  • Upcoming Intake
    09 September, 2019
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About the role

As an Intelligence Specialist you will specialise in either Imagery, Geospatial or Electronic Warfare. Your specialisation will be determined through an assessment process, matching up your capabilities and strengths to the right specialisation.

Job on base

You will work with aircrew and Intelligence Officers in the preparation and planning for missions. This includes researching, preparing, producing and collating mission data, presenting oral and written reports as well as preparing visual aids for briefing purposes.

You will maintain computerised intelligence databases which involves inputting, storing and retrieving information. You will also interpret and analyse all forms of intelligence data to produce electronic warfare, geospatial and imagery-related reports and products in support of a broad range of Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) maritime, land and air operations.

In order to support this and following Recruit training, you will initially attend a Basic Air Intelligence course. Depending on your specialisation, you will be selected to attend intensive training in either electronic warfare, geospatial or imagery analysis followed by a period of consolidation at 230 Squadron to hone your newly developed skills. Throughout your career, you can expect to further extend your skillsets in specialist areas.

Job on deployment

All Intelligence Specialists will have the opportunity to deploy with squadrons on exercises or operations. You will 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 specific specialisation (Imagery; Geospatial or Electronic Warfare) and have you working alongside aircrew and other intelligence staff.

At times you may be called upon to deploy on operations at short notice and to work shifts. Such is the varied and dynamic nature of the role that no day is ever the same as an Intelligence Specialist. You may be supporting a Economic Zone Patrol around New Zealand one day, and deployed overseas the next working a multi national exercise involving aircraft, ships and land forces.

My job is very diverse. I never have a day that’s the same.

I really enjoy doing the humanitarian aid and disaster relief planning because you feel like you're helping and making a difference in the world.

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; home of the RNZAF Intelligence Trade and responsible for mission support to RNZAF Air Operations. At 230 Squadron you will be part of the Mission Support Flight (MSF) team working within the Imagery, Geospatial or Electronic Warfare Sections. You can expect to spend at least six to eight years at 230 Squadron during which time you will support operations and deployments both overseas and within New Zealand.

Over your career you may also complete six to twelve month exchanges with other NZDF and allied units. Options for overseas posts are also feasible along with ongoing opportunities for deployment. Intelligence Specialists continue to grow their skills throughout their career and will increasingly become involved in the management and coordination of staff; rising to become a Section Commander and ultimately potentially head up the Intelligence Team at 230 Squadron.

Upon successful enlistment into the Air Force you’ll be posted to RNZAF Base Woodbourne (near Blenheim). Here you’ll 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

After successful completion of your Recruit Course, it is likely you will gain experience in the RNZAF Intelligence workplace while your Security Vetting is processed. Subsequently, you will attend a Basic Air Intelligence Training Course of approximately four weeks duration, held at RNZAF Base Auckland. You will be educated on the New Zealand and Military Intelligence Communities, security principles and be introduced to specialist intelligence techniques on this course.

Having completed your Intelligence Training Course, you will then commence on your specialist training course. The duration and location of your training is dependant upon the specialisation to which you are streamed, but in most cases it will involve several weeks to months of overseas based training. No matter what specialisation you are selected for, your training will provide the theory, analytical and practical skills that will enable you to capably perform a variety of tasks within the Defence intelligence community as analysts.

There will be various ongoing training courses relevant to your specialisation to attend throughout your career. This may range from courses in New Zealand through AUT or industry courses, through to highly specialist training overseas. You will also spend your career working alongside other agencies and wider Government where you will learn about helping maintain the economic and security interests of New Zealand.

You will also have the opportunity to attend promotion leadership courses where your ability to manage teams and develop yourself as an individual is enhanced while networking with other people of a similar age and experience throughout the Air Force and Defence Force.

On-going specialist training is the norm, enabling you to grow as a professional and as an individual, enhancing your ability to interpret, display and explain complex data. 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.




Starting Salary


Higher Rank

Benefits and allowances

On top of your basic salary you can expect something called Military Factor. This provides you with significant extra financial rewards because of the commitment you've made to serve your country.

When comparing your salary to a civilian career, it is worth remembering that there are many additional benefits in the Air Force that will make your money go further.

Free medical and dental
Access to subsidised equipment on base
Subsidised food on base
Competitive superannuation, up to 4% with KiwiSaver
Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Entry requirements

Fitness and medical
Period of Service
  • You must be 17 Years 8 Months or Older on Date of Enlistment
  • Be an NZ Citizen
  • Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain TSV security clearance for this trade.
  • You must pass a full Psychological Assessment
  • Complete a 10 year background history check that can be checked with the New Zealand authorities to obtain high level security clearance.

You must have achieved NCEA level 2 with a minimum of 12 credits in level 2 Science.

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

  • 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 24 month Return of Service associated with the Imagery Specialisation that commences from the completion of your Primary Trade Course.

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