Becoming an Joint Battlefield Airspace Controller (JBAC)

Air Traffic Controller is a perfect role for fast-thinking, multi-taskers who love working at the heart of the action. While many of your responsibilities will be similar to those of a civil Air traffic Controller, you'll also be in charge of military aircraft movements and will need to factor in missiles, gunfire and unmanned aircraft in combat situations. Another important difference is that the equipment will sometimes be mobile, and at times you may find yourself operating it at sea aboard a Naval vessel.

Due to these extra dimensions, Air Force Air Traffic Controllers are also known as Joint Battlefield Airspace Controllers (JBAC), and you can expect more variety, travel and excitement.

Who Can Become A JBAC?

Contrary to popular belief, Air Force is not necessarily looking for someone who is at the top of the class academically or the sporting team super star. Instead, Air Force seeks good all-rounders - people who can adapt to new situations quickly, who can think logically and make decisions, and who have a broad range of interests and abilities.

Despite JBACs being required to operate sophisticated radar and communication systems necessary to keep aircraft separated and in their allocated safe zone, you don’t need any technical expertise or flying experience to apply to be a JABC – we’ll teach you that!

What you will need is confidence, a sense of competitiveness, and commitment to a long journey of training and study, and a dogged determination to succeed. A sense of humour will also help you get through the intense training and critique that is involved along the way.

Selection Process and Training

Defence Force Recruiting(Link to a different website) is responsible for conducting the primary selection activities which includes a series of standard aptitude, medical and psychological testing.

Those applicants who successfully complete the primary selection activities are invited to undergo further assessment at the Aviation Candidate Management Centre(Link to a different page on this website) at RAAF Base East Sale (Link to a different page on this website).

All JBAC candidates are required to under Officer Training prior to commencing JBAC Initial Employment Training (IET).  Depending in the type of entry, JBAC candidates will undergo training at either the RAAF OfficerTraining School(Link to a different page on this website) or AustralianDefence Force Academy(Link to a different website).

Following Officer Training, JBAC candidates undergo IET at the School of Air Traffic Control at RAAF Base East Sale. On completion of Basic Air traffic Control Course JBACs will be posted to one of the Air Traffic Control Flights around Australia. The location will depend on Air Force requirements and the individual JBAC’s abilities, performance and personal preference.