Air Warfare Specialist

As an Air Warfare Specialist your primary role is to utilise the P-3K2 Orion’s highly advanced sensor systems to collect and analyse information in the aircraft’s area of interest. To achieve this, you’ll be responsible for the effective operation of a number of high-tech onboard systems including the radar, electronic surveillance, electro-optics, magnetic anomaly detector and acoustic sensor systems.

Your role will include processing, analysing, classifying and filtering the information gathered prior to it being used by your fellow crew members to aid in the tactical employment of our aircraft and to guide civilian and military response units. You will be involved in a range of tasks including Search and Rescue Operations, Military Operations, Fisheries Patrols, Airborne Surveillance and Military Exercises.

You will also be expected to carry out tasks common to all aircrew positions, including flying support, human and crew resource management, teamwork, mission support, and aircraft-related tasks such as monitoring of aircraft systems and emergency procedures.

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 17 years or older.
  • Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain TSV security clearance for this trade.

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.
  • Ability to pass the RNZAF Swim Test.

(12 weeks) Location: RNZAF base Woodbourne (near Blenheim)

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

Following 12 weeks basic military training at RNZAF Base Woodbourne, you’ll be required to pass a four-week Corporal Qualifying Course to confirm your rank as Acting Corporal. You’ll then attend an eight-week Combined Non-Commissioned Officer Aircrew Course, primarily at RNZAF Base Ohakea, before beginning training in your specialist role.

The Air Warfare Specialist Course begins with a seven-month residential course covering electronic and airspace theory, computer management, aircraft emergency procedures, security, general aircraft systems, data handling, radar systems and electro-optics. Your flying is carried out on both the Kingair and Orion aircraft. The second phase of training is a five-week operationally focused course on board the Orion with other aircrew to help you form a well-coordinated team focused on Orion operations.