No matter how many competent men and women the Air Force has that are able to run various radar, air traffic control, and other advanced control systems, it will not matter if those systems are not working properly.
That’s where this important Air Force job specialty comes into play.
Radar, Airfield & Weather System Specialists (RAWS) play a key role in keeping important airfield control and information systems up and running.
Among the responsibilities someone in this Air Force Career field has are:
- Overseeing the maintenance of air traffic control and various warning radar systems
- Installs, repairs and maintains fixed and mobile air traffic control systems, weather radar, ground control radar and other warning radar systems
- Also is tasked with the installation and maintenance of such equipment as radar operator training devices, aircraft identification equipment, remote systems, video mappers, computerized processors, and communications subsystems.
- May be asked to serve as part of a ground radar maintenance inspection team
Those who earn the title Radar, Airfield & Weather System Specialist are extremely important when it comes to overseeing the equipment that helps military aircraft take off, land, and travel to their next destination safely.
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Radar, Airfield & Weather System Specialist Requirements and Qualifications
Here is what it will take to enter into this highly technical Air Force career field.
- High School Diploma
- GED with 15 college credits
- Minimum ASVAB Score of 70 in electronics
- Be between the ages of 17 and 39
- Have normal color vision
- Be able to lift 40 lbs.
- Be a US Citizen
- Background knowledge of electronic principles and digital techniques is preferred but not required
- Possession of a valid state driver’s license so one can operate government motor vehicles
- Have no fear of heights
- Successful completion of 8.5 weeks of Air Force Basic Military Training held at Joint Base Lackland in San Antonio, TX (Not required of those with prior military experience or training)
- Completion of current national agency, local agency and credit checks
Training and Career Path to Become a Radar, Airfield & Weather System Specialist
This is a quick synopsis of the training it takes to become a RAWS specialist.
Air Force Technical Training Information
The technical training school for this Air Force specialty just gets into the basics of what it takes to become a Radar, Airfield & Weather System Specialist.
The bulk of the learning that an Airman will do in this career field is taught with hands-on training.
That is why the tech school which is located at Keesler AFB, in Mississippi is just about 4 ½ months long.
This is a great Air Force career for those that enjoy learning by doing as opposed to learning from information in textbooks.
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During this Air Force tech school an airman will learn such things as basic electronics, electronics terminology, and how to use various electronic troubleshooting equipment.
Once an Airman completes technical training for this Air Force career field, they will receive college credits toward a Community College of the Air Force degree in Electronic Systems Technology.
On the Job Training
Once technical training is complete, there will be an extensive on the job training period at the airman’s next permanent duty station.
This training will be overseen by experienced NCO’s in the RAWS career specialty.
How Much Are Radar, Airfield & Weather System Specialists Paid?
All enlisted military persons are paid on a set scale that is based on both rank and time in service.
Those without prior military experience will most likely be initially classified as an Airman Basic (E-1).
With career-related experience or schooling, there is also a chance that someone can start out as an Airman (E-2) or Airman First Class (E-3).
Here is the current Air Force enlisted pay scale that shows what an enlisted members base pay will be based on their ranking and time in service.
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||2020 Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-3||Airman First Class||A1C||$2,043|
|E-8||Senior Master Sergeant||SMSgt||$4,480|
|E-9||Chief Master Sergeant||CMSgt||$5,473|
|E-9||Command Chief Master Sergeant||CCM||$5,473|
|E-9||Chief Master Sergeant Of The Air Force||CMSAF||$5,473|
Other pay and incentives include:
- Housing allowance for those that live off base (BAH)
- Subsistence allowance (Food – BAS)
- 100% paid healthcare
- Temporary duty pay
- Cost of living incentives
- Tuition reimbursement
- Weekly days off and 30-days paid leave each year during peacetime
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What’s Life Like as Radar, Airfield & Weather System Specialists?
Although the hours may be long, this is the type of Air Force job that provides for a very stable home and work life.
There is not a lot of moving around other than an occasional temporary duty assignment that’s associated with this type of Air Force specialty.
That makes it a very good choice for those going into the military that are married or have dependent children.
It’s also a great career choice for those that want to take college courses while they are serving their country at the same time.
Most anyone that enjoys a technical job where they work with their hands will find this a rewarding Air Force career field.
Here is a video that describes what this Air Force specialty is all about:
Here are a few reviews from Indeed.com that have been posted by those that have served in the Air Force as RAWS specialists:
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Radar, Airfield & Weather System Specialist Civilian Career Opportunities
As the world becomes more technologically advanced, more and more career choices open up for Ex-Air Force Radar, Airfield & Weather System Specialists.
There are numerous well-paying jobs in the civilian community which can use the skills that a well-trained ex-Radar, Airfield & Weather System Specialist gained during their Air Force career.
These jobs do not have to be just radar and control systems related jobs either.
Here are some of the companies that frequently seek out the services of Ex-Air Force Radar, Airfield & Weather System Specialists:
- Air Force/Air Force Reserve government contractor positions – Various Locations
- Northrop Grumman – Melbourne, FL
- Boeing Aerospace Company – Chicago, IL
- General Dynamics Corporation – Falls Church, VA
- Raytheon Company – Waltham, MA
- Element Materials Technology – Minneapolis, MN
- ADB Safegate – Miami, FL
- Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority – Dulles, VA
- Aerojet Rocketdyne – Orlando, FL
- Booz Allen Hamilton – North Charleston, SC