Full Time | Part Time | Officer

Communication Electronics Engineering Officer

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Overview

Communication Electronics Engineering Officers provide telecommunications and information management services that support Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations in Canada and abroad.

  • Provide telecommunications and information management services
  • Operate and maintain tactical Air Force and strategic communications systems
  • Manage air traffic control and electronics systems
  • Advise on the planning and acquisition of ground based surveillance, communications and information technology systems
  • Oversee surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence communications systems
  • Administer data, information, and knowledge management systems
  • Be involved with the full spectrum of terrestrial radio and satellite communications from HF to EHF radar and navigation systems, electronic warfare, cryptography, electronic intelligence, or communications and network security

Work environment

While working on a base, Air Wing or headquarters during peacetime, Communication Electronics Engineering Officer work in an environment similar to civilian managers and engineers. They may be employed on exercises or deployed in combat situations. They may also work in an international headquarters, on a multinational staff or mission.

Transcript

TITLE:

COMMUNICATION ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING OFFICER

IN THE CANADIAN FORCES

CAPTAIN ANN KAMEOKA: I am Captain Ann Kameoka from Mississauga, Ontario. I’m a Communication Electronics Engineering Officer currently posted to 3 Wing Bagotville.

In a 3-D battlespace full of weapon systems and data links, reliable communications and secure digital and voice networks can mean the difference between mission success and catastrophic failure.

Communication Electronics Engineering, or CELE Officers, are responsible for providing the communications capabilities required for command and control for all military operations and exercises. 

CELE Officers work in a leadership role to enable their highly skilled personnel to get the job done, both here at home and on missions anywhere in the world. They use their knowledge and resources to ensure reliable communications for mission success.

KAMEOKA: CELE Officers are in charge of a team of technicians that have a variety of fields that they’re responsible for, from the airfield systems that help the aircraft land or the computers that everybody uses day-to-day, or secret systems that the pilots use to plan their missions. The technicians are really the ones that get the jobs done, that go do the installations, that troubleshoot, all those kinds of things.

CELE Officers ensure that the right information gets to the right decision-maker at the right time. They work with leading-edge technology to find solutions that support worldwide operations, including   satellite and ground-based radio communications, air navigation and radar systems, air defence and air traffic management, secure classified networking and command and control systems, surveillance and intelligence gathering, and how they all integrate and function in a military environment. 

There’s always a new challenge for CELE Officers to tackle and there are many different growing areas of specialization, like cyber warfare and space operations. 

Regular Force or Reserve, their role is crucial, because nothing happens without communications and connectivity. 

KAMEOKA: One of my favourite parts of my trade is the fact that CELE Officers go everywhere. So I’ve had the opportunity to go different places, both in the United States and to other countries like Greenland, as well. It was one of those things where you combine technology, teamwork, all these different things that you would get in different settings, different locations, all those kinds of things that makes it more dynamic than anything that I would find normally in a regular, day-to-day job.

After their initial occupation training is complete, CELE Officers are usually assigned to an operational unit where they take on a leadership role from Day 1.

KAMEOKA: What happened for me is, I found it a lot to take on because all of a sudden, you’re responsible for all these people and all these important systems. And you have never had experience with those kinds of situations before. But as long as you understand that your Warrants and your Sergeants are there for you, your senior NCOs, they can kinda help guide you and mentor you along the way until you get used to your roles and responsibilities.

Typical postings for junior CELE Officers include: troop or flight commander, junior project manager, or life cycle material manager.

As troop or flight commanders, CELE Officers lead teams of up to 30 highly skilled technicians responsible for providing the Royal Canadian Air Force with communications capabilities, maintaining networks, or defending against cyber threats.  

As junior project managers, CELE Officers can expect to be involved in advising military leadership on the design and acquisition of the next generation of computer, navigation, radar, and communications systems, shaping the way the Royal Canadian Air Force will fight in the future.

And as life cycle material managers, CELE Officers are charged with the in-service support of critical operational systems, ensuring they are operating at peak efficiency.

KAMEOKA: Some of the aspects I like about military life in general is the fact that I get to travel to all these different locations while working, and I’ve also got the opportunity to develop some of the skills I had before joining, and also discover so many new skills throughout my career and develop those as well. You can see just how much you’ve changed as a person – that transformation of someone so unsure to someone that is able to do things, that has confidence in themselves to take on any task that’s given to them.

 

TITLE:

COMMUNICATION ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING OFFICER

Basic Military Officer Qualification

After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 12 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the CAF, basic weapons handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic officer training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.

Following basic officer training, official second language training may be offered to you. Training could take from two to nine months to complete depending on your ability in your second language.

Learn more about Basic Training here.

Available professional training

Communication Electronics Engineering Officers attend the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario. Training lasts 19 weeks and covers the following topics:

  • Organization of the Communications and Electronics Branch
  • Communications information systems and airfield systems management
  • Advanced military communications and electronics theory
  • Communications information systems support planning for deployed operations
  • Deployment of communications information systems equipment
  • Business management skills

Available specialty training

Communication Electronics Engineering Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Air operations command and control information systems course
  • Radio and satellite communications
  • Electronic intelligence
  • Communications and network security
  • Cryptographic systems

Available advanced training

As they progress in their career, Communication Electronics Engineering Officers who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced or graduate training in selected disciplines.

Direct entry options

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

Paid education options

Due to the requirement for CAF officer to obtain a university degree, the CAF will pay successful recruits to complete a bachelor degree program in the Royal Military College System. Recruits will receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full pay in exchange for working in the CAF for a period of time. Typically, candidates enter the Canadian Military College System as an Officer Cadet where they study subjects relevant to both their military and academic career. In rare instances, based on the needs of the CAF, candidates may be approved attend another Canadian University. A determination will be made on a case by case basis. If you are applying for this program, you must apply to the CAF and it is recommended to apply to other Canadian universities of your choice should you not be accepted for ROTP.

Learn more about our Paid Education programs here.

Serve with the Reserve Force

This position is available for part-time employment through the Reserve Force. Reserve Force members generally work part-time for a Reserve unit 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

Reserve Force members train with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required professional standards of the job. If additional training is required in order to specialize their skills, arrangements will be made by the home unit.

It is also possible to set up an “Individual Learning Plan” to take courses leading to a university degree related to this job, and upon successful completion, be reimbursed for up to 50 percent of tuition and other mandatory costs. Education fees for successfully completed courses are reimbursed as long as the student was a Reserve Force member during the entire duration of the course.

Reserve Working Environment

Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. 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.