Communications warfare specialist

The primary role of a naval Communications Warfare Specialist is to provide secure, reliable and effective communications using Tactical, Strategic and Information Technology (IT) for the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) within New Zealand and deployments overseas.

Communications Warfare Specialists utilise and administer a variety of specialised networks in a secure classified environment which include, Satellite, LAN/WAN, Radio Networks and Warfare Manoeuvring (Visual Morse Code by flashing light and Tactical flag signalling).

On completion of initial communication training you can be employed at either the Defence Communications Station (DEFCOMMSTA) located in Devonport or on a variety of deployed operational platforms to continue your specialised trade development.

Whilst on a deployed platform you will also have the opportunity to train and be involved in a variety of dedicated teams, which include Force Protection, Boarding Party and Amphibious Task Force Operations.

Due to the requirement of maintaining continuous Communication Networks for the NZDF, all Communications Warfare Specialists are required to work rostered shift rotations.

Whilst at sea you will be responsible for inter-ship and ship-to-shore communications. The responsibility of flags, lights and all outgoing communications of all varieties fall on the shoulders of the Communications Warfare Specialist due to their specialist knowledge.

Careers in the Navy 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 Basic 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 Ordinary Rate 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.
  • You must be free of any criminal convictions.

You must have achieved the NCEA level 1 Literacy and Numeracy requirements.

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 Navy you’ll be posted to Devonport Navy base in Auckland. Here you will do complete your basic training. Find out more about basic training.

On graduation from BCTs you will conduct 24 weeks of Basic Branch Training (BBTs) comprising of:

  • Radio Networking;
  • Visual and Tactical Communications; and
  • IT Industry Training which includes:
  • CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA – NetworkFundamentals)

On successful completion of BBTs you will join the fleet as a Communications Warfare Specialist and continue with On Job Training (OJT). Employment opportunities for Communications Warfare Specialist exist on a rotational basis either ashore, at sea or deployed missions; whether you are carrying out long range Combat missions, conducting Support roles in the pacific, Search and Rescue operations or patrolling NZ’s territorial waters.

Throughout your career you will continue to gain experience and be provided with the resources necessary to work in the Communication, Information and Warfare environment which includes IT industry training through the NZDF IT Academy CCNA 1-4 additional Trade Training as well as Command and Management courses for personal, professional and promotional advancement.

As a Communications Warfare Specialist you will be posted predominantly to either one of our warships or to Devonport Naval Base.