Full Time | Part Time | NCM

Aerospace Telecommunication and Information Systems Technician

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Overview

Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technicians perform, supervise and direct the repair and maintenance of all types of Air Force telecommunications and information systems. They also manage and maintain mobile and fixed satellite communications systems, microwave systems, switchboards, cable plants, and all forms of command and control computer systems and networks.

Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technicians perform preventive and corrective maintenance, system restoration, special inspections, modifications, installations and acceptance checks, as well as the repair and overhaul of all types of telecommunications, navigation and cryptographic systems.

Their primary responsibilities are to:

  • Perform preventive and corrective maintenance on all types of radios, radar and data processing, cryptographic, terminal, audio and video equipment
  • Perform inspections, performance tests and adjustments on strategic and tactical fixed and mobile telecommunications equipment
  • Perform repairs, overhaul and support maintenance on telecommunications equipment
  • Perform installations and acceptance tests
  • Liaise with all levels of command and functional groups, including base level personnel
  • Maintain and/or advise other occupations on the maintenance of the electromechanical and refrigeration requirements of telecommunications equipment
  • Deploy as part of the Air Force Support Capability as part of 8 Air Communications and Control Squadron, as part of a Tactical Control Radar Squadron, or as part of the Canadian Forces Joint Signals Regiment
  • Manage the life-cycle of material related to various telecommunications and information systems

Work environment

The duties of an Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technician are performed in operation centres, in static and mobile workshops, or outdoors. Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technicians may work at bases within Canada and the USA, including the Arctic, to locations throughout the world.

Transcript

AEROSPACE TELECOMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS TECHNICIAN

IN THE CANADIAN FORCES

CORPORAL ZACHARY BERNARD-DEMERS: I’m Corporal Zachary Bernard-Demers from Montreal. I’m an Aerospace Telecommunication and Information Systems Technician from 14 Wing Greenwood, in Nova Scotia.

Aerospace Telecommunication and Information Systems Technicians, or ATIS Techs, help create the backbone of communications systems in the Royal Canadian Air Force. They enable all network operations by keeping information systems running smoothly 24/7. This is a critical component of modern military operations. It can mean sending vital information over a multitude of networks, or processing and compiling information to be used by the RCAF and other operators who need to make educated decisions.

BERNARD-DEMERS: We basically work with everything that has to do with technology. Everything from a computer and a monitor that’s sitting on your desk to networking equipment such as routers and switches, all the way up to working with basically in systems administrator, working with people’s profile Microsoft Outlook software – and then all the way over to the airfield side where we work with radar equipment which helps the pilots go up and down the runway.

ATIS Techs are highly trained specialists that are often called upon to integrate new systems for the military. They work with radars and navigational aids, as well as radio and satellite communication systems, air defence and air traffic management systems, command and control networks and data links. Regular Force or Reserve, ATIS Techs ensure the operations, performance and defence of these integrated systems from the commander to the sensor. Their work is critical for mission success as everything in today’s modern battlefield is reliant on information technology and communication integration.

BERNARD-DEMERS: In today’s day and age, an ATIS Tech is actually one of the more important facets of the Canadian Forces because communications and technology is taking over, and it’s upgrading and advancing day in and day out, especially when it comes to radio communications, network communications. A lot of times, an ATIS Tech is always on site or a part of a bigger team when it comes to people basically managing runways and aircraft.

ATIS Techs are one of the critical team members that allow senior officers to effectively exercise command and control. They often work in a joint setting with the Army, Navy, and Special Operations Forces, as well as with military allies such as NORAD and NATO to provide critical technological support.

BERNARD-DEMERS: I’d say the coolest part of the job is working with a lot of the technology – seeing what’s new, what’s upcoming, what’s at the forefront for the Canadian Forces – and being involved in a lot of the different tasks and knowing that our trade plays a huge role in basically an entire Wing or a base running and working on a daily basis.

Once they complete their initial occupation training, ATIS Techs are typically posted to an operational unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force, where they get paired with a senior technician to continue their learning on the job.  

BERNARD-DEMERS: You will get posted to a specific shop, but usually after one to two years, sometimes a little bit longer, you’ll get moved into different shops. So being cross-trained in the trade is actually a key element of what we do, and you have to have a bit of knowledge of everything, because over your career, you will be moved from one facet to another.

Some ATIS Techs will be employed in high-readiness units and master specific deployable systems that are critical for mission success. ATIS Techs deploy around the world in support of active military operations and humanitarian efforts. They can also be deployed within Canada to support security or sovereignty operations, as well as to aid civil powers in times of crisis like floods and wildfires.  A willingness to learn and keep pace with the ever-changing and evolving world of communications and information technology systems is a key quality of ATIS Techs.

BERNARD-DEMERS: So I was on Op Impact in Kuwait, and there was a team of 8 of us, and we had to manage desktop support networks, classified materials, radios, as well as cell phones account management – everything that had to do with technology on a daily basis for every member that was deployed with us as well. And it’s a very rewarding feeling to know that you were a part of that team that went out there and basically helped the entire operation be successful.

TITLE:

AEROSPACE TELECOMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS TECHNICIAN

IN THE CANADIAN FORCES

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

Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technicians attend the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario, to complete the Performance Oriented Electronics Training course which includes the following topics:

  • Circuits Theory
  • Electro-Mechanical and Solid State devices
  • Power sources
  • Amplifier, Oscillator and Digital circuits
  • Multistage electronic circuits
  • Conductors and cables
  • AM/FM Theory
  • Audio/Video equipment
  • Computers and peripherals

They continue with 20 weeks of training specific to their duties:

  • Technical administration
  • Automated information systems
  • Switchboards and terminal equipment
  • Cable distribution systems
  • Data communication systems
  • Audio and video systems
  • Airfield navigational aids and meteorological systems
  • Communications and crypto systems
  • Radar systems

Available specialty training

Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Airport Secondary/Surveillance Radar
  • Communications Control Systems
  • Precision Approach Landing Aids
  • E3A AWACS Airborne Equipment
  • Microwave Radio Systems and Associated Equipment
  • Instructional Techniques
  • Communications/Information Security
  • Meteorological Systems
  • Cryptographic Equipment Maintenance

Available advanced training

As they progress in their career, Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:

  • Fibre Optics Communications Systems
  • Design Building Network for Communication Systems
  • Computer System Management
  • Advanced Radar Maintenance
  • Advanced Communications Operations
  • Management and Leadership Training
  • Deployed Communications Systems

Required education

The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Quebec with Grade 10 Academic Math or Math 246 in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.

Direct entry options

If you already have a college diploma, the CAF will decide if your academic program matches the training criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military occupation training is required before being assigned.

Paid education options

Non-Commissioned Member (NCM) Subsidized Training and Education Program (STEP)

Because this position requires specialty training, the CAF will pay successful recruits to attend the diploma program at an approved Canadian college. NCM STEP students attend basic training and on-the-job training during the summer months. They receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full pay in exchange for working with the CAF for a period of time. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the CAF and the appropriate college.

Learn more about our Paid Education programs here.

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.

Part time employment

Aerospace Telecommunication and Information Systems Technicians serve with the Royal Canadian Air Force. When employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve at CAF locations within Canada, including the Arctic.

Aerospace Telecommunication and Information Systems Technician

Reserve Force training

Reserve Force members usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic military training, occupational training for the Aerospace Telecommunication and Information Systems Technician qualification requires about a year and is conducted at the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario.

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. Reserve Force members are paid 85% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.