Weapons Engineering Technician

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Weapons Engineering Technician is a occupation of the Royal Canadian Navy in the Regular Force (full time).

Job Description including salary

Job Description: For reference, see here: http://www.forces.ca/en/job/weaponsengineeringtechnician-170

Salary: For reference, see here http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/caf-community-pay/pay-rates.page. Once you are posted to a sea-going unit, you will also receive a Sea Duty Allowance (which as of 2016 is $311/month for newbies) in addition to your monthly salary.

Day-to-Day Life

Alongside / Ashore Environment

While your ship is alongside in your home port, your work day is a normal 8 hour work day. During this time, W Eng Techs can use their day to perform preventative or corrective maintenance on any of the weapons, sensors or communications systems, progress their training, stand duty watches, or assist other departments with common work onboard.

Some shore postings for W Eng Techs include IT departments for other units, instructional and support staff at the Naval Fleet School in either Esquimalt, BC or Halifax, NS, or in any other position available that would require the specific skills that W Eng Techs receive.

At-Sea Environment

While at sea, the Combat Systems Engineering (CSE) department will divide the department into two separate watches. This allows one half of the department to be available at any time for any maintenance or repairs to be completed on any of the CSE equipment onboard, regardless of the time of day. Usually, the CSE department will provide the watch with a Senior Tech of the Watch (STOW) and he/she is usually a PO1 or PO2. There will be a Tech of the Watch on station in the Operations room at all times, and a rotation is provided so that everyone in the department gets equal opportunity at this post.

Occasionally, the CSE department will provide assistance to other departments covering jobs like helmsman, lookout, or even assisting the galley staff working scullery. At sea, there are always jobs to do, whether it's cleaning stations, sorting garbage, or departmental work; there is never a shortage of things to do.

When you are not on watch, there are things to do as well. There are cardio machines located throughout the ship, a mini gym, and occasional workout classes held right on the flight deck. There are also movies and games in the main lounge areas, or you can even retire to your rack for some much needed sleep.

While at sea, teamwork is an essential requirement with your crewmates. When the ship goes to Action Stations or Emergency Stations, it is comforting to know that the people around you will have your back, just like you have theirs.

Training Progression

Basic Military Qualification (BMQ)

The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. This course teaches recruits a multitude of skills, such as personal dress, drill and deportment, teamwork, time-management, personal weapons drill, and how to maintain their equipment. It also teaches recruits strong ethics and perseverance skills, and is very physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding.

Naval Environmental Training (NETP)

Anyone who is required to operate on a ship will attend the Naval Fleet School either in Esquimalt, British Columbia or Halifax, Nova Scotia for approximately five weeks. Training includes the following topics:

  • Naval history and organization
  • Shipboard firefighting and damage control
  • Shipboard Safety
  • Watch-keeping duties
  • Seamanship

Basic Occupational Qualification Training (QL3)

W Eng Techs attend Naval Fleet School in Esquimalt, British Columbia or Halifax, Nova Scotia, and training will take approximately 9 months to complete, it includes:

Two semesters of academic training, including;

  • Math and Physics
  • Electrical and Electronics theory
  • Communications theory and applications
  • Radar theory and applications
  • Sonar theory and applications
  • Fluid / Hydraulic power
  • Use of hand tools, electrical meters and diagnostic equipment

AND

One semester of hands-on equipment training, including

  • Operating / maintaining shipboard sonar systems
  • Operating / maintaining shipboard navigation radar
  • Operating / maintaining shipboard internal communications
  • Operating / maintaining shipboard weapons systems
  • Operating / maintaining shipboard deck cranes
  • Operating / maintaining shipboard command and control systems
  • Safe handling of shipboard ammunition
  • Using departmental stores / inventory software for maintenance and repairs

On-the-Job Performance Packages (DP1 & DP2)

The DP1 training package offers newly trained W Eng Techs the opportunity to put into place the things that they have learned on the QL3 phase of their training. Upon completion of the DP1 package, W Eng Techs are considered to be fully qualified apprentice technicians.

The DP2 training package offers apprentice techs the opportunity to get deeper into the complete operation and maintenance of the systems in the Combat Systems Engineering department. The DP2 package allows W Eng Techs to:

  • Operate systems
  • Perform corrective maintenance
  • Perform preventative maintenance
  • Log preventative / corrective maintenance using DRMIS
  • Present a board on each system in the package, identifying power, safety, and signal flow requirements

During the DP2 phase of the training, apprentice W Eng Techs will spend an equal amount of time in each of the five sub-sections of the Combat Systems Engineering department: Communications, Sonar, Radar, Fire Control, & Armament. In order to complete the DP2 package, the apprentice will have to complete a final board, consisting of a presentation of two separate systems, and repairing a fault from identifying the fault through to finishing repairs and reporting the system correct with a full report on the actions taken. Upon completion of the final board, W Eng Techs are eligible to receive Specialist Pay level 1.

Specialty Training (QL5)

Upon completion of their final board, W Eng Techs will return to Naval Fleet School in Esquimalt, BC or Halifax, NS in order to further their academic education into more specialized subjects, such as:

  • Machine Elements
  • Material Sciences
  • Microprocessor Technology
  • Digital System Processing
  • Control Systems
  • Digital Logic
  • Networking and Operating Systems
  • Electronic and Hydraulic Power
  • Pulse Electronics
  • Network Cabling
  • Technical Communications

After the academic phase of the QL5, W Eng Techs will be divided into the sub-occupation that they will be working in, and further, in-depth training will be given on the systems in their respective departments. The goal of this training is to provide the Fleet with fully qualified Journeyman-level Technicians/Maintainers.

Additional Training

All W Eng Techs will be required, at some point through their career, to complete the following training:

  • Machinery Control Room Watch-keeper
  • Duty Technician

All Navy members also have the option to complete the following training:

  • Ship's Team Diver
  • Rescue Swimmer
  • Naval Boarding Party Member

Career Progression

  • Ordinary Seaman (OS) - BMQ to DP1
  • Able Seaman (AB) - DP1 to DP2
  • Leading Seaman (LS) - DP2 through QL5
  • Master Seaman (MS) - On merit, after QL5 and Primary Leadership Qualification (PLQ)
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class (PO2) - On merit
  • Petty Officer 1st Class (PO1) - On merit, after QL6 and Intermediate Leadership Qualification (ILQ)
  • Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class (CPO2) - On merit, after W Eng Manager Course and Advanced Leadership Qualification (ALQ)
  • Chief Petty Officer 1st Class (CPO1) - On merit, after W Eng Manager Technical Admin Course and CWO Qualification (CQC)

Pros / Cons

Pros

  • Exciting opportunities to travel to a large variety of places
  • Challenging career opportunities both on ship and ashore

Cons

  • Away from home / family for months at a time for courses / sails / deployments