CIS Technician

Military forces rely on accurate and timely information to maintain an operational advantage over their adversaries. The virtual world is the battlespace effective militaries must now control.

Communication and Information Systems Technicians (CISTECH) are experts at providing the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) used to interconnect elements of a military force and defend it from electronic and cyber threats within New Zealand or overseas.

While on base, as a CISTECH you will provide communication support to RNZAF aircraft using radio and satellite systems. You’ll pass information between the aircraft and ground-based IT networks.

You will also ensure deployable ICT is ready to go whenever needed and you are trained, ready to provide and defend operational systems.

A CISTECH can expect to be one of the first to deploy. You will arrive 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 CISTECH will provide ICT, satellite and radio networks to support the functions of command and control, intelligence, logistics and communications. Once setup, you’ll use your training to protect these networks from cyber threats, jamming and interception by adversaries. 

Primary and advanced trade training will be completed early in your career, with core military and industry courses conducted throughout your career. Postings to different RNZAF CIS units every 2-3 years will broaden your experience and consolidate your knowledge with opportunities to deploy on exercises in New Zealand and overseas.

As you advance in rank and with promotion into leadership roles, you will be given greater responsibilities for the management of equipment and personnel.

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 TSV security clearance for this trade.
  • Full Drivers Licence but consideration given for Restricted.

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.

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 designed to prepare you for life 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


Conducted at RNZAF Base Woodbourne over a period of approximately 25 weeks, the CIS Mechanics course will train you in the provision and operation of RNZAF ICT systems including encrypted secure networks and the extension of services through satellite and radio systems.

At the completion of primary trade training, you will undergo Cisco certified courses at the Defence Force IT Academy (Woodbourne) as a pre-requisite for advanced trade training.

Off road and four-wheel driver training will broaden your skill-set, with advanced driver training conducted prior to advanced trade training. These courses will teach you off-road driving techniques for military light and medium-heavy operational vehicles utilised in the deployment of ICT systems on exercises and operations.  


Conducted at RNZAF Base Woodbourne over a period of approximately 17 weeks the CIS Technicians course builds on primary trade training and the experience you have gained in the workplace. It will introduce you to CIS security and concepts to lead and plan ICT support for the deployment of a military force.

Continuous advances in ICT systems and capabilities offer CISTECHs a dynamic and challenging role in the RNZAF. To keep current, you will receive ongoing training on ICT equipment and military training throughout your career, either at your unit or in a formal training environment.

Further tertiary study and qualifications are encouraged and you may have the opportunity to study full-time towards a Bachelor of Engineering or receive financial assistance to undertake part-time study.

The majority of your training will be conducted at RNZAF Base Woodbourne with different postings to CIS units at RNZAF Bases Auckland and Ohakea during your career. There may be options for postings to instructor roles at RNZAF Base Woodbourne or to a Wellington HQ at a senior level.