Conducting mission planning, tasking, coordination and monitoring of air operations may test you, but it's well worth the rewards.
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Graduate, Officer (Reserve)
Operations Officers (OPSO) in the Royal Australian Air Force assist in the mission planning, tasking, coordination and monitoring of air operations within single Service, joint and combined air operations environments. OPSOs support the Air Operations Commander through management of the air operations centre resources and administration, and are required to use sophisticated computerised battle management systems.
OPSOs may be employed in a variety of air and Base operations support roles including support units, flying squadrons, and wings and higher Air Force and other ADF operational command headquarters. In addition, OPSOs may be employed as Air Weapons Range Safety Officers and oversee the safe coordination of live or inert weapon drops. OPSOs can also be employed as part of a Tactical Air Control Party, where they are responsible for the coordination of air assets in support of deployed Army units.
The working conditions for an OPSO will vary depending on the role and location of their posted unit. OPSOs may be required to work shifts with certain situations demanding long and irregular hours. OPSOs may be deployed in a tactical environment which would include field deployments and operations in austere surroundings.
Personal / Professional Qualities and Skills
- OPSOs are responsive, professional, dedicated and focused on the RAAF mission;
- In order to succeed in a high-tempo operational environment, OPSOs must be able to remain calm under pressure and simultaneously manage/coordinate multiple tasks within a rapidly changing scenario;
- Must be adept at prioritising tasks by focusing on described outcomes and managing tasks in accordance with those outcomes;
- Attention to detail and effective analysis skills are essential for OPSOs, as is the ability to collate information, synthesise content and present options to Commanders in a succinct manner; and
- Well developed written and verbal communication skills, especially the ability to negotiate outcomes.
Opportunities also exist to serve as an OPSO in the RAAF Active Reserve. Reservists are trained to the same standard as their Permanent Air Force (PAF) colleagues and are given the same opportunity to attend specialist training courses.
OPSOs in the Active Reserve are trained in preparation for their contingency role to support air operations. Reserve OPSOs can be employed in the same roles as a PAF OPSO, mentioned above.