RNZAF Security Forces

As a member of our Security Forces team, your specialised trade group contributes directly to preparing RNZAF personnel for operational duties, and protecting Air Force aviation assets, whilst both on the Military Air Base at home and deployed overseas. 

Protective Security activities and tasks will see you responsible for include identifying and mitigating  threats to air operations, providing airbase protection (ground defence) and physical security at Air Force sites. The other part of your role is to prepare RNZAF personnel to ensure that they achieve and maintain their individual combat readiness  to effectively support Defence Force operations.

Your role is challenging and varied in that your tasks range from being an instructor to performing protective security patrols across all weather and environmental conditions. Some Security Forces personnel may also specialise as Military Working Dog Handlers, using this capability both at home and abroad. 

On the Military Air Base you will will provide real time security of the RNZAFs aviation assets, conduct protective security patrols, and provide airbase protection (ground defence) and the physical security for aircraft, sites and personnel. You’ll also be part of a team that is trained and equipped to respond immediately to security incidents. Selected personnel can go on to train as Military Working Dog handlers in the Military Working Dog units, providing a unique and important protective security function at Air Force sites.

A large part of your role is instructing RNZAF personnel in individual combat readiness or core military skills. This includes weapons training and live firing, survival skills, Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Defence training and conducting pre-deployment and other military training required for success on operations. Instructional duties will also include being involved with the general military training of Recruits and Officers at RNZAF Base Woodbourne (near Blenheim) as they start their own careers in the RNZAF.

Security Forces personnel maintain the centre of excellence for all drill and ceremonial requirements in the RNZAF.  They provide advice and instruction to the wider Air Force on parades and ceremonial activities.


During operational deployments your responsibilities will be to provide airbase protection (ground defence) and physical security for Air Force installations, aviation assets, aircraft and personnel, including incident response.

All Security Forces personnel are able to deploy in this Airbase Protection (Ground Defence) role. Security Forces personnel will often work in a small team to achieve these tasks. Teamwork is essential for success. During some overseas deployments and exercises you will also work alongside militaries from other nations.

RNZAF aircraft travel domestically and internationally on a regular basis. This often requires Security Forces personnel to travel on board to protect the aircraft, passengers, crew  and  cargo in various environments. You can expect travel to many different countries around the world.

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 SV security clearance for this trade.
  • Hold a Restricted Class 1 Drivers License.

A minimum of 10 NCEA Level 1 credits per subject in Literacy and Numeracy.

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements.

  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Ability to pass the RNZAF swim test.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

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

Security Forces Operator Course
(15 Weeks) Location: RNZAF Base Woodbourne (near Blenheim)

Upon successful completion of basic military training, you'll attend primary trade training. This course covers protective security for RNZAF aircraft, equipment and personnel, aircraft security operations and Military Air Base protective security. You'll learn about security governance, security risk management, how to construct static defences, camouflage and concealment techniques, survival techniques, bush craft, navigation and first aid. These skills will all be consolidated during your field exercise whilst on course. You will be trained in the correct use of all the RNZAF in-service weapons, critical incident management techniques, pyrotechnic handling and basic incident response procedures.

Once you graduate from the Security Forces Operator Course you will be posted to an RNZAF Base to consolidate your skills and gain on-the-job experience. This will be for a minimum of 18 months during which time you may complete 4WD driver training, class two licence training and Shooter Coaching courses.  It is likely you will also get the opportunity to deploy on an exercise or an aircraft security operation either nationally or internationally.

After your on-the-job experience you'll then complete an advanced course, including weapons and drill instruction, more advanced Aircraft Security operations training and Security Forces team leader training, which will qualify you as a Security Forces Specialist. This then allows you to progress your skills in a number of areas, such as attending Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence courses, further specialist security courses, and Purpose Built Range Conducting Officer course. You will undertake regular continuation training to enhance and improve personal development and trade knowledge.

Throughout your career, further professional trade development and training is offered based on your interests and abilities.

You can be posted to any of the three RNZAF bases in Auckland (Whenuapai), Ohakea and Woodbourne after both Primary and Advanced Trade Training. The Military Working Dogs are currently located at RNZAF Base Auckland but once facilities are established they will also operate at RNZAF Base Ohakea.