Air Force Officer

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Air Combat Officer
Air Force - General Entrant
Air Force Technician/Tradesperson

 

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

 

Clerical or OrganisingPractical or MechanicalAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5

Commissioned Defence Force Officers provide high level management to support the running of organisational units within the Australian Defence Force.

Air Force officers manage and lead non-commissioned officers and air force personnel in both peacetime and wartime. FutureGrowthModerate

Air Force Officers command, train and motivate Air Force airmen and airwomen for peacetime and wartime tasks. Air Force officers work at the middle and executive management levels within the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Officers specialise in various areas depending on their training and qualifications.

Alternative names: Also known as RAAF Officer.


Specialisations:
Air Defence Officer (Air Force), Ground Defence Officer (Air Force), Security Police Officer (Air Force)

An Air Force officer may specialise as an/a:

Air Combat Officer - uses radar systems to detect enemy aircraft and provide fighter pilots with the tactics to intercept them and engage in combat.

Air Traffic Control Officer (Joint Battlefield Airspace Controller) - manages the safe flow of military and non-military aircraft around Air Force bases and military areas, assisting with flight planning, coordination and control.

Airfield Engineer Officer - manages, assesses, repairs and maintains the operation of Air Force airfields, roads, buildings and engineering services.

Dental Officer - treats and diagnoses tooth and mouth problems of Air Force personnel.

Environmental Health Officer - monitors pollution levels, advises on preventative health measures and develops policies and strategies for maintaining a healthy environment.

Medical Officer - provides health services for Air Force personnel in RAAF hospitals, first aid posts or in emergency situations.

Nursing Officer - provides care to Air Force patients and assists doctors with medical procedures in RAAF hospitals, remote locations or during medical evacuations.

Pilot - flies combat and support aircraft on a variety of missions and roles, conducts flying lessons and carries out planning and administrative duties.

 

Nursing Officer
Nursing Officer
(Source: Defence Jobs)

Knowledge, skills and attributes

To become an Air Force Officer, you would need:

  • meet aptitude and medical requirements
  • willing to accept responsibility
  • ability to lead and motivate others
  • self-discipline and confidence
  • good teamwork skills
  • the ability to give and follow orders
  • IT skills
  • good physical and mental medical fitness
  • excellent communication skills
  • willing to serve anywhere in Australia or overseas
  • at least 17 years of age
  • Australian citizenship

 

Personnel Capability Officer
Personnel Capability Officer
(Source: LifeHacker)

Duties and Tasks

As an Air Force officer, you could:

  • lead a team of non-commissioned officers and airmen / airwomen

  • be responsible for your team in both wartime and peacetime operations

  • command a squadron or unit

  • specialise in combat-related areas such as air combat, intelligence or ground defence

  • specialise in non-combat duties such as legal, medical, finance or supply / logistics areas

  • communicate and cooperate closely with both military and civilian organisations.

Working Conditions

Air Force officers usually work a standard number of hours per week. On local or overseas deployment, hours will vary greatly.

Working conditions for Air Force officers vary greatly, from working in an office to spending extended time in the field. You must be prepared to move anywhere within Australia and overseas, and could be away from your family for long periods of time.


Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an Air Force officer you usually have to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12 with passes in English and three other broad subjects.
To join the RAAF you will need to successfully complete a series of aptitude tests, medical assessments and selection interviews.

If you are successful, there are four different education and training pathways for Air Force officers. You may apply to join the Air Force as a non-degree, direct-entry officer cadet; you may complete a degree through the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA); you may apply as a sponsored undergraduate; or you may apply after completing one of a selected range of specialist degrees. Entry to all officer cadet positions requires the completion of the 17-week Initial Officer Course at RAAF Base East Sale, Gippsland, Victoria. This is followed by specialist training with the RAAF.

Entry to ADFA usually requires you to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12 with passes in English and mathematics, as well as an appropriate score in prerequisite subjects relevant to your chosen area of study. All ADFA students are required to complete a 3-year course of academic study at the academy, followed by single service military training.

Sponsored undergraduates are full-time university students who are currently studying a degree relevant to the Air Force at a recognised tertiary institution. They can apply for sponsored undergraduate entry into the Air Force after having completed at least one year of their degree. Following completion of their specialised degree, they must then complete the 17-week Initial Officer Course before becoming officers in their specialised field.

People who have already completed a specialised degree may apply for direct entry into the Air Force as Graduate Officers. These applicants are required to complete the 17-week Initial Officer Course before undertaking training in their specialised field. Each specialised occupation has its own entry requirements. For full details about this option, contact your nearest Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Additional Information

To enter ADFA, you must be at least 17 years of age and have satisfied entry requirements for a relevant degree at the University of New South Wales or equivalent. Applications usually close in September of the year prior to entry.

RAAF Pilots
RAAF Pilots
(Source: Bundaberg Mail)

Did You Know?

Equivalent Ranks
Item Navy Army Air Force
1 Admiral of the Fleet

Field Marshal Marshal of RAAF
2 Admiral

General Air Chief Marshal
3 Vice Admiral

Lieutenant General Air Marshal
4 Rear Admiral

Major General Air Vice-Marshal
5 Commodore
Brigadier Air Commodore
6 Captain

Colonel Group Captain
7 Commander

Lieutenant Colonel Wing Commander
8 Lieutenant Commander

Major Squadron Leader
9 Lieutenant

Captain Flight Lieutenant
10 Sub-Lieutenant

Lieutenant Flying Officer
11 Acting Sub-Lieutenant

Second Lieutenant Pilot Officer
12 Midshipman

Officer Cadet Officer Cadet
13 Warrant Officer of the Navy

Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army Warrant Officer of the Air Force
14 Warrant Officer

Warrant Officer Class 1 Warrant Officer
15 Chief Petty Officer

Warrant Officer Class 2 Flight Sergeant
16
Staff Sergeant  
17 Petty officer

Sergeant Sergeant
18 Leading Seaman
Corporal Corporal
19

Lance Corporal  
20 Able Seaman

[Private Proficient] Leading Aircraftman
21 Seaman

Private Aircraftman

(Source: Department of Defence)

 

 

Air Combat Officer
   Government and Defence

Clerical or OrganisingPractical or MechanicalAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 4Skill Level 5

 

Officer Aviation (OA) is the term the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) uses to group together all the officers who are responsible for the application of Air Power. In 2018 the RAAF moved away from using the previous “Employment Specialisations” terms of Air Combat Officer, Joint Battlefield Airspace Controller and Pilot and now FutureGrowthModerate uses “Operational Streams” to more accurately describe the roles. The term “Job Types” is used to indicate the environment that the streams perform their duties.

Air Combat Officers manage and organise Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) combat missions, ensuring that missions are successfully completed in the most efficient and safest manner. They make real-time command and control decisions regarding the movements and actions undertaken by combat forces. They perform surveillance and control duties on the ground and in the air to locate and identify air and surface targets,  disseminate this information to associated units, operate mission systems, undertake search and rescue missions, detect and identify warships, illegal fishing boats and merchant vessels, and offer tactical support to combat missions.

Alternative names: Mission Aircrew, ACO

Did You Know?

"The next 10 years [2017 - 2027] will see significant changes in the Air Force as the Service transitions to a networked force. The Air Force seeks to translate an information advantage, enabled in part by information technology, into a competitive warfighting advantage through the robust networking of well informed geographically dispersed forces. The networked Air Force will require highly motivated and professional Air Combat Officers (ACOs) to make real time command and control decisions in a 3-dimensional environment, effectively being a mission manager who will ensure the mission is successfully completed in the most efficient, safe manner.

Following graduation from initial employment training, ACOs will be streamed into one of three specific areas of employment; Air Battle Management (ABM), Air Combat (ACCAL) and Maritime Patrol and Response (MPR). The specific roles undertaken by ACOs within each stream are detailed below.

Air Battle Management

ACOs selected for employment within the ABM stream will perform surveillance and control duties using complex electronic command and control systems in both the ground and air environments. You will operate as part of a team in the Air Defence Ground Environment (ADGE) or in the airborne environment on board the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft. Regardless of the environment, you will operate technically advanced systems including radar, communications, tactical data links and electronic support measures in the accomplishment of your assigned mission. Throughout the conduct of your mission you will operate these systems to detect, locate and identify air and surface targets and disseminate this information using a number of different communication and information systems.

Air Combat

ACOs selected for the Air Combat stream will be employed as aircrew on the F/A-18F Super Hornet. In the Super Hornet, teamed up with the Pilot, you will operate state of the art mission systems including aircraft systems, electronic warfare equipment, sensors including radar and infra red targeting systems and weapons. Roles of the Super Hornet are varied and complex in nature and include air-to-air combat, air-to-ground and air-to-surface weapons employment. You will be at the heart of Australia's Air Combat Capability.

Maritime Patrol and Response

ACOs selected for employment within the MPR stream will perform the duties of a mission commander, otherwise known as a Tactical Coordinator (TACCO) on board the AP-3C Orion. You will operate as part of a crew performing a variety of missions including anti-surface strike, anti-submarine strike, search and rescue; and maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

You will be also be involved in the detection of illegal, maritime activity, counter-piracy operations and even over-land operations providing critical intelligence directly to both conventional and special operations forces. To put it simply, you are an integral part of a team with responsibility for the defence of Australia's sea-gap; and wider areas of strategic interest. With the introduction of the P-8 Poseidon aircraft (in 2018), you will be at the forefront of military aviation technology.

P-8 Poseidon

P-8 Poseidon
(Source: Air Force)

The Future

In the future, ACOs will also be needed to transition emerging capabilities such as Space, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Joint Terminal Attack Control. ACOs will continue to provide essential support and direction to assist in transitioning capabilities that they might not be directly employed in such as the Joint Strike Fighter. ACOs, together with Pilots, will make up an Air Force Battle-space Command and Control personnel group who will be responsible for the direct application of air power in any theatre of operations on a global scale.

ACOs, together with Pilots, are not only the air warriors of today, they are the future leaders of the Air Force."

(Source: UNSW-ADFA)



Working conditions

Air combat officers often work in stressful combat situations and may be required to make decisions that affect the personal safety of others. They work in all types of conditions during combat missions. They work irregular hours and have to do shift work. Air combat officers may work at one of the many RAAF facilities around the state, either in metropolitan or regional areas.

Tools and technologies

Air combat officers use a range of air combat equipment and mission systems including aircraft systems, electronic warfare equipment, radar and infra-red targeting systems and weaponry.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an air combat officer in the Australian Defence Force you can choose from multiple entry pathways. You can apply for:

  • direct entry through the Officer Training School in Gippsland, for people without a degree,

  • a degree program through the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in Canberra,

  • a Defence University Sponsorship in a specifically approved field of study, and complete your undergraduate degree at a university of your choice, or

  • a Graduate Officer position, if you have already completed a university degree in a specialist field such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, law or chaplaincy.



To apply to the Air Force, you will need to undergo a series of written, physical, psychological and medical checks and interviews. You will also need to undergo a National Police History Check and pass the Officer Selection Board.

Successful applicants are required to complete a 17 week Initial Officer Course, followed by an Air Combat Officer (ACO) course at RAAF Base East Sale, in Gippsland, Victoria. Following graduation from the ACO training, air combat officers progress into their chosen specialisation within the Royal Australian Air Force.

You can also become an air combat officer on a part time basis in the Air Force Reserves.

 


General Entrant
  Government and Defence

Practical or MechanicalClerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

Skill Level 3Skill Level 4

 

Air Force general entrants perform a variety of specialist Air Force tasks on the ground and in the air.

Air force general entrants occupy a number of specialist service roles in the operation and support of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). General entrants into the RAAF are able to specialise in one of a number of roles in areas such as aviation, engineering, health-care and science, communications and IT, education, logistics, Future Growth Static hospitality, business and administration, and combat and security. They undertake duties in their specific area of expertise in both peacetime and combat situations, and may travel across the country and internationally in support of RAAF military or general operations.

Specialisations

After initial training, an Air Force general entrant may specialise as an/a:

  • Air Surveillance Operator

  • Airborne Electronics Analyst

  • Airfield Defence Guard

  • Cook

  • Dental Assistant

  • Air Intelligence Analyst

  • Medical Assistant

  • Facilities

  • Air Intelligence Analyst

 

Alternative names: Also known as RAAF General Entrant.


Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • willing to accept responsibility
  • able to lead and motivate others
  • willing to serve anywhere in Australia or overseas
  • Australian citizenship
  • at least 17 years of age
  • meet aptitude and medical requirements

Duties and Tasks

  • Air Surveillance Operator - operates radar systems, high-technology computers, and advanced display and communications systems for air defence.

  • Airborne Electronics Analyst - operates airborne electronic systems to identify ships and submarines, as well as to assist with search and rescue operations.

  • Airfield Defence Guard - maintains security of both Air Force bases and installations, takes part in land search and rescue operations, and instructs base personnel on security matters.

  • Cook - prepares food and distributes it to an entire Air Force base.

  • Dental Assistant - helps with dental procedures, writes reports and manages the accounting and appointment records.

  • Air Intelligence Analyst - Geospatial Intelligence - collects, analyses, stores and distributes intelligence in the form of images of ground force status and operational capability.

  • Medical Assistant - works in Air Force hospitals and Unit Health

  • Facilities to assist registered nurses with care of patients.

  • Air Intelligence Analyst - Signals Intelligence - operates modern communications receiving and analysis equipment in various operational roles.

 

Working Conditions

Air force general entrants encounter a range of working conditions that depend on the type of role they specialise in. Whilst some general entrants such as those involved in administration and public affairs may work in a traditional office environment, others, such as those working in communications may work with highly-technical equipment in a range of settings. Others such as airfield defence guards may be involved in combat situations. Work hours will depend on the type of work undertaken.

Tools and technologies

The tools and technologies used by air force general entrants vary greatly depending on their specialist role. Whilst many are involved with communications systems such as radar, radio and satellite systems, and computer-aided surveillance or information systems, others may work with computers in word processing or data management roles. Some general entrants utilise weaponry in combat situations. All air force personnel are required to wear uniforms.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an Air Force general entrant you usually have to complete Year 10 or equivalent with passes in English and mathematics. However, air intelligence analysts need to complete Year 10 with passes in English, mathematics and science (preferably with physics content), and airborne electronics analysts need to complete Year 11 with passes in English, mathematics and physics.

To become an air force general entrant within the Australian Defence Force (ADF) you must pass the recruitment process and complete Basic Training at the Recruit Training Unit. You will also need to successfully complete a series of aptitude tests, medical assessments and selection interviews [a series of written, physical, psychological and medical checks and interviews]. If you are successful, you will begin your Air Force training with a 10-week recruit course at RAAF Base Wagga in Wagga Wagga, NSW. This will be followed by specialist training.

As different specialisations have different entry requirements, you should contact your nearest Defence Force Recruiting Centre for specific requirements.

Once you have completed Basic Training you undertake Initial Employment Training where you'll learn about your specific role. The length, location and related qualifications of this training depend on the role you will be moving into.

You can join the Air Force through the ADF Gap Year program. You must be between 17 and 24 years old, and have completed year 12 (or equivalent).
You can also join the Australian Defence Force on a part time basis within the Air Force Reserves.

You will also need to provide a National Police History Check.

 

Air Force Technician or Tradesperson
  Government and Defence

Practical or MechanicalClerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 1
Skill Level 2Skill Level 3

 

Air force technicians/tradespeople undertake a range of technical and trade roles in the operation and support of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). They undertake a specific group of duties that depend on and relate to their role, and may include the maintenance and repair of air force technology, or the construction and Future Growth Static maintenance of support structures and military infrastructure. They support the strategic operations and organisational structures of the air force during both peacetime and combat activities, and may travel across the country and internationally in support of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) military and general operations.

Specialisations: Air Force technicians and tradespersons undertake a variety of technical and trades-related jobs in the Air Force, including assisting with the construction and maintenance of Air Force equipment and buildings.

Air Force technicians and tradespeople may specialise as an/a:

  • Aircraft Life Support Fitter

  • Aircraft Structural Technician

  • Carpenter

  • Electrician

  • Fitter and Turner (Ground Mechanical Engineering Fitter)

  • Motor Mechanic (Ground Support Equipment Technician) -

  • Plumber

 

Alternative names: Also known as RAAF Technical and Trade; Air Force Trades

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • at least 17 years of age
  • able to pass applicable medical and aptitude tests
  • willing to accept responsibility
  • enjoy leading and motivating others
  • willing to serve anywhere in Australia or overseas
  • Australian citizenship

Trades
Network Technician
(Source: Defence Jobs)

Duties and Tasks

  • Aircraft Life Support Fitter - ensures all aircraft safety equipment is fully operational, including parachutes, life rafts, anti-gravity suits, flying helmets and breathing apparatus.

  • Aircraft Structural Technician - fixes structural components like wings, fuselage and engine structures on all military aircraft.

  • Carpenter - designs, constructs, maintains and repairs all non-aircraft buildings and equipment, from site planning and excavation to tiling and glazing.

  • Electrician - installs, maintains and repairs power and lighting systems for both industrial and domestic installations, and manages the operation of base emergency power supply.

  • Fitter and Turner (Ground Mechanical Engineering Fitter) - manufactures and modifies tools, jigs and dies. They also test and service ground support equipment and workshop plant machinery, and repair mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems.

  • Motor Mechanic (Ground Support Equipment Technician) - maintains motor transport vehicles, ground support equipment, aircraft arrester systems, marine craft, refuelling equipment and installations.

  • Plumber - installs, maintains and repairs Air Force water systems, including sanitary and sewerage systems, roofing, guttering, hot water systems and gas appliances.

Technician
Leading Aircraftwoman Georgia Armitage, an Aircraft Technician working on F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets at Number 75 Squadron
(Source: Air Force)

Working Conditions

Air force technicians/tradespeople encounter a range of working conditions that depend on the type of role they specialise in. For example, whilst aircraft spray painters work in workshops and aircraft hangers, avionics technicians work on board air force transport aircraft, and fitters and turners may work in a range of locations, depending on the type of work they are carrying out. Their hours also depend on the type of work they undertake.

Tools and technologies

​The tools and technologies used by air force technicians/tradespeople vary greatly depending on their specialised role. Whilst motor mechanics or fitters and turners are involved in the maintenance of mechanical systems, where they use a range of mechanical maintenance tools and testing systems, carpenters on the other hand use hand and power tools. All air force personnel are required to wear uniforms.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an air force technician within the Australian Defence Force you must pass the recruitment process and complete Basic Training at the Recruit Training Unit.
You will undergo a series of written, physical, psychological and medical checks and interviews. You will also need to provide a National Police History Check.


Successful applicants are required to complete just over 10 weeks of Basic Training at the No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU) at the RAAF Base in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.


Once you have completed Basic Training you will undertake Initial Employment Training where you will receive your technical training. You may also have the opportunity to undertake additional specialist training.


The technical training varies and will prepare for your specific role within the Air Force, in areas such as aviation, electronics and telecommunications, or traditional trades. The length, location and related qualifications of this training depend on the role you will be moving into.

Air Force Officer

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Naval Officer

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Urban and Regional Planner

Police Officer

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Diplomat

Public Servant

Coroner

Primary Products Inspector

Tourist Information Officer

Transport Services Officer

Meteorologist

Emergency Disaster Planner

Air Force Officer

WHS Officer

Electorate Officer

Park Ranger

Prison Officer

Fisheries Officer

Postal Worker

Local Government Inspector

Biosecurity Officer

Border Force Officer

Naval Officer

Road Worker

Army Officer

Parliamentarian

Urban and Regional Planner

Police Officer

Community Corrections

Diplomat

Public Servant

Coroner

Primary Products Inspector

Tourist Information Officer

Transport Services Officer

Meteorologist

Emergency Disaster Planner

Air Force Officer

WHS Officer

Electorate Officer

Park Ranger

Prison Officer

Fisheries Officer

Postal Worker

Local Government Inspector

Biosecurity Officer

Border Force Officer

Naval Officer

Road Worker

Army Officer

Parliamentarian

Urban and Regional Planner

Police Officer

Community Corrections

Diplomat

Public Servant

Coroner

Primary Products Inspector

Tourist Information Officer

Transport Services Officer

Meteorologist

Emergency Disaster Planner

Air Force Officer

WHS Officer

Electorate Officer

Park Ranger

Prison Officer

Fisheries Officer

Postal Worker

Local Government Inspector

Biosecurity Officer

Border Force Officer

Naval Officer

Road Worker

Army Officer

Parliamentarian

Urban and Regional Planner

Police Officer

Community Corrections

Diplomat

Public Servant

Coroner

Primary Products Inspector

Tourist Information Officer

Transport Services Officer

Meteorologist

Emergency Disaster Planner

Air Force Officer

WHS Officer

Electorate Officer

Park Ranger

Prison Officer

Fisheries Officer