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Job Description of an Aviation Electronics Technician in the Navy

by Will Charpentier

Aviation electronics technicians maintain aviation electronic components supported by conventional and automatic test equipment. They repair weapons replaceable assemblies, or the parts of an aircraft avionics or weapons systems that you can remove and replace as a package. They also repair shop replaceable assemblies – those that include all packages in a system. In addition, these technicians perform test equipment calibration or repair as well as test bench maintenance.

Prerequisites

Before and during boot camp, the Navy tests recruits extensively. Part of the testing is to find the best fit for each recruit’s natural skills and interests. The Navy then assigns seaman recruits to one of the large career groups, based on extensive testing. These groups are aviation, deck, construction, mechanical or engineering, and tech or intelligence. The Navy calls those selected for traditional, formal training -- such as the 26-week course for aviation electronics technicians – “strikers,” until they complete the school.

Primary Duties

An aviation electronics technician’s training is extensive. U.S. Navy aircraft are loaded with the most advanced electronics in the world. The aviation electronic technician maintains and repairs the complex on-board systems, such as navigation, communications and digital attack systems. Their job is to keep the aircraft – and its systems – flying and fighting. This means they maintain, repair and rebuild everything from computers that provide a heads-up display for a pilot to the laser-target information to so-called smart weapons.

Collateral Duties

In addition to active troubleshooting and repair, technicians work as aviation calibration technicians. They conduct periodic tests on electronic aircraft systems that include upgrades and modifications mandated by the Navy. This testing may include large-scale systems, such as an aircraft’s navigation system or diagnostic work, down to the component level. They also maintain some of the aircraft’s more mundane electronic and electrical control systems, such as the electric motors that configure the plane’s flaps for landing or the generators that provide the plane’s electric power.

Background

Aviation electronics technicians must be U.S. citizens either by birth or naturalization. In addition to the basic physical requirements for enlistment, their vision, with corrective lenses, must be 20/20. They must have normal color vision and depth perception. Ideally, they have an interest in aviation, according to the Navy Cyberspace website. An interest in electricity, electronics and computer systems is essential. You should also be willing to take on challenges such as the demanding Navy electronics training.

About the Author

Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.

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