Author Topic: Air Combat Systems Officer ( ACSO )  (Read 160058 times)

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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: ACSO: What's it like? (merged)
« Reply #125 on: February 26, 2015, 22:00:02 »
On the aircrew side (in the Aurora fleet at least) the AES Ops are the ones that hold the quals for search and kill stores, however their trg and knowledge of those systems isn't as in depth as a trained armourer.  We maintain quals but have rules on when we can or can't arm/pull pins on the things that are found in the aircraft.  Basic summary though is if an armourer is available they do the job.  The Lead NASO will usually be the functioning kill/search stores SME on the crew.  They do their work to support the TACNAV, A/C and Skippers' desires and liase with the AWS guys to launch on time with proper loads. Simplified version of one fleet. 

Depending on the event and stores loaded up, it isn't uncommon for the Snr armourer to talk directly to the TACNAV such as during arming live torps - the armourers are doing all things wonderful in the Bombay and the Tac "owns" the armament controls system (mostly).
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 22:06:42 by Eye In The Sky »

Offline Juliandam26

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Re: Acso promotions
« Reply #126 on: February 26, 2015, 23:17:27 »
Thanks for that information, that was exactly what I was looking for. I'm looking forward for the next step on my application process.

Mariomike, thanks for the direct link to the ACSO: what is like? tread. I think that is the only (or at least the most complete) tread about ACSOs in this forum. I did read it, but I didn't find anything related to promotion to higher ranks, that is why I posted the question.

Again, than you very much, and if you have any other information regarding ACSO trade, it will be very much appreciated.

Offline Mhelo

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ACSO Course in Winnipeg Prep
« Reply #127 on: March 05, 2015, 21:05:47 »
Hello, not sure if its been asked before, couldnt find any answers...

I'm currently a 2Lt on OJT awaiting the ACSO course in Winnipeg. I have a bit of flight experience (~21hrs) from pilot training before re mustering acso after I failed my final flight test on PFT. While awaiting training for acso, Ive completed almost every officer development/aircrew courses I could get on or find DL. (almost all the CAFJODs, AFOD 1 & 2, Land survival, Sea Survival, AMT, Basic Electronic Warfare, and will be enrolled for Maritime Warfare shortly.)

I'm still looking at ~ 6-8 Month wait for course, and I`m just looking for advice on what I could look at or familiarize myself with prior to course. Ive heard learning how to read approach plates well could be an asset, and some people on course mentioned looking through the bga and the gph 204,...Really looking for anything that may be helpful.

Any advice at all would be awesome!
Thanks guys!
 :cdn:

Offline Dimsum

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Re: ACSO Course in Winnipeg Prep
« Reply #128 on: March 06, 2015, 02:07:52 »
What you have suggested definitely helps. 

While not exactly advice for 1CFFTS per se, see if you can get in some rides on airframes with ACSOs in them to see what they do; each community is different and the few days in MOTIVEX may not give you a really good idea of the job.  If you're near the coast and your CoC allows, see if you can get onboard ship (even for a famil tour) to see if you like the idea of being at sea for 6+ months while on a HELAIRDET. 
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Offline Mhelo

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Re: ACSO Course in Winnipeg Prep
« Reply #129 on: March 10, 2015, 11:17:43 »
Thanks for the advice. I have been lucky enough to go out quite a few Sea King famil flights to see what TACCOs do. Hoping to get up to Greenwood for a few aurora flights this summer as well. I have also gone on a few ship tours last summer.

Thanks again, hoping others may have some additional advice for the course?


Cheers

Offline brewski5000

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Re: ACSO: What's it like? (merged)
« Reply #130 on: January 27, 2016, 19:36:56 »
Hi All. I recently passed for ACSO at ACS (yay!). A couple of questions for any ACSOs out there:

I'm just curious if anyone can tell me how the training system is these days (i.e., super backed up or moving quickly). Relatedly, if you're an ACSO, for how long were you on OJT? Does OJT work like it does for pilots (i.e. give preferences, get sent wherever the need/want you)?

I was originally going for pilot, but I had looked into ACSO a bit and was intrigued. I ended up really liking the presentation at ACS and would like to learn more. If there's an ACSO equivalent of that bootcamp to flying blog for pilots, then I'd love to see that, too.

Offline elsalado

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ACSO Postings
« Reply #131 on: October 08, 2016, 19:06:35 »
Hello all. I recently got a job offer for ACSO and I am wondering if anyone here knows how often in general ACSOs have to move around. I was told by someone that in general they move every 3-5 years so I just want to confirm that here. I'm just concerned that it would be difficult to have a family life with that constant moving around, including occasionally moving to remote areas. My current girlfriend of 3 years is all but guranteed to break up with me over this and I am already worried about the future, in regards to meeting other women and relationships/ marriage and having children.

If I was going for something like pilot at least I can move to a civilian job after my contract is done if I don't want to remain in the forces, but it seems that ACSO does not have a direct equivalent in the civilian world, which is also a concern.

Offline elsalado

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Re: ACSO Postings
« Reply #132 on: October 08, 2016, 19:59:08 »
Hi mariomike, thanks for linking that thread. I read through it and while it did give me a lot of details about being an ACSO, there wasn't any information about the frequency of moving around the country, unless I missed it when reading though the thread. Hopefully someone reading this can add to that.

Offline reveng

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Re: ACSO Postings
« Reply #133 on: October 08, 2016, 20:07:58 »
Not an ACSO, but I've worked with them -

They deploy, go away for training, and yes some of the postings leave something to be desired. Aircrew jobs aren't 9-5. I'm sure an ACSO or someone with more knowledge will be along shortly, but from what you've said ACSO (and perhaps military life) may not be a great fit for you.

It all depends what you value in life, and what you want for yourself.

Offline MCG

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Re: ACSO: What's it like? (merged)
« Reply #134 on: October 09, 2016, 02:04:28 »

Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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Re: ACSO: What's it like? (merged)
« Reply #135 on: October 09, 2016, 07:13:15 »
Your concerns will be the same no matter what trade you pick.

Unless you pick a naval operator/engineer NCM  trade, you should expect to move every 3-5 years.   I know ACSOs who have been living in one spot for close to 15 years, I also know ACSOs who move every 3.   

As for your girlfriend, could she handle you being deployed for 9 months?  I don't know what your relationship is like, but don't hold onto something based on the fear of never meeting anyone else.  Women are everywhere!   

If you are looking long term, you won't need a civilian job, you'll be making over 100k a year and finish with a good pension, all you'll need is a hobby.  That being said, depending on your specialty you would have no problem finding a civilian job.  Defence companies always seem to be hiring.

It's your life, it's your choice!  No regrets!


Offline elsalado

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Re: ACSO: What's it like? (merged)
« Reply #136 on: October 09, 2016, 14:12:30 »
So I guess if I want a stable family life this job wouldn't be the best choice?

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: ACSO: What's it like? (merged)
« Reply #137 on: October 09, 2016, 14:25:45 »
So I guess if I want a stable family life this job wouldn't be the best choice?

Maybe your definition of "stable family life" is different from that of many who have served.
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Offline elsalado

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Re: ACSO: What's it like? (merged)
« Reply #138 on: October 09, 2016, 14:42:49 »
I don't mean any offense by that. I mean in terms of having to move the family around every 3-5 years, sometimes to remote towns. Things such as the children having to change schools so often and the wife/husband not being able to maintain a stable career, depending on what that career is, and constantly having to sell houses and finding new places to live. I'm sure there are people who don't mind that and maybe even might enjoy that. Then there's me potentially being deployed for long periods of time. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but I've seen so many posts about divorces, air forces guys being on their third wives, wives/ husbands being unable to put up with the lifestyle and general resentment.

Of course I've also seen posts from people with great family lives too. I've just seen so many horror stories that it has me thinking about it.

Offline mariomike

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Re: ACSO: What's it like? (merged)
« Reply #139 on: October 09, 2016, 15:00:25 »
I don't mean any offense by that. I mean in terms of having to move the family around every 3-5 years, sometimes to remote towns. Things such as the children having to change schools so often and the wife/husband not being able to maintain a stable career, depending on what that career is, and constantly having to sell houses and finding new places to live. I'm sure there are people who don't mind that and maybe even might enjoy that. Then there's me potentially being deployed for long periods of time. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but I've seen so many posts about divorces, air forces guys being on their third wives, wives/ husbands being unable to put up with the lifestyle and general resentment.

Of course I've also seen posts from people with great family lives too. I've just seen so many horror stories that it has me thinking about it.

In case you have not read them already, you may find some of these discussions of interest,

Time away from home for Pilots, ACSOs, and Aerospace Control Officers
https://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=119510.0

ACSO and his wife 
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=90675.0

It somewhat depends on what airframe you wind up flying on.  Maritime helicopter guys probably deploy the most on average, but it will also depend if you get other deployments (such as Afghanistan or a UN deployment) which you can get no matter what airframe you're on.  A buddy of mine on Sea Kings was away from home for more than a year in his first 2 years on squadron (14 months I think).  Guys who go SAR probably deploy less frequently and for much shorter periods of time.  Auroras are probably somewhere in the middle.   

I'm not a Pilot, but the life of an ACSO (schedule-wise) is similar to a Pilot in the Aurora/Sea King communities.  I'll just chime in with some easier answers:

- Personal life:  Yes, most of the postings aren't next to urban centres, but what you define as "meaningful personal life" will come into play.  Being originally from Toronto, it took a while for me to adjust to CFB Comox, but by the time I left I thought I was in one of the best possible posting locations (FYI, Comox is a town of about 20,000 people about an hour away from Nanaimo, BC).  As for relationships, each one is different but the bottom line, IMHO, is if that person isn't good with moving or independent enough to deal with you not being around, it's not going to work.  Also, if you are intent on flying (vice shifting to more of a "staff officer" role in HQ), then the chances of being posted to urban centres (Ottawa, Winnipeg, etc.) would be correspondingly less. 

- Career progression:  It's a bit tough to read, but each IPC (e.g. for Capt the 1-10) corresponds to each year you've been at that rank.  The various letters (A through E) mean the type of entry plan you enrol in (ROTP, etc.)  Many times Pilots will be "double-promoted" from 2LT to Capt since Lt and Capt are generally time-based ranks, but I have seen Lt Pilots before.

- Cost of living:  Not all remote locations are cheap; 4 Wing Cold Lake, for example, is getting some publicity in the news b/c due to housing prices thanks to the oil/gas industry.  Also, Post Living Differential (PLD) will vary between posting locations, and some will seem woefully inadequate to the current housing prices (again, Cold Lake.)

AF Spouses 
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=94326.0
2 pages.

how much time do pilots spend away from home 
https://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=36338.0

"You will be gone from home a lot.  In the last 7 months, I have been at home for 19 days.  On average, you can expect to participate in 3-4 3-4 week exercises per year, plus the odd small 1-2 week deployment.  Roughly 3-4 months away from home a year."
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=103289.0

"My dream has been to fly, but family is more important.  What length of time can I expect to be away from home if I get selected for fixed wing (any fixed wing - search and rescue, transport, instructor, fighter, patrol, etc.)?"
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=94311.0

"And how much more time would a pilot be away from home than combat arms?"
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=113867.0

"how family life can vary for a pilot in the CF. ... What occupations tend to be deployed or away from home more often?"
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=12744.110;wap2

"Some things I came up with are being away from home for a long time, not being in a controlled work environment, and not being guaranteed to fly the aircraft that you want to fly."
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=111579.0

etc...

See also,

Away from home
https://www.google.ca/search?q=site%3Aarmy.ca+acso+family&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-CA:IE-Address&ie=&oe=&rlz=1I7GGHP_en-GBCA592&gfe_rd=cr&ei=eJL6V7LWIsKC8QeZ0bngAQ&gws_rd=ssl#q=site:army.ca+%22away+from+home%22

« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 15:14:41 by mariomike »
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Offline Loachman

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Re: ACSO: What's it like? (merged)
« Reply #140 on: October 09, 2016, 15:22:37 »
Maybe I'm overthinking this, but I've seen so many posts about divorces, air forces guys being on their third wives, wives/ husbands being unable to put up with the lifestyle and general resentment.

Many Army Guys and Navy Guys, and a lot of civilians with "stable" lives, have had more than one wife as well. Reasons for that vary.

Of course I've also seen posts from people with great family lives too. I've just seen so many horror stories that it has me thinking about it.

Everyone's experiences differ, and there is no way to predict how yours will turn out, regardless of which route you choose.

Join or don't join. There are benefits and sacrifices either way.

For me, the former have far outweighed the latter and I have no regrets for the choice that I made.

Offline Dimsum

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Re: ACSO Postings
« Reply #141 on: October 11, 2016, 23:04:30 »
Hello all. I recently got a job offer for ACSO and I am wondering if anyone here knows how often in general ACSOs have to move around. I was told by someone that in general they move every 3-5 years so I just want to confirm that here. I'm just concerned that it would be difficult to have a family life with that constant moving around, including occasionally moving to remote areas. My current girlfriend of 3 years is all but guranteed to break up with me over this and I am already worried about the future, in regards to meeting other women and relationships/ marriage and having children.

If I was going for something like pilot at least I can move to a civilian job after my contract is done if I don't want to remain in the forces, but it seems that ACSO does not have a direct equivalent in the civilian world, which is also a concern.

Others have touched on most of my points but, and I'm not being condescending/facetious, if you're worried about moving around and deploying, and the g/f's reaction to that, you may want to seriously sit down and think about whether any job in the military is for you.  All trades have an element of both (more or less is dependent on trade) and if you're already thinking of those as negative, what will happen when you accept the offer and start getting posted around?

As for job prospects out there post-military, it's true that ACSO doesn't have a direct equivalent but it doesn't mean that planning and management experience doesn't count for anything. 
“If you run into an a-hole in the morning, you ran into an a-hole. If you run into a-holes all day, you're the a-hole.”

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Offline elsalado

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Re: ACSO: What's it like? (merged)
« Reply #142 on: October 15, 2016, 14:23:39 »
No worries Dimsum, that's not condescending, those are good points. I have to seriously think about this. If I am already worried about it then joining might turn out to be a mistake for me and I should rescind my acceptance of the offer and open up a spot for someone who really wants to join.

Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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Re: ACSO Postings
« Reply #143 on: October 15, 2016, 19:04:25 »
if you're worried about moving around and deploying, and the g/f's reaction to that, you may want to seriously sit down and think about whether any job in the military is for you. 

I'll take the other road.  You may want to seriously sit down and think about your future and if your girlfriend is going to be a part of it.

If you shun a career in the military because you are afraid of losing your girl, what happens in 4 years when you lose your girl?  You will be sitting there thinking, "frig, I should have joined the military". 

I am not saying kick your girl to the curb, I am saying you should go up to her and say "the elsalado train is pulling out and you better hop the frig on, because it's going to be an adventure".

Side note - elsalado?  As in El Salado?  Sounds like a vegan wrestler.  You'll fit right in with the ACSOs.


Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: ACSO Postings
« Reply #144 on: October 15, 2016, 21:11:14 »
Side note - elsalado?  As in El Salado?  Sounds like a vegan wrestler.  You'll fit right in with the ACSOs.


Offline Dimsum

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Re: ACSO Postings
« Reply #145 on: October 15, 2016, 21:28:28 »
Side note - elsalado?  As in El Salado?  Sounds like a vegan wrestler.  You'll fit right in with the ACSOs.
“If you run into an a-hole in the morning, you ran into an a-hole. If you run into a-holes all day, you're the a-hole.”

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Offline Cherrysu

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ACSO Career Courses
« Reply #146 on: May 11, 2017, 08:07:14 »
So I'm a winged ACSO looking for opportunities for courses I can take that would open up some career possibilities. Just wondering if there's a list of courses somewhere that breaks down which trade is eligible for what. I've tried searching around but it appears my DWAN-fu isn't the greatest, and no one I seem to talk to knows either.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: ACSO Career Courses
« Reply #147 on: May 11, 2017, 09:07:07 »
DPGR used to have a DWAN database of quals, but one of the last "upgrades" by the PA folks got rid of that useful information.
Putting the *** in acerbic.

Offline Cherrysu

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Re: ACSO Career Courses
« Reply #148 on: May 11, 2017, 09:26:50 »
DPGR used to have a DWAN database of quals, but one of the last "upgrades" by the PA folks got rid of that useful information.
Yeah I've tried digging in the 2CAD page as well as trying to find some of the schools pages but haven't had much luck.

Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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Re: ACSO Career Courses
« Reply #149 on: May 11, 2017, 09:55:33 »
HPMA
Flight Safety
AOEW
Space Operations
Advanced SERE
Arctic Survival
Aerospace Systems
Pretty much anything thrown on by the warfare folks in Trenton
TEWIC


There's much more, but this should keep you busy for a while...

no one I seem to talk to knows either.

Where the frig are you?