Airborne Tactical Officer

Group: Officer
Job Availability: Full Time

The Role

As a Navy Airborne Tactical Officer (TACCO) you will coordinate and operate systems and weapons on the Kaman SH2G Super Seasprite.  As the ship’s TACCO you are responsible for all tactical aspects of helicopter operations including aircraft navigation, communications, sensors and weapons. While the pilot flies the aircraft, you manage and fight the helicopter.

The TACCO role is for Officers aspiring to challenge and push themselves to new levels. Whenever the Seasprite is launched, the TACCO is responsible for managing and coordinating the mission. With state of the art radar and computer equipment coupled with the core navigation and tactical skills learnt, the TACCO directs and controls the employment of sensors, weapons and crew (pilot and crewman) in the achievement of the mission goals. Whether it is to engage a hostile vessel in the aircraft's key anti-surface warfare role or to attack a submerged submarine under the direction of a warship or another aircraft, the TACCO makes up a key part of the Navy helicopter crew.

Other roles that you could be expected to be involved in are: to carry out an urgent search and rescue mission, or to carry personnel and equipment from ship to shore or between ships mid ocean.

TACCO’s are selected from civilian applicants or you can enter the Navy as a Seaman Officer, train as a Bridge Watch-keeper and then change over to TACCO after four to seven years.


Job on Base

On completion of Junior Officer Common Training, Bridge watching and Flight training you will be posted to 6 Squadron at Whenuapai Air Force Base. Once there you are responsible for the ongoing development and training of all flight crew to ensure the operational readiness of 6 Squadron.


Job on Deployment

Naval Aviation is an integral part of any Ship’s deployed capability.  Recent deployments in the last ten years, beyond the standard ship deployments to SE Asia, have included peace keeping operations in Timor Leste, deployments to the Arabian Gulf as well as disaster relief deployments in the South Pacific and EEZ patrols to the Southern Ocean.  Additionally, there is the potential for deployment as a military officer to any one of the numerous overseas operations the Defence Force is committed to.

Being a TACCO is a full time vocation that will provide you with world class training, a varied and exciting working environment and outstanding opportunities for travel.


Career Progression

Once qualified, you will serve at sea on Naval ships and ashore at 6 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Base Auckland in various tactical and strategic roles. As you career progresses, you can expect promotion to Flight Commander. As the Flight Commander onboard a ship, you will be responsible for all aspects of the ship's helicopter operations for extended periods away from New Zealand. A ship's flight crew usually consists of eight RNZAF technicians, the TACCO, the pilot and a helicopter crewman. The level of responsibility on your part is substantial as you will act as the ship's Aviation Officer, advising the Captain on all aviation matters. You will also act as the ship's Meteorology Officer and be responsible for the well being of the flight deck crew.

Pay & Benefit Details

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 Officer Training you will hold the Rank of  Midshipman (see attached pay table). On graduation from your commissioning course your rank and pay will increase based on your trade speciality and qualification level.

General Requirements

  • 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.

Educational Requirements

You must have achieved NCEA level 2 with a minimum of 18 credits each in level 2 English, Mathematics and a Science.

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

Fitness Requirements

  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.
  • Height limits will apply with the introduction of new or upgraded training aircraft. Individuals will be assessed for height limits as part of the application process.

Period of Service

Your training is some of the most thorough and advanced in the world. On completion of your training, you will be contractually obliged to carry out a return of service to the Navy for 10 years.

Training

Basic Training

All Officers

Initial Officer Training

Upon successful enlistment into the Navy  you’ll complete a five day induction course at Devonport Naval Base before you start the seven week Joint Officer Induction Course (JOIC) at RNZAF Base – Woodbourne. Once you march out of the JOIC you continue with the remaining 15 weeks of Junior Officer Common Training course (JOCT), which is back at the Devonport Naval Base. You will be exposed to various subjects and find out if you’ve got what it takes to be an officer in the Navy!


Joint Officer Induction Course (JOIC)

All NZ Defence Force (NZDF) Officer Cadets and Midshipman 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 will give you a basic level of military skills including field-craft, weapon handling, navigation, drill, sea survival, battle-craft, seamanship, 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 NZDF and the ethos and values required to be an Officer in the NZDF.


Junior Officer Common Training Course (JOCT)

The following are just some of the subject areas covered on JOCT:

  • RNZN customs
  • Drill and parades
  • Military law
  • Weapons training
  • Basic mariner training
  • Defence and strategic studies
  • Communication skills
  • Command, leadership and management


All NZ Defence Force (NZDF) Officer Cadets and Midshipman 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 will give you a basic level of military skills including field-craft, weapon handling, navigation, drill, sea survival, battle-craft, seamanship, 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 NZDF and the ethos and values required to be an Officer in the NZDF.


Upon successful completion of the JOIC, you will be posted to Officer Training School, Devonport to complete the JOCT Course. The JOCT course is 22 weeks in duration (which includes the 7 weeks JOIC) split over three phases:


Phase one – Navy Induction

Trainees are instructed in basic service knowledge, discipline, parade and kit preparation. There is a focus on ‘followership’ and teamwork and on developing a high level of physical and mental fitness.

The aim of this phase is:

  • To ensure that trainees can perform as effective team members
  • To instil the Navy Core Values
  • To develop the competency behaviours required of a Junior Officer
  • To provide the basic skills and knowledge for service in the Navy

Phase two – Sea Qualification and Academic Development

Phase two is focused on fitness for sea and academic development. The training provides trainees with the minimum knowledge and skills necessary to safely post to sea on a Navy Ship. The Sea Qualification Deployment is designed to give trainees an insight into life at sea and for staff to assess trainees in the sea going environment.

The aim is to:

  •     Cement and build upon communal living skills
  •     Gain an appreciation of the roles at sea
  •     Confirm the trainees commitment to life at sea


Phase two also focuses on academic development. Trainees are lectured in Defence Communication topics such as service writing and oral communication. Officers are expected to have an understanding of wider national and defence policies, international relations and maritime doctrine.


Phase three – Leadership

The final phase of JOCT has a strong leadership focus covering both theoretical and practical aspects. The trainees are put through a number of assessments. The assessments are scenario driven and provide the trainees with the opportunity to display their individual and combined skills.

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Job Training

After Junior Officer Common Training (JOCT) you will complete the Officer of the Watch (Bravo) course. The aim of this course is to teach the basic principles and processes of navigation and good bridgemanship, which includes experience in the bridge simulator and culminates in assessments at sea navigating a small naval vessel.

On completion of your OOW(B) course you will spend time aboard a navy ship to get the opportunity to familiarise and put your new skills into practice, or commence your tertiary studies if you are entering on the University scheme of training.

Once you are a qualified Officer of the Watch you will join Royal Australian Navy trainees at East Sale, near Melbourne, Australia, where you'll spend 12 months flying the Beechcraft KA-350 Super King Air. During this period you will learn core navigation skills (both IFR high altitude and VFR low level) and the operational aspects required for maritime aviation operations.

You will also learn survival, escape and evasion procedures and first aid. On completion of your training in Australia you will graduate as a TACCO and then return to join the Naval aviation community at RNZAF Base Auckland at Whenuapai Auckland. 
 

Ongoing Training

As a TACCO you will always be expected to be at the top of your game – nothing but perfect. To ensure that you are capable of delivering on this the RNZN and RNZAF will continuously train and develop your skills.
 

Specialist Training

Following a Seasprite conversion course (you will spend up to 18 months mastering the aircraft and all its systems) you will be posted to a frigate with an experienced Flight Pilot who will be your Flight Commander.

Options are available to you further into your career to become a TACCO instructor so you can train junior officers to become TACCO’s themselves. Also Helicopter Warfare Instructor courses are available for you to increase your knowledge of aviation warfare and teach the principles and skills of such warfare to junior TACCO’s at 6 Squadron.
 

Location Details

Whilst under JOCT you will be based at Devonport Naval Base. On completion of your OOW (B) course you will head to Melbourne Australia for 12 months returning to 6 squadron, Whenuapai where you will be based unless posted to sea.