Intelligence Officer

As an Intelligence Officer, you will decipher and analyse a wide variety of information to help inform Modern Air Operations. This will include planning, analysing, evaluating and fusing information in the context of the operation or activity you are supporting. Ultimately the result of an Intelligence Officer’s assessment helps to ensure the safety and security of our people and the operations we are conducting at home and overseas.

In the broader Intelligence Officer role you will be involved in functions such as the production of all-source intelligence products, planning support activities for Air Operations and the review and amendment of intelligence policy. You will also be involved in the management of intelligence personnel, development and support of Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability, mission planning, managing projects, security and intelligence processes and outputs.

All Intelligence Officer will be deployed on operations, supporting the aircrew team and holding responsibility for co-ordinating and delivering critical intelligence support to the operation. This will include application of analytical thinking, analysis, preparation, co-ordination and implementation of intelligence functions associated with the conduct of Air Operations.

Your role will see you having a high degree of computer literacy; utilising a variety of computer based systems and applications. This will include both web based applications as well as digital data libraries, applications and tools.  Technology and learning are staple aspects of your job with constant challenges only another mission away.

You will usually work in a secure environment with a close knit, highly motivated team who are very mission focused. As an Air Force we are always ready to respond, with Intelligence support being a 24 hour job, you may deploy at short notice and operate in various locations throughout the world. This offers diverse, challenging and rewarding opportunities.

You will be employed on an Operational Squadron preparing, co-ordinating and presenting intelligence briefs, conducting debriefs and providing advice to Squadron members and commanders. This will involve liaising with various stakeholders and ensuring effective intelligence support is implemented to support the mission.

You will manage the development, co-ordination and delivery of intelligence products to your assigned Squadron and supporting the various air-related activities relevant to New Zealand’s interests. You will analyse intelligence received from various sources and interpret the significance of this data to Air Force operations.

All Intelligence Officers 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 training and have you working alongside aircrew and other intelligence staff.

At times you may be called upon to deploy on some of these operations at short notice and to work long shifts. The role of an Intelligence Officer is varied and dynamic. You may be supporting an Economic Zone Patrol around New Zealand one day, and deployed overseas the next working a multi national exercise involving aircraft, ships and land forces.

Intelligence Officers operate across the strategic, operational and tactical environments. At all rank levels you will interact with members of other squadrons, especially aircrew trades and specialisations, as well as with members of the Army, Navy and wider Government Agencies. Your role may see you working alone or as part of a small team focused on the task at hand.

You will initially be employed at 230 (Mission Support) Squadron in Auckland or Ohakea, responsible for mission support to RNZAF Air Operations. You will be assigned to one of the flying squadrons for up to four years.  During that time you will complete deployments and operations both in New Zealand and overseas. In time you may also complete six to twelve month exchanges with other New Zealand Defence Force and allied units.

As you develop experience you will be posted to other New Zealand locations, including Wellington. Options for overseas posts are also feasible along with ongoing opportunities for deployment.

As an experienced Intelligence Officer your career will increasingly involve time at Defence Headquarters, Wellington supporting the operational and strategic decision making. You will also develop both your leadership and management skills that are critical elements to becoming the Intelligence Section Commander; responsible for all Intelligence Officers at 230 SQN. As you develop a wider range of expertise; knowledge and skill you could be selected to become Flight Commander Mission Support Flight (MSF) running the entire Intelligence team supporting RNZAF Air Operations.

Careers in Defence intelligence policy, training, management are also available along with employment in both the Operational and Strategic Headquarters’ staff.

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 an Officer Cadet (see attached pay table). On completion of your Initial Officer Training Course you will be paid as a Pilot Officer and your pay will continue to increase as your career progresses.

  • You must be 19 years or older on date of enlistment.
  • Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain TSV security clearance for this trade.
  • You must pass a full Psychological Assessment.

A university Bachelors degree is required.

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

There is a return of service obligation on completion of the overseas Intelligence Officer Training Course.

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 15 week Initial Officer Training Course. 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

After successful completion of your Initial Officer Training Course, you will gain experience in the RNZAF Intelligence workplace while your Security Vetting is processed. This will be at RNZAF Base Auckland or RNZAF Base Ohakea.

Your on the job training will involve supporting RNZAF Air Operations. Within six to twelve months of service you will attend Air Intelligence Officers’ Course overseas, usually in Australia. This is a six month course that provides the core component of your Intelligence Officer training.

The course culminates in a major exercise that will test your capacity and competency to support Air Operations in a complex warfare environment.

On return you will be assigned to an RNZAF Squadron where you will start putting your skills to work supporting RNZAF Air Operations.

There are continuous learning opportunities throughout your career that include both professional and general military courses in New Zealand and overseas.

As well as the courses listed above, at some stage during your career you will be required to complete a Flight Commanders Course. This course lasts two weeks at RNZAF Base Woodbourne and continues your training in command, leadership and management.

To become a Flight Commander, all officers are required to complete further courses covering service writing, staff skills and professional military education before being eligible for promotion beyond Flight Lieutenant.

There are also two advanced training courses for senior officers at the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College at Trentham Military Camp (Wellington). Both courses comprise a mixture of visiting lecturers, tutored discussion groups, visits and individual study to give you the skills you need to progress your career.

All RNZAF Intelligence Officers must complete the Intelligence Officers Course to qualify.

Thereafter 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.

You will initially be employed at 230 Squadron in Auckland or Ohakea, with employment at other NZDF locations throughout your career. During this time you will have opportunities to be employed in various Defence Joint Service environments and potentially overseas.