About the Job

You and your unit have deployed some of the worlds most advanced early warning radars and ground based air defence weapon systems to a hostile environment and now an adversary's jet is rapidly approaching your forces. At this speed, you and your team have only seconds to make a decision. What do you do? This is where the highly specialised training of an Air Defence Operator (Artillery - Air Defence) will make you the right person to make the big call. As an Air Defence Operator in the Royal Australian Artillery it's your job to deploy and use some of the most advanced surface-to-air missile and surveillance radar systems in the world to detect, identify, acquire and destroy adversary aircraft.

The Army's core values are a vital part of being successful as an Air Defence Operator

Utilising the Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle, your team will need to move fast as you and your regiment defend the deployed ground forces. You will have many opportunities to travel and often be called upon to support the Air Force and aboard ships with the Navy too. It's a job where you'll work hard but the rewards are worth it. The amenities at Woodside (South Australia) are second to none with top-class sporting facilities at your disposal, and best of all you'll be based just a short drive from Adelaide.

Your duties:

The duties listed below are those that you could be expected to perform, but note that not all duties are performed in each position.

  • Assemble and operate advanced radar and weapons systems
  • Detect, identify, acquire and engage hostile aircraft
  • Provision of local defence
  • Minor servicing and maintenance of artillery equipment and protected vehicles
  • Operation of combat communications equipment and command systems and
  • General soldiering duties, such as manning defensive positions, patrolling, traffic control, camouflaging of vehicles and field equipment, and navigation

This entry method is currently not recruiting

This role closed on 30/08/2019

Key Information

Salary & Allowances

In the Army 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


Air Defence Operators are employed at the 16th Air Land Regiment located at Woodside, approximately 30 minutes from Adelaide, SA.



Gap Year candidates must be 17-24 years old (and be at least 18 years old by 31 May 2020).

Education & Experience

Completion of Australian Year 12 education (or equivalent), as well as passes in Yr 10 English and Mathematics.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, 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 successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.

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

You will be enlisted at the start of 2019. The program will conclude in December 2019.

Subsequent periods of service in the Regular or Reserve Force may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may request discharge at any time by providing 21 days notice.

Additional Requirements

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


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 ADFGY program.

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

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have security clearances appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and, as required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1, and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years. Required information includes:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Credit

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

NOTE: The security clearance is critical to an applicants successful progression through the Army training system. If an applicant is unable to obtain the required security clearance in time, they will not be allowed to continue their training and may need to be re-allocated to another employment category. As such, it is strongly recommended that all applicants obtain the required documentation as soon as possible to provide the best opportunity to be employed in their preferred employment category.


Military Training

All General Entry recruits into the Australian Regular Army are required to complete the Recruit Course.

Total Duration: 80 days.

Location: Kapooka, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Recruit training is the same for male and female entrants. During the 80 day Army Recruit Course you will be required to take part in physical training, weapon handling and shooting, first aid, drill and field craft. The training is deliberately challenging and has been designed to prepare you to be a soldier in today's Army. Recruits gain a sense of achievement, purpose and confidence during basic training, and on completion of the course feel justifiably proud of what they have achieved.

Further information is also available at the Army Recruit Training Centre website.

During Military (Initial Recruit) Training and (Initial) Employment Training, members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

Employment Training

Basic Combat Communications Course

Location: School of Artillery, Puckapunyal.

Duration: 6 days, not including weekends.

RAA Common Induction Training

Location: School of Artillery, Puckapunyal.

Duration: 12 days, not including weekends.

Operator Ground Based Air Defence Grade One Course

Location: School of Artillery, Puckapunyal.

Duration: 31 days, not including weekends.

Note: Course duration may vary depending on public holidays and other Army requirements.

Specialist Combat Communications Course

Location: School of Artillery, Puckapunyal

Duration: 20 days