Operational Air Intelligence Analyst

Work in a highly-classified environment, collecting, processing, exploiting and disseminating sensitive information to provide intelligence in support of Air Force and wider Australian Defence Force and Coalition operations.

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Job Overview

About the Job

Air Intelligence Analyst (AIA) - Operational Intelligence (OPINT) personnel are employed in the sensitive and highly challenging fields of operational and signals intelligence. They contribute directly to the Air Force mission in a wide range of Information Warfare related roles.

This is an exciting and highly-secretive role that demands absolute discretion, flexibility, objectivity, problem-solving skills, a cool head and good attention to detail. Your comprehensive training will arm you with everything else you need, including the ability to:

  • Operate the sophisticated surveillance equipment used to intercept signals and collect information
  • Analyse intelligence from a variety of sources
  • Conduct counterintelligence activities
  • Prepare intelligence reports
  • Carry out battle space visualisation
  • Organise image capture and analysis
  • Prepare mission support packs for air, ground, space and cyber operations.

Most of your work will take place in modern, air-conditioned offices, though you will need to be prepared to deploy to remote locations in Australia and overseas in support of exercises and operations. When supporting missions you will work in security-accredited cabins or tents, and your working hours may be far from regular.

As you grow and develop in the Air Force you will be given plenty of opportunities for career progression and diversification. In time you may apply to learn specialist techniques in areas such as:

  • The translation, speaking reading and interpretation of foreign language material from various sources, involving you in everything from highly sensitive missions to disaster-relief operations overseas
  • Counterintelligence activities involving, surveillance detection, secondary human screening activities, threat identification and exploitation activities
  • The provision of tactical ground intelligence in support of combat protection elements in both fixed and expeditionary environments.

In a world that increasingly relies on intelligence to counter threats from both beyond and within our shores, the role of Operational Air Intelligence Analyst is a critical one, and offers a rewarding, diverse and worthwhile career to ambitious young men and women.

Other Ranks - Non Technical

Join the ADF with appropriate high school passes

Learn more about Entry Methods

Salary can be over $66,800 p.a. on completion of initial employment training. This salary includes Uniform and Service allowance.


Key Information

Salary & Allowances

During initial military and employment training your salary will be between $45,200 and $50,300 plus superannuation. Your salary will increase as you complete specific required training segments.

These figures include a Training Allowance and a uniform maintenance allowance.

Upon completion of your military and employment training your salary will increase too approximately

$66,800 per year plus generous superannuation. This includes Service and Uniform Allowances.

Salaries increase with rank, years of service and additional skills and qualifications gained.

Please note, these figures do not include compulsory deductions for tax, meals, accommodation and utilities, or superannuation. During military and initial employment training, you may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.


On graduating from Initial Employment Training, you may be posted to:

  • Australian Signals Directorate, ACT

  • No. 460SQN, Canberra ACT

  • No. 87SQN Headquarters, RAAF Base Edinburgh, SA

  • No. 87SQN Tactical Intelligence Flights located at:

  • RAAF Base Edinburgh SA

  • RAAF Base Amberly, QLD

  • RAAF Base Williamtown, NSW

  • RAAF Base Richmond, NSW

  • No. 462SQN, RAAF Base Edinburgh, SA

  • HQ Air Command - Air and Space Operations Centre, Bungendore, NSW

  • HQ Joint Operations Command, Bungendore, NSW

In time, opportunities may also be available to post to:

  • Defence Intelligence Organisation, ACT
  • Defence Force School of Signals - Electronic Warfare Wing at Cabarlah, QLD. (Instructor)
  • Air Intelligence Training Unit, RAAF Base Edinburgh, SA (Instructor)

You may also be required to participate in exercises and deployments, including supporting allied forces and Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy operations, both in the Australia and overseas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be a linguist when I finish my initial training? No. After your initial training and consolidation you will be employed as an all-source intelligence analyst. Opportunities exist, as per Air Force requirements, for AIA (OPINT)s to undertake further training in languages. After these further studies and as long as the required standard is attained, you will remain a fully qualified linguist with a Diploma in Applied Language. This is a civilian recognised accreditation.

Can I do further AIA (OPINT) post-graduate training? There are a wide variety of courses that you may undergo as an AIA. These include:

  • Advanced language or additional language courses
  • Instructor Assessor Courses
  • Ground Intelligence Course
  • Training development
  • Counter-Intelligence
  • Many other system, sensor and intelligence related courses.



On the day you enter the Air Force you must be at least 17 years old. Subject to the capacity of your local recruiting centre, you may be able to start the application process aged 16.5 years.

Education & Experience

The requirements for acceptance into the Air Force for Operational Air Intelligence Analyst training are:

  • Completion of Year 10.

  • Passes in English and Mathematics (including Maths in Society). Previous language and IT skills are also highly desirable.

Please note: Consumer Maths, and similarly 'modified' maths are less desirable; however, are acceptable for this job.

A typing standard of 40 words per minute will also be an advantage.

If you do not have the required passes you may be eligible to sit an Alternative Education Equivalency assessment. Find out more here:

Alternative Education Equivalency assessment

An aptitude to learn a foreign language is essential, for which all applicants will be tested.

Medical & Fitness

Naturally you'll have to be both mentally and physically fit to become an Air Intelligence Analyst - Operational Intelligence.

At various stages during the application process you'll be assessed through (1) completion of a questionnaire relating to your medical history, (2) a physical examination, and (3) a Pre-entry Fitness Assessment (PFA).

Find out more about our medical and physical fitness standards here.

Here you can read about the medical examinations and screenings, what we're looking for and assessing, when in the application process it happens, and what you'll have to wear: Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

When you embark on a career as an Air Intelligence Analyst you'll be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of six years.

Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to Air Force needs and your suitability for further service. You may tender your resignation at any time provided you do not have an outstanding IMPS obligation and give a minimum of three months notice.

Additional Requirements

AIA (OPINT) applicants require a Top Secret Positive Vetted (TS (PV)) security clearance,


an aptitude to learn a foreign language is essential (all applicants will be tested prior to acceptance).


The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests which may include verbal, spatial and numerical ability and a general maths test. Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

Psychology support staff will explain what is involved with each test.

The aptitude tests provide information about your suitability for the Defence Force and for particular jobs. Defence Force Recruiting can then help you identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information on the aptitude testing requirements can be found here.


Only Australian Citizens are permitted to serve in the ADF.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary waiver of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF entrants to attain a security clearance appropriate to their avenue of entry. Details on the security requirements for all Air Force jobs can be found here.


Military Training

Duration: 10.6 weeks

Location: RAAF Base Wagga (NSW)

You'll start your Air Force career at No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU). In three intensive months you'll transition smoothly from civilian to Service life, acquiring the basic knowledge, skills and physical fitness required for your role; and learning to become an effective and productive member of the Air Force.

You can read about what to expect at the No.1 Recruit Training Unit on the 1RTU website. You'll also find useful information in our Joining instructions.

Employment Training

Air Intelligence Analyst Initial Employment Training course

Duration: 11 weeks

Location: Air Intelligence Training Flight, RAAF Base Edinburgh, SA

This course lays the foundations for a career in Air Force intelligence analysis. You will be given a theoretical grounding in the application of air power and how intelligence supports each operation, covering areas such as:

  • Air campaigns

  • Air missions

  • Air task orders and cycles

  • Aviation risk management

  • Airbase operations

  • Targeting

  • Briefing techniques

  • Report writing

  • Weaponeering

  • Equipment recognition

  • Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and

  • Cyber and space operations.

You will also be introduced to weapon systems relevant to air operations.

Air Intelligence Analyst Operational Intelligence Initial Employment Training course

Duration: 11 weeks

Location: Air Intelligence Training Flight, RAAF Base Edinburgh, SA

The training you receive during the next 11 weeks at the Air Intelligence Training Flight, RAAF Edinburgh, will give you a working knowledge of:

  • Intelligence estimates

  • Joint intelligence preparation of the battle space

  • Counterintelligence

  • Ground intelligence

  • Target systems analysis

  • Specialist analysis techniques

  • Air intelligence roles in support of Squadrons and Task Unit Headquarters

  • Awareness of air intelligence roles in support of security force Squadrons and

  • Collection and ISR management in a multi-dimensional battle space.

To graduate from the course you must be capable of providing all-source intelligence analysis support to aerospace and air base operations at the operational and tactical levels.

Further Training

Further Training

For promotion from the rank of Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman to Warrant Officer you will need to complete specialist courses (some of which are listed below) and achieve specific proficiencies, competencies and qualifications. As you progress through your career you will be given the opportunity to take a wide variety of courses such as:

  • Advanced Language and/or Additional Language (up to Diploma in Applied Language level)

  • Instructor Assessor (Certificate IV Workplace Training and Assessment level)

  • Ground Intelligence

  • Training Development

  • Counterintelligence and

  • Various system, sensor and intelligence related courses.

Some courses may be provided through universities and other civilian institutions.

Foreign Language courses: 5 - 48 weeks (Language dependent)

If you are required to undertake language training to meet Air Force intelligence capability requirements, it will take place at the Defence Force School of Languages at RAAF Base Williams at Laverton, VIC. Upon successful completion of certain language training, you may receive a Diploma in Applied Language, which is a civilian recognised accreditation. This training is a post Initial Employment Training requirement; however, it may be conducted whilst you are in a General Duty's unit awaiting your PV security clearance.

ADF Collection Operators course: 19 weeks

Having completed the Military Communications Skills language course, you may undertake further training at the Defence Force School of Signals - Electronic Warfare Wing at Cabarlah, QLD. This is a Joint Service School where you will train alongside Navy and Army personnel, learning about:

  • Security procedures

  • Radio communications principles (such as radiotelephony and logging procedures)

  • Radio theory (learning about radio receivers/transmitters, antenna types, radio propagation, etc.) and

  • Apply your intelligence skills utilising specialist equipment and procedures.

You will be expected to be able to touch-type at 40 words per minute prior to attending this course. Typing tutorials may be undertaken whilst in a General Duties unit and awaiting your PV security clearance; however, it is advisable to have typing skills to this standard prior to enlistment.

Counterintelligence Initial Course: 12 weeks

Counterintelligence Initial Team training is the foundation course for Air Intelligence Analysts selected for employment as counterintelligence (CI) operators. The course is conducted post Initial Employment Training, is modular, and consists of:

  • CI policy and doctrine

  • CI briefs and reports

  • Intelligence collection threat TTPs

  • Intelligence preparation and monitoring of the battle space support to CI

  • CI support to AVRM

  • Advanced driver and vehicle surveillance training

  • Debriefing, interviewing and body systems analysis training and

  • Specialist communications and photographic equipment training.

Ground Intelligence Initial Course: 10 weeks

This course is conducted post Initial Employment Training and provides Operational Air Intelligence Analysts with the skills and knowledge to be employed in an Air Force Ground Intelligence environment. It is designed to provide a basic understanding of GI support to Air Force operations.

You will be provided with a theoretical grounding in the application of threat forces tactics, blue force tactics, ISR collection planning and the roles and responsibilities of an Air Intelligence cell supporting Air Force operations. You will also be introduced to weapon systems relevant to ground operations.