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Weapons Engineering Technician

Eaglelord17

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I currently am considering joining the Navy and in particular I'm interested in being a Weapons Engineering Technician. This trade i understand is a very new one and despite doing a lot of searching on this site i was unable to find a post dedicated specifically to this unique and important trade.
From my understanding this trade is a amalgamation of Naval Weapons Tech, and the Naval Electronics Tech trades (Radar, Sonar, Communications).
I believe they have taken a ACISS trade style approach where you receive general training then you pick 3 choices from 5 sub trades.
I have just a few questions. How short handed are they and is there any sub-trade in particular? and is there any major issues at the moment because it was just amalgamated? What type of training system do they have set up? and because it is short-staffed is there any major problems for the people in the trade?
Also if any information is incorrect please correct it, I am only a pte. in the reserves and i have no Navy or full time experience so my knowledge is fairly limited.
 

Occam

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Eaglelord17 said:
and is there any major issues at the moment because it was just amalgamated?

No sirrrreeee, no problems there, everything's hunky-dory, just another day in paradise. <whistling while looking around the room>.

;D

 

QAD

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Lots of good questions there.

Right now, the trade is short handed in journeyman, consequence of the pre-amalgamation situation. They have many hundreds trainees doing BMQ, QL3 and QL4. It still takes some time to resolve maning issues at the journeyman level due to the time it takes to fully train a journeyman (if there is such a thing as someone fully trained in modern military).

All WENG techs together forms the Combat Systems Engineering (CSE) department on a ship. Lots of apprentices (OS and AB in rank) are doing their QL4 package (which is where you start on a ship).  Their QL4 is basicaly divided in 2 big sections. First, they have around 1 year to learn all the basic stuff on the boat, sail, do some basic maintenance with the journeymans... Then they start learning during 15 months (if my memory is right), all the various subtrades, in 3 months rotations. Once they are done with their packages, they have a big evaluation, a promotion, a pay raise, and are sent back to school for about a year.

We now have 5 basic subtrades
Sonar ; in charge of all the underwater stuff and more...
Radar ; in charge of a bunch of radars + combat computer system
Fire control ; in charge of missiles + fire control radars (lots of work with the actual system but it is being replaced)
Communications ; thats pretty much it
Armament ; YAY ! (best stuff IMHO) ;D , we're in charge of 3 pieces of kit ; the CIWS (phalanx), the gun (57mm bofor) and the brand new MASS (missile decoy)

A big detail to remember, YOU DO NOT PICK YOUR TRADE  !! During your big evaluation, they will take into account your preferences for subtrade, the comments of your supervising journeymans AND WHAT THEY ACTUALLY NEED

If there are 10 of you guys (freshly qualified QL4) and they need 10 radar techs, you're all gonna be radar techs. It's that simple.

But don't be alarmed, 80 to 90% of the job is done by the whole department. An Armament tech  :nod:  will pretty much do armament stuff 10-20% of the time. CSE dept is pretty good with this stuff. We mix and match a lot... which is a very good thing to do IMO.

Hope this helped.. but Armament is still the kickass trade, like NWT was before that whole amalgamation thing
 

Eaglelord17

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Thank you that was some very valueable information.
I am looking at doing possibly applying for sub work if i joined full time and was also wondering is there any subtrades that are not needed on a sub or any subtrades that are emphisized for working on a sub. Also when do you tell them you are interested in working on a sub, ive heard during your Q5 but im not sure.
 

QAD

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Anything I say is only about CSE department. I dont have any info about the other departments.

To my knowledge, the subs are still working under the old trade systems for another year. (We dont have a lot of subs, therefore we dont have a lot of submarineers, and even less CSE submarineers, and even less weapons tech submarineers... ) They need some more time to make sure they have enough people of each trades for each sub.

Here is an approximate career path for a Weng tech who wants to go to sub.

BMQ, 13 weeks
QL3, 6 months
QL4 + that other package on ship, 28 to 30 months. During that time they start asking you what you want to do. You answer submarine. They put it in your file and pretty much forget about it.
QL5 devided in 2 sections, 6 months academics and 6 months equipment (You make sure you remember the school early during the QL5 academics phase, that you want to go sub)
If you are accepted and pass the pressure test, you bypass the surface equipment phase, are sent to do basic sub training for a few months, then your QL5 trade for submarine for a few more months. You then get your posting to become a sub trainee and spend the next few years learning everything about the victoria class. Don't expect to be home a lot. Expect a lots of long days, long weeks.

Any submarineer, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Dont sign up for reg force expecting to go sub. A lot of things can happen and stop you from getting there. If you want to be a CSE guy on a sub, it takes a long time to get there. If you are really interested in going sub, ask for a tour, submarineers are awesome guys, they're always happy to do some recruiting.

Just remember that some people can't even go down the ladder. Some others realize that there is small, and diesel-sub-small to live in.
 

johnston.db

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The breakdown for the new trades on subs is the following, 3x Fire Control, 3x Sonar and 2x Radio.  The fire control guys will have the torpedo tubes, Weapons System Data Bus , and the Fire Control Consols.  Sonar will have all the various sonars along with the Periscopes, and Comms will have the comms systems, nav radar and EW gear.
 

QAD

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From the recent update we've got, the WENG trade is now yellow, with a possibility of turning green next year.
 

carolynv11

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For the section that is 28-30months. Is that 28-30 months out of port? Is it it like 12 months at sea, some in port kind of thing?
 

NavyShooter

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That is 28-30 months of employment on a ship doing OJT (On Job Training) packages. 

The actual sailing time will depend on the ship you belong to.  During that period, some ships may sail a lot, or just a little.  I was on HMCS CHARLOTTETOWN from May 2010 through September 2011, and the ship sailed for 9 of those months, including a 6 month deployment to Libya.

Some of the time may be spent attached to a ship that's in Refit, so there might be little or no sailing during that period, but in order to progress training, the trade is working to get sailors onto sea-going units. 

Does that help?

NS

(WEng Sonar...)
 

Cwes

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I have found conflicting locations as to where QL3 is held for WENG. On the forces recruiting page, the video says it is held in Halifax and in the Occupational section it says Esquimalt. I have also spoken to an acquaintance who is a Chief and he seems uncertain as to where the training is held now. Does anyone have an idea on where it is held now?
 

Occam

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Cwes said:
I have found conflicting locations as to where QL3 is held for WENG. On the forces recruiting page, the video says it is held in Halifax and in the Occupational section it says Esquimalt. I have also spoken to an acquaintance who is a Chief and he seems uncertain as to where the training is held now. Does anyone have an idea on where it is held now?

QL3 Academic and HFX class equipment training is currently only being conducted in Halifax.  The only WENG training that was conducted on the west coast was for IRO class.  However, with the reorganization of NPTG/NFS(A)/NFS(P), some WENG training may eventually end up being on both coasts.  It won't be tomorrow, though.
 

NavyHopeful

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As far as I know, with the amalgamation of the schools, they were supposed to be able to do video-conferencing for classes, so you could have your classes on both coasts.  As far as I am aware, right now, they are still pushing through the QL3 courses here in Halifax, and when you get to your QL5 level, you can do the academic portion on either coast, but you may have to come from BC to Halifax for certain equipment phases.

Case in point:  When I did my QL5s for Comms, I had some folks from the west coast join me for about 4-6 weeks for SHINCOM, CCMS, and HFTX/HFRX because they didn't have a trainer set up out west.  They may have something set up now, as my 5s were a couple of years ago, but I know they try not to move the 5s guys around too much.  I think it might be the whole "Mission First, People Always" thingy they got going on.
 

brass monkey

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QAD said:
We now have 5 basic subtrades
Sonar ; in charge of all the underwater stuff and more...
Radar ; in charge of a bunch of radars + combat computer system
Fire control ; in charge of missiles + fire control radars (lots of work with the actual system but it is being replaced)
Communications ; thats pretty much it
Armament ; YAY ! (best stuff IMHO) ;D , we're in charge of 3 pieces of kit ; the CIWS (phalanx), the gun (57mm bofor) and the brand new MASS (missile decoy)

A big detail to remember, YOU DO NOT PICK YOUR TRADE  !! During your big evaluation, they will take into account your preferences for subtrade, the comments of your supervising journeymans AND WHAT THEY ACTUALLY NEED

But don't be alarmed, 80 to 90% of the job is done by the whole department. An Armament tech  :nod:  will pretty much do armament stuff 10-20% of the time. CSE dept is pretty good with this stuff. We mix and match a lot... which is a very good thing to do IMO.

Hope this helped.. but Armament is still the kickass trade, like NWT was before that whole amalgamation thing
Thanks for your contributions.
This was posted a long time ago so I'm wondering...

Is your sub-trade still selected for you?
If a specialized sub-trade is working in that sub-trade 10% to 20% of the time between 5 sub-trades, would that still be considered a specialization? If so, what constitutes a specialty?
Also, is the sub-trade in communications IT/computer oriented or is it more dealing with systems such as power/antenna, or something else?

Thank you
 

NavyHopeful

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brass monkey said:
Thanks for your contributions.
This was posted a long time ago so I'm wondering...

Is your sub-trade still selected for you?
If a specialized sub-trade is working in that sub-trade 10% to 20% of the time between 5 sub-trades, would that still be considered a specialization? If so, what constitutes a specialty?
Also, is the sub-trade in communications IT/computer oriented or is it more dealing with systems such as power/antenna, or something else?

Thank you

1. Yes, your sub-trade is still selected for you.  However, I'd like to point out that your wishes do go a long way in the selection of your sub-trade.  There was input from each of my senior techs of each section (PO2s of Sonar, Radar, Comms, etc.) and they evaluated my grasp of the systems, my confidence in working with the gear, and what my potential would be to succeed in that sub-trade.  I ended up with good aptitude for Comms, Sonar, and Radar, but the way the training is modelled, there is the potential to be good at everything.  Potential being the main word there...

2.  In the world of the Navy, our specialized trades work as a whole department, but we specialize in a specific area.  For example, I specialize in Comms.  This means that the majority of my work will be focused around the communications suites onboard.  However, I may be called to perform duties that have nothing to do with Comms, such as being a Magazine Yeoman.  A Mag Yeoman's main job is the care, storage, issuing and receipt of ammunition and explosives, and maintaining the storage spaces of said A&E.  Another possibility is that you could be called upon to operate or repair some other section's piece of equipment, because that section is short-staffed.  On my last deployment, we didn't have any Sonar techs to deploy our passive towed sonar array, but because we are all trained as junior techs on how to deploy and retrieve this array, I was able to fill in for the sonar section and get the job done.  Basically, your sub-trade will be the main focus of your job, but you can be called on to help others.  That's basically it.

3.  This question is one I can really get behind.  If you decide to focus on communications as your speciality, you can be responsible for both IT/computer oriented AND radio/antenna systems.  There are so many different things that the Comms section is responsible for, so I'll give you a quick list of the broad basics:

-HF Transmit/Receive
-UHF Transmit/Receive
-VHF Transmit/Receive
-Satellite Communications
-Data Link systems
-Message Handling systems
-Repair of Crypto equipment
-Internal communications (Ship's telephone system, sound-powered emergency comms)
-Public Address systems / Emergency alarms
-Communications Control and Management systems
-Satellite TV
-Ship's Clocks
-Ship's IT Network (IT - cabling and power ONLY)

There are so many calls of "I need a Comm tech" onboard a ship, but it means that I'm never bored, that's for sure!!  And trust me, if you DO pick Comms for a sub-trade, you will never be bored.  There is ALWAYS something going on.

I hope this answers some of your questions.  Don't be afraid to ask more.  We are all here to help.

Cheers.
 

brass monkey

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1. Yes, your sub-trade is still selected for you. However, I'd like to point out that your wishes do go a long way in the selection of your sub-trade. There was input from each of my senior techs of each section (PO2s of Sonar, Radar, Comms, etc.) and they evaluated my grasp of the systems, my confidence in working with the gear, and what my potential would be to succeed in that sub-trade. I ended up with good aptitude for Comms, Sonar, and Radar, but the way the training is modelled, there is the potential to be good at everything. Potential being the main word there...

2. In the world of the Navy, our specialized trades work as a whole department, but we specialize in a specific area. For example, I specialize in Comms. This means that the majority of my work will be focused around the communications suites onboard. However, I may be called to perform duties that have nothing to do with Comms, such as being a Magazine Yeoman. A Mag Yeoman's main job is the care, storage, issuing and receipt of ammunition and explosives, and maintaining the storage spaces of said A&E. Another possibility is that you could be called upon to operate or repair some other section's piece of equipment, because that section is short-staffed. On my last deployment, we didn't have any Sonar techs to deploy our passive towed sonar array, but because we are all trained as junior techs on how to deploy and retrieve this array, I was able to fill in for the sonar section and get the job done. Basically, your sub-trade will be the main focus of your job, but you can be called on to help others. That's basically it.

3. This question is one I can really get behind. If you decide to focus on communications as your speciality, you can be responsible for both IT/computer oriented AND radio/antenna systems. There are so many different things that the Comms section is responsible for, so I'll give you a quick list of the broad basics:

-HF Transmit/Receive
-UHF Transmit/Receive
-VHF Transmit/Receive
-Satellite Communications
-Data Link systems
-Message Handling systems
-Repair of Crypto equipment
-Internal communications (Ship's telephone system, sound-powered emergency comms)
-Public Address systems / Emergency alarms
-Communications Control and Management systems
-Satellite TV
-Ship's Clocks
-Ship's IT Network (IT - cabling and power ONLY)

There are so many calls of "I need a Comm tech" onboard a ship, but it means that I'm never bored, that's for sure!! And trust me, if you DO pick Comms for a sub-trade, you will never be bored. There is ALWAYS something going on.

I hope this answers some of your questions. Don't be afraid to ask more. We are all here to help.

Cheers.
Thank you, there is a lot of great info in that response, I really appreciate it.

I've done further research, including speaking to a Senior NCO regarding WENGTECH but I have further questions regarding the fire control systems.

What can you share regarding the Fire Control specialty? I understand little, basically that it's a Linux based OS that operatings the fire control systems for armament.
Is the system Debian or RHEL based?
How much work is required by techs to maintain the system and what do they do?

Any additional information is greatly appreciated, thanks for everything.

Best regards,
 

NavyShooter

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I will observe that the likelihood of you ever getting into the actual root/program of the OS on the FCS is slim.

The maintenance routines for the equipment is defined, and laid out in the PM Schedules (Preventative Maintenance).

There are M (Monthly) checks/tests, 3M checks/tests/inspections, 6M lubrication replacement routines, 12M and 24M checks.

Some of the systems even have 60M checks - where it's pulled off and sent back to the OEM for inspection/overhaul.

You'll see everything from voltage checks on power supplies to inspection of shock mounts, to lubricating the bearings on the actual FCS on the bridge-top.

The higher level maintenance routines also subsume the lower level ones. So, for example, if you're doing a 6M on the system, you first do all the checks from the 1M, then the 3M, then you do the additional steps laid out in the 6M.

Does that make sense?

NS
 

brass monkey

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Thanks NavyShooter, that does make sense. It also sounds like the majority of WENGTECH work is not in the IT/Networking area as much as I thought, which is my primary interest along with the comms.
As an Amateur radio (HAM) working on SDR, and practicing events such as Foxhunts, it looks like I might be better off with NAVCOMM and/or Comms Research.

All this information has ben phenomenal, I really appreciate it.
I'll keep researching but it looks like WENGTECH is no coming in at a close 4th place on my application.

Cheers,
 
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