Effective employment of Information Technology (IT) can offer a military force a significant operational advantage.  Communication and Information Systems Officers (CISOs) are experts in the employment of high-tech IT systems designed to interconnect elements of a military force.

As a CISO you will be responsible for leading personnel and IT systems to support operations wherever the RNZAF is deployed.

At an Air Force Base, CISOs command teams of specialist CIS Technicians.  These teams provide communicating support to RNZAF aircraft using satellite and radio systems to pass information between the aircraft and ground-based IT networks.

You will be responsible for ensuring your team is ready to deploy whenever needed, ensuring equipment is serviceable and personnel under your command are trained and available to perform their duties.

A CISO can expect to be one of the first to deploy, arriving ahead of the main force to establish vital communication with headquarters (HQ) and to set up other critical information systems for use by the deploying force.

While deployed, a CISO will direct the establishment of IT, satellite and radio networks that support the functions of command and control, intelligence, logistics and communications. Once setup, these networks need to be protected from cyber threats, jamming and interception by adversaries. Your knowledge of cyber-defence and electronic warfare will be critical to safeguarding our operationally sensitive information.

After successful completion of Initial Officer Training, you will take your first command appointment as a section commander in charge of a team of CIS Technicians at RNZAF Base Auckland or RNZAF Base Ohakea.

Completion of military training and industry courses will further develop your knowledge, and changing job roles every 2 – 3 years will help broaden your experience.  There will be opportunities to deploy on exercises in New Zealand and overseas which are designed to prepare you to lead on military operations.

As you gain experience and move up in rank you will be posted to the operational HQ in Trentham or to the strategic HQ in Wellington.  There you will apply your specialist knowledge to help plan overseas operational deployments and manage projects to introduce new technology for use by the NZ Defence Force.

Throughout your career there will be opportunities to study for career-relevant tertiary and industry qualifications, with opportunities to be posted overseas.

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 Officer training Course you will be paid as a Recruit (see attached pay table). On completion of  your Recruit Course you will be paid as a Pilot Officer 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.
  • Must have a restricted Class 1 manual driver's licence.

You need a minimum of a Level 6 Diploma in Electronics and Computer Technology or Telecommunications. To be more competitive a Bachelor of Info Science or BBS/BSC majoring in Computer Science, Info Systems, Info Technology, Computer System Engineering, Internet Systems or Software Engineering.

GIS is available to graduates or students in their final year of study toward a bachelor degree in the following areas; computer network engineering, cyber security, telecommunications, business information systems and electrical engineering.

The intent of the scheme is to reimburse the cost of your tertiary studies over four years of service.  Reimbursements will be specified in an Offer of Service.  There is no return of service obligation associated with the scheme.  The GIS will be awarded to qualifying Direct Entry applicants on a competitive basis.

RUS is available to Year 13 and undergraduate students.  The Air Force will fund your tertiary studies and provide an annual living allowance on a 'year by year' return of service basis.  Qualifying areas of study for a Communication and Information Systems (CIS) Officer include bachelor degrees in computer network engineering, cyber security, telecommunications, business information systems and electrical engineering.

Applicants must meet pre-requisite qualifications for entry into their chosen course of study.  Selection will be on a competitive basis.

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

Upon successful enlistment into the Air Force you’ll be posted to RNZAF Woodbourne base to complete the Joint Officer Induction Course (JOIC) – a seven-week, full-time course.

All NZ Defence Force (NZDF) Officer Cadets are required to complete this course which is designed to introduce the basic individual military skills required to continue on to your respective service Officer training courses. The course is designed to give you a basic level of military skills including field-craft, weapon handling, navigation, drill, battle-craft, communications and an introduction to leadership. It is during JOIC that you will be introduced to the standards and discipline demanded of all members of the NZ Defence Force and the ethos and values required to be an Officer in the NZDF.

Upon successful completion of the JOIC, you will remain at Woodbourne but be posted to the Initial Officer Training Course to commence the 22 week course starting in either January or July. Here you’ll find out if you’ve got what it takes to be in the Air Force, and 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 Initial Officer Training, you will take your first command appointment as a section commander in charge of a team of CIS Technicians. Regular field training activities will play an important role in focusing your leadership skills, while continual personal study and job-specific industry courses will help further develop your knowledge as an IT professional.

As your career progresses you can expect to be trained in advanced organisational leadership, IT systems development and project management methodologies. You will have the opportunity to complete funded tertiary studies and train abroad with foreign military forces.

Aeronautical engineering training at RNZAF Base Woodbourne will give you a broad understanding of the design, construction, maintenance and operating standards the Air Force adheres to in order to fly military aircraft.

Completion of specialist CIS officer training with the Australian Defence Force will introduce you to operational CIS planning and prepare you to lead specialist teams on deployed operations.

Within New Zealand you will train at RNZAF Base Woodbourne and can expect to be posted to RNZAF Base Auckland and/or RNZAF Base Ohakea. Posting to the operational HQ in Trentham and the strategic HQ in Wellington will occur as you advance in rank.

Components of CIS officer training are conducted in Australia. You will be able to apply for overseas courses or postings as they become available throughout your career.