Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator
Canadian Armed Forces
Canada
Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators use advanced electronic sensor systems to operate airborne sensors onboard long-range patrol aircraft, maritime helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.

They are responsible for detecting and tracking submarines, providing support for search and rescue operations/medical evacuations, and assisting other government departments and agencies in the collection of evidence and counter-narcotics patrols.

Their primary technical functions are to:
Operate radar, electro-optic/Infrared systems, magnetic anomaly detection, and electronic warfare equipment
Take airborne photography
Load and arm airborne weapons, and search stores systems
Operate the helicopter-mounted machine gun system
Operate unmanned aerial vehicle electronic sensor systems
Communicate with internal and external agencies; both civilian and Allied forces
Collect evidence
Pay and benefits
Work environment

Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators normally work onboard aircraft; however they may also work on airbase flight lines, on ship flight decks and with operational ground support combat groups. They are usually stationed at bases on the East and West coasts of Canada. They deploy worldwide, in support of Canadian and Allied countries’ operations and exercises.
Basic Military Qualification

The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.

Learn more about Basic Training here.

Basic occupational qualification training

Following Environmental Training, Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators attend eight-week basic occupational qualification training at 17 Wing in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Training includes the following basic skills:

Theory of flight
Electro-magnetic spectrum
Electronic sensor theory
Airfield operations

Flying training, which also takes place at 17 Wing over 16 weeks, takes place onboard the CT-142 aircraft and covers the following topics:

Communication theory and practice
Airborne radar operations
Airborne navigation
Identifying targets using electronic warfare equipment and electro-optic/infrared sensors
Available specialty training

Operational flight training takes approximately 24 weeks and is required for Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators to specialize their skills. Training takes place onboard maritime helicopters at 12 Wing in Shearwater, Nova Scotia, or on long-range patrol aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles at 14 Wing in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

Available advanced training

As they progress in their career, Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:

Advanced electronic warfare
Advanced electronic intelligence analysis
Instructional techniques
Leadership and management specialty training
Acoustic operator training
Airborne operational test and evaluation training
Project management training
Advanced survival, escape and evasion
Law enforcement thermography training
Required education

The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for a high school diploma in Canada including Grade 10 Academic Math or Math 426 or 436 in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.

Serve with the Reserve Force

This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at an Air Force wing in their community. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada

Reserve Force training

This occupation is only open to members of the Regular Force who have been trained as Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators and wish to transfer to the Reserve Force or former military members who have the Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator qualification.

Reserve Working Environment

Air Reserve members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts and are employed in the same unit and perform the same job. Air Reserve members usually serve up to 12 days per month in a regular work day, with opportunities to serve full-time for short durations as needed. They are paid 92.8 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.