Royal Australian Air Force
Australian Defence Force Academy, Graduate, Undergraduate, Graduate (Reserve)
The mission of the Air Force Airfield Engineering Specialisation is to provide appropriate infrastructure for the conduct and sustainment of effective combat and related air operations to the Air Force. To achieve this mission the Airfield Engineering Specialisation requires the ability to deploy both onshore and overseas to provide their vital enabling functions for the projection of Air Force’s core air power capability.
The Airfield Engineering Organisation provides advice to the wider Air Force on infrastructure issues including the following:
Provision, protection and regeneration of air bases;
Ability to rapidly deploy to, assess, prepare, maintain and regenerate both onshore and offshore military and civilian airfields;
Protection and sustainment of air power; and
Provision of infrastructure and expertise for passive defence and physical security to airfields.
As an Airfield Engineering Officer you will perform a broad range of engineering and military roles and hold significant responsibility. Using specialist military and technical civil engineering expertise you will be involved in management, delivery, assessment, maintenance, repair, regeneration and operation of the Air Force airfields, roads, buildings and engineering services. These activities are performed regularly on deployments to temporary and permanent airfields during expeditionary operations. Such activities could also be undertaken at any of the major RAAF Bases and at isolated temporary RAAF airfields or construction sites within Australia.
You will be working with a wide and varied workforce including RAAF tradesmen from plumbing, electrical, carpentry, plant operation and works supervision backgrounds, along with civilian contractors. Numerous posting opportunities exist in various areas including infrastructure/airfield assessment, estate planning, weapons effects on structures, construction management and management of mobile engineering teams.
After you complete Initial Officer Training, time and circumstances permitting you you may be placed in an Airfield Engineering Flight to gain exposure to a variety of job roles and exercises before commencing your employment training. On completion of your employment training you will be posted to new roles every 2-3 years. As a junior Airfield Engineering Officer you will experience various roles (discussed in greater detail below) including: a Base or Staff Engineering Officer position; Flight Commander of an Airfield Engineering flight; work delivering major facilities projects; and specific engineering based specialist positions. From this experience, you will develop as a competent engineering leader with increasing levels of responsibility along the way.
Duties of an Airfield Engineer (AFENG)
Across the spectrum of Airfield Engineering roles, the duties of an Airfield Engineer can include:
provide airfield infrastructure to meet required operational capability;
Understand basic airfield planning requirements and techniques;
Manage Engineering works in support of deployed operations;
Assess airfields including pavement integrity;
Manage engineering infrastructure for point of entry airfields;
Deliver facilities works;
Develop facilities works;
Review infrastructure development proposals;
Review works proposals;
Input weapon system master planning status;
Participate in airfield inspections on RAAF Bases, and undertake airfield inspections on non-defence airfields;
Represent the RAAF on infrastructure and utilities issues for natural disaster planning;
Perform contingency planning;
Develop, exercise and review, contingency plans for base passive defence, including the identification of resource options;
Participate in exercise planning with particular emphasis on Airfield Engineering;
Plan defence aid to the civil community;
Assist in the preparation of base disaster plans;
Perform pre and post exercise evaluation with respect to airfield infrastructure and engineering;
Plan for contingency maintenance of plant and equipment;
Manage construction stores;
Perform strategic estate planning;
Produce plans in accordance with endorsed strategic planning guidance; and
Prioritise defence assets to meet strategic guidance requirements.
Employment conditions range from office based administratively oriented employment where specialist military and Airfield Engineering skills and competencies may be employed in such activities as planning and policy formulation. At the other end of the spectrum employment could be at an operational Airfield Engineering Unit with tradespersons and plant operators, where the majority of the Air Force’s Airfield Engineering physical capabilities reside and are utilised and exercised. All junior officers in the Airfield Engineering category should expect at least one posting to an operational Airfield Engineering unit.
Roles of an Airfield Engineering Officer
The specific roles of an Air Field Engineering Officer include: