About the Job

Are you a recent Year 12 graduate who wants to develop your skills before pursuing study, or take the time to think about your career direction? Or have you been thinking about a job in the Air Force but aren't sure it's right for you? Maybe you just want a break from your current job to travel and challenge yourself?

The Air Force Gap Year program provides young Australians who meet general entry requirements an opportunity to broaden their life experience with only a one year commitment. The program offers a 'try before you buy' experience of Air Force training and lifestyle for young men and women, without any obligation to serve beyond the program period.

Working as an Airfield Defence Guard (ADG) in the Air Force, you'll make an important contribution to the security of air power assets and personnel in and around an Air Force base. You will learn weapon handling and undertake a range of tasks, including but not limited to, foot and vehicle patrolling, construction of field defences and obstacles, and search and clearance operations. You may also have an opportunity to support Air Force Security (AFSEC) and Air Base Protection (ABP).

This role is similar to Airbase Protection however the main difference is that you will primarily patrol outside the base perimeter.

In this physical and dynamic role, you will be a part of a close knit and highly skilled team, working in a variety of environments, often outdoors in all weather conditions, both by day and night.

You'll receive practical training and develop important skills such as mental and physical resilience, effective team work, discipline and adaptability that will benefit you for life.

Throughout your training, you will be supported by professional and enthusiastic Air Force personnel who will provide the guidance and mentorship necessary for you to achieve your goals. Your training will begin at No.1 Recruit Training Unit at RAAF Base Wagga, where you'll be enlisted in the Airfield Defence Guard mustering as a trainee. Military Training will be followed by Initial Employment Training at RAAF Security and Fire School in RAAF Base Amberley, QLD where you will learn about battle-craft and tactics, basic map reading and navigation, weapons handling and more.

To find out more about the role of an Airfield Defence Guard, refer to the full-time job page here.

This entry method is currently not recruiting

This role closed on 21/06/2019

Key Information

Salary & Allowances

In the Air Force you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.

In addition to base pay you'll receive a variety of allowances - which are detailed below - plus superannuation at a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.

For more details download our Salary Scales.

Read our Conditions of Service.

Salary Calculator


You may be posted to a Security Forces Squadron at either RAAF Base Amberley QLD, RAAF Base Williamtown NSW or RAAF Base Edinburgh SA.

You will spend the majority of your working time outdoors, in all weather conditions by both day and night. You may be exposed to excessive noise, extreme temperatures and the handling of hazardous material.



Air Force Gap Year applicants must be aged between 18-24 years old as of 31 March 2020.

Education & Experience

You must have completed Year 12 level of secondary education. Additionally, you must have Year 10 passes in English and Maths.

Current or former serving military personnel (ADF or foreign service) are not eligible for Gap Year.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to pass a physical fitness test before enlistment. For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

The Air Force Gap Year program is a fully sponsored program of up to 12 months service. After successful completion of this program, you may have further opportunities within the ADF as a reserve or permanent member depending on capability requirements and available vacancies, or you can choose to leave the ADF.

Failure Management/Termination of Contracts

You can terminate your contract at any stage during the program with 21 days' notice. Should you fail to complete military or employment training, options for further service and training will all be considered on a case by case basis.

Additional Requirements

You must hold, at minimum, a valid provisional/probationary Australian C Class drivers licence prior to enlistment into the ADF. It is desirable that you be free of driving infringements and/or offences that may result in future cancellation of the licence or prevent the issue of an ADF Drivers Licence.


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 Air Force Gap Year program.

More information on citizenship requirements is available from the Recruitment Centre and 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

The Recruit Course for Air Force Gap Year Airfield Defence Guard is approximately an 11 week course at No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU) which is located at RAAF Base Wagga in NSW.

Employment Training

Upon successful completion of recruit training, you will proceed to the RAAF Security Fire and School at RAAF Base Amberly, QLD for initial employment training (IET). This training is approximately a 10 week course.

IET includes the following key areas with lessons and training taking place in the classroom, in the field and in domestic and operational areas of an airbase:

  • Use of a range of equipment including in-service expandable baton, OC Spray and handcuffs, small arms weapon and night vision equipment.
  • Basic dismounted combat communications
  • Field engineering, including construction of field defences and obstacles
  • Field craft
  • Battle craft and tactics
  • Basic map reading and navigation
  • First aid
  • Casualty handling

Note: While not a formal requirement; candidates are encouraged to meet the physical fitness standards required of an Airfield Defence Guard prior to entering the Air Force. Do not commence a physical fitness program without consulting a physician.

Further Training

Upon successful completion of IET, you will undertake Individual Reinforcement Training to assist with your transition into a Security Forces Squadron environment. This covers all typical ground defence operational requirements as well as routine administrative requirements.