Combat system specialist

As a Combat System Specialist you will seek, intercept and interpret information from other ships, aircraft and submarines within the ship’s area of operations and provide it to Command.  As a Combat System Specialist you will use state of the art sensors and satellite based systems to gather information which will allow Command to act – whether to intercept pirates or drug smugglers, check fishing boats for quota compliance, conduct a search and rescue, hunt terrorists and weapons smugglers or let the whale pass by.

A Combat System Specialist does not have a set role when posted to shore but can be called upon to conduct Operational trade based tasks. This increases the variety of roles and areas within which you may be posted. One of these roles may be the Base Quartermaster in which you are responsible for incoming and outgoing activities at the main gate of the Devonport Naval Base.

As a Combat System Specialist you will spend a significant part of your career at sea. Whilst at sea, you are required to work shifts in the Operations Room, where they complete specialist duties. In addition, those onboard HMNZ Ships are required to perform general tasks, anytime, anywhere to assist with the functioning of the ship. During “Action Stations” at sea, Combat System Specialists will participate in Damage Control exercises, and Man Overboard Drills, and may expect to participate in Boats Drills, fire the 50 Calibre Machine Gun and the Phalanx Close In Weapon System remotely from the Operations Room, Boarding Party, Force Protection Operations, and  Replenishment at Sea Operations. Additional tasks alongside include embarking stores, ammunition, fuel and food, and the completion of frequent overnight duties on a rotational basis. As the ship becomes ones ‘home away from home’, each sailor is also responsible for the cleanliness of both their work and living space.

Combat System Specialists also undergo training in general seamanship tasks, such as slipping and berthing, boat operations, anchoring, underway replenishment, and upper deck maintenance and ship’s husbandry. Training occurs at various levels throughout the Combat System Specialist career. As you gain more experience you will have the chance to specialise in either above water or underwater detection. 

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 SV 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 completion of basic training you will be provided with a brief period of leave at the end of which you will return to the Recruit Training School and conduct your Basic Branch Training (BBT). This is where you will develop your skills which are specific to your trade and allow you to be posted to the fleet on successful completion of BBT. As a result of the specialist training received, Combat Systems Specialists also develop faster reaction times, improved retention and memory, excellent observational techniques and improved attention to detail.

As a very specialist role it is essential to ensure that training as maintained. This will require the Navy to continuously develop your skills as a CSS and provide opportunities through promotion to further your skills specific to your trade.

Many opportunities exist for CSS to develop specialist skills. Within SONAR or RADAR specialists there are also opportunities to learn a variety of other skills through discussion with your Divisional system. 

As a CSS you will be predominantly posted to ship onboard one of the Navy warships. Alternatively you may be posted to shore which would predominantly be based at Devonport Naval Base.