Find out what you'll be doing
About the Job
The use of submarines and effective anti-submarine tactics is one of the most important aspects of Australia's Navy Operations. Over the years Australia has developed a conventional submarine force which is second to none in our region or the world.
A job as an EWSM in the Navy is an exciting role where you will learn to operate the specialised equipment used to intercept and analyse electromagnetic emissions. Your main task is to be part of the team responsible for the interception and exploitation of electromagnetic emissions using sophisticated search receivers to analyse intercepted radio and radar transmissions. As well, you will work in a challenging and demanding environment in which every submariner must possess the skills and knowledge of the highest order to operate the submarine and react in the shortest possible time to incidents as they occur. The EWSM must also perform ancillary roles of Submarine Seamanship, Small Arms (weapons) use and maintenance, operations of Pyrotechnics and Counter-Measures. As a member of the Executive division on the submarine you will also be required to conduct the duties of surfaced Lookout, Helmsman and first response fire fighting and damage control (Attack Party).
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What exactly is Electronic Warfare?
In the Navy, electronic warfare means:
- The exploitation of the electromagnetic spectrum including interception and identification of radio and radar emissions
- The employment of electromagnetic energy to reduce or prevent hostile use of the electromagnetic spectrum
- Actions to ensure effective use of the electromagnetic spectrum by friendly forces
What is Signals Intelligence (SIGINT)?
SIGINT is usually defined as the interception and exploitation of emissions from the electromagnetic spectrum. It most commonly refers to the interception of radio communications transmissions and non-communications emissions.
Are EWSM sailors involved in espionage?
No. EWSM sailors are not involved in activities which breach Australian or international laws. The RAN does not employ sailors as spies.
Since before World War II, countries in our region have been involved in the practice of acquiring signals intelligence on other countries. It has become a routine activity for militaries around the world.
Proficiency in signals intelligence operations helps the RAN to distinguish between friends, potential adversaries and innocent bystanders in any given tactical situation. Failure to be proficient at signals intelligence would be irresponsible for a Navy operating in a complex operating environment.
Do EWSM Sailors work in shifts at sea?
Yes. In the Navy it is called watch-keeping. Submarines at sea are a 24-hour concern. Everyone has a role and the submarine is organised around the continuous operation of its sensors and other capabilities. Electronic Warfare is part of the overall sensor system which is required to help the command team work out what is going on; promoting situational awareness around the submarine. Electronic Warfare Sailors normally work a two-watch system of six-hour watches (ie. six hours on/ six hours off) when at sea.
Do EWSM Sailors keep watches when in port?
Yes, the submarine activity alongside will determine the duty watchbill routine.
Are women employed as EWSM sailors?
Certainly, female EWSM Sailors are employed under identical conditions as their male colleagues.
Do all EWSM Sailors serve on Submarines at sea?
Yes, All EWSM sailors are required to serve at sea. Your sea/shore roster will depend you're your rank, however; normally you are likely to get 2 years at sea followed by 2 years ashore as a junior Sailor. The amount of sea time can vary considerably depending on operational circumstances.
The obligation for sea service will continue throughout each EWSM Sailor's career progression.
What about promotion prospects for EWSM Sailors?
Progress through the ranks is dependent upon completion of required progression and promotion courses, good performance evaluation reports and vacancies within the category. At the moment, promotion prospects for EWSM sailors are rated as good.
FULL JOB DETAILS
Other Ranks - Non Technical
Join the ADF with appropriate high school passes
Salary & Allowances
Salary while undertaking Military (Recruit) Training: $1,434 per fortnight ($37,302 per year).*
Salary while undertaking Initial Employment Training: $1,639 per fortnight ($42,631 per year).*
While under training, you will receive $403 per fortnight ($10,493 per year pro rata) Trainee Allowance.
Salary (excluding allowances) on completion of Initial Employment Training and on attaining Submarine qualification: $2,671 per fortnight ($69,457 per year).*
In addition to your salary, you will also receive Service Allowance of $538 per fortnight ($13,991 per year) except while undertaking Military (Initial) or Employment training. This allowance compensates a member for the unique requirements that service life may impose on an individual and his or her family.
To assist you in maintaining your uniforms in good order and condition, you will also receive a Uniform Allowance of $16 per fortnight ($419 per year).
Each General Entry job in the Australian Defence Force is classified into a pay grade. This particular job is classified as a Pay Grade 7 occupation.
Salary will continue to increase based on rank and the number of years of service completed in that rank. Pay Grade may also increase following the acquisition of additional skills and completion of advanced courses.
There is a special package of conditions of service approved for submariners.
Refer to the Salary Scales for further details.
* Please note that these figures do not include compulsory deductions for taxation; meals, accommodation and utilities (as applicable); and superannuation.
EWSM sailors can expect to be posted to a number of shore locations and submarines during their career. Possible options include:
- Canberra, ACT (Intelligence support)
- Collins Class submarines, HMAS Stirling WA
- HMAS Cerberus, Western Port, Victoria (Small Arms Instructor)
- HMAS Stirling, Rockingham WA (EW Instructor, Intelligence or Submarine support)
- HMAS Watson, Sydney (EW Instructor)
Applicants must be aged between 17 and 53 years of age inclusive on entry.Applicants will not be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age, depending upon the capacity of their local recruiting centre.
Education & Experience
You must have successfully completed Year 10 with passes in English, Mathematics and Science (Physics component desirable),
If you do not satisfy the education requirements for this trade or do not possess evidence of your educational attainment there is an alternative pathway available to you.
You may be eligible to sit an Alternative Education Equivalency (AEE) assessment to ascertain your ability at the required educational level for this trade.
Further information is available here.
Note: For EWSM Sailors, the selection procedure is designed to determine people who can quickly grasp technical concepts. Usually, the people who perform well as EWSM Sailors have a sound background in science and mathematics. If you want to become a EWSM, you should be comfortable with the fundamentals of physics.
Medical & Fitness
To be appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry into the ADF. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.
You must also pass the swim test and physical fitness test to graduate from your Navy Training and to proceed to the Safety of Life at Sea Training that is a requirement for Recruit School and Officer training.
Royal Australian Navy Swim Test (RANST)
The RANST is conducted to ensure the Navy's duty of care to all serving personnel, with respect to rudimentary swimming skills. The purpose of the RANST is to ensure fundamental water survival skills as a prerequisite to training such as survival at sea training.
Individual components of the RANST are fundamentally related to the survival at sea scenario. Competency in the RANST is achieved through successful completion of each component comprising:
- A safety jump off a 3m tower in overalls
- A 10m underwater swim in overalls
- A 50m swim using three safety strokes
- The ability to tread water or float for 15 mins in overalls
Note: You will find it much easier to pass the swimming test if you undertake swimming training before you join.
All personnel will undertake the RANST upon entry and competency is to be achieved within 15 weeks from commencement of initial training. Failure of any one component will constitute failure of the entire RANST and no waivers will be granted.
For more details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF , Medical Process for Entry into the ADF and Physical Employment Standards once you're in the ADF
Period of Service
You will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of six years. On enlistment if you elect to serve an open ended enlistment, you will be able to serve until retirement age, subject to your continued suitability for service. If you elect to serve for a fixed period of service, subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. Your Careers Counsellor can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.
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 deferral 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.
The security clearance is critical to an applicant’s successful progression through to Navy employment and training. It is strongly recommended that all applicants provide the required documents as early as possible in the recruiting process to avoid any delays in their training and employment.
Details regarding the security requirements for all Navy jobs can be found here.
Duration: 11 weeks
Location: Crib Point, Victoria
The Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus is situated on Western Port Bay, Victoria about 70 kilometres south east of Melbourne. The school has its own administration building, accommodation blocks and classrooms and operates as an independent unit within the greater training environment of Cerberus.
The eleven week recruit course is designed to give you sufficient knowledge and skills on which to base your Navy career. The course includes both classroom and practical activities. Most subjects are individually tested. Examinations are set to ensure recruits are sufficiently prepared to undertake further specialist training at category schools. Private study areas are available in the school and a Duty Instructor is available for assistance during non-instructional hours.
When you are offered a General Entry job in the Navy, you will receive Joining Instructions for the Recruit Training Course. These instructions will provide you with a good indication of the daily routine while at the recruit school and what will be expected of you during your training. This information is also available by accessing the Navy recruit school web site.
Recruits, who successfully complete the course including the Navy Swimming Test , participate in a Graduation Parade, which is normally held on the Friday of the last week of training. Recruits will have the opportunity to invite family and friends to view the parade.
After graduation, personnel will be posted to category schools at Cerberus or at other training establishments throughout Australia.
During Military (Initial Recruit) Training and Initial Employment Training (IET), members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities, depending on a number of factors.
On completion of Recruit training you will be sent to HMAS Stirling in WA to undertake a Submarine Selection Course (SSC) Course for 4 days.
The SSC is a two way process in which:
Personnel can make an informed decision as to their suitability for submarine service; and the member's suitability for submarine service will be assessed.
Once you have been assessed as suitable at the SSC you will return to HMAS Cerberus for seamanship and weapon training as follows:
Basic Seamanship Course
Duration: 4 weeks
This course covers all aspects of basic seamanship, including:
- Boat work - crew, maintenance and navigation of power boats
- Rigging - working all types of cordage and wire ropes, understanding splicing, maintenance of all forms of rigging, blocks, slips and shackles
- Anchor work - maintenance of ships and boats anchors and cables, and acting as a member of a ship's cable party
- Helmsmanship - steering the ship
- Ships Husbandry and Corrosion Control - cleanliness and maintenance of all parts of a ship (except machinery spaces)
- General - a working knowledge of ship organisation, routines, survival at sea and Rule of the Road for the prevention of collision at sea
Submariner Weapon User Course
Duration: 6 weeks
This course will train you to become proficient in the operation and maintenance of weapons used by Submariners. These include the F88 Austeyr rifle, F89 Minimi Light Support Weapon, Mark 3 9mm Self-Loading Pistol and Tactical Baton.
Basic Electronic Intelligence Course
Duration: 17 weeks
In this phase of training you will undergo Electronic Warfare and emission analysis technique training at HMAS Watson, Watsons Bay, Sydney NSW.
On completion of this phase of training you will return to HMAS Stirling, WA to undergo submarine specific and equipment application training.
Initial Collins Class Course (ICCC)
Duration: 4 weeks
ICCC consists of a series of Computer based and instructor led modules that introduce the students to the construction, systems and inter-relationships that make up the submarine.
Further Submariner Training
Duration: 5 weeks
This training includes courses in submarine escape and rescue, submarine specific seamanship, helmsman and torpedo and missile weapons handling. The students also undertake Submarine fire-fighting and damage control training.
Submarine Electronic Support Course
Duration: 6 weeks
This phase of training will introduce you to the Electronic Warfare systems fitted to the Collins Class submarine and the roles and responsibilities of the EWSM sailor on board.
Submariner Sea Experience
Duration: 3 - 6 months
After your shore based training you will be required to consolidate your new skills for a period at sea whilst waiting for your Top Secret Positive Vetted security clearance to be processed. You will be posted to an available training billet onboard a submarine where you will undertake your Submarine Sea Qualification task book. The task book is used to consolidate all the knowledge you have learnt and prove you have what it takes to earn your submarine qualification, your dolphins.
Further information is available on the Submariner pages.