Don't write much although I initially had the intent to add my voice to the many initiatives that you are undertaking. All are a necessity to ensure the viability of our profession as we move into the next generation of advanced sensors.
EO/IR Operator isn't the be all end all for us. It is just another sensor for action in the chain (we used to call this the Kill Chain) to create the conditions that a DP will be cleared so we can take another step toward mission success (how many sensors have to correlate - other than EO allow for a strike?). ESM, IR, EO, Radar, MTI, penetration Radar, GEO location software, and there are so many more.
I am not writing to tell each of you to suck eggs, I'm actually looking for some professional trainers that are looking for a job. You may have noticed that not every company comes right out and says "Hey, I'm looking for a professional airborne sensor operator that has training experience". I actually noticed that my company isn’t listed even though we are looking for people all the time. Companies call the positions by names that don't show up on a normal job search. L3 WESCAM calls theirs "Customer Service Trainer" because we work in the Customer Service Group. Yes, I know it looks like an HR position, but I can assure you it is anything but.
I let all of you know last year that I left the RCAF as a Senior Airborne Sensor Operator to take a position with L3 WESCAM here in Burlington, Ontario. I am the Project Lead Systems Trainer; which means I design and instruct training programs for new WESCAM Mission Systems. Recently, I was also made the Supervisor of the Training Department in Customer Service.
Which brings me to: we teach ISR, electro-optics, Infrared, moving target indication, moving maps, and full mission systems. We also teach turret maintenance at various levels.
We are hiring. The position is called "Customer Service Trainer". You don't need to be fully qualified for this. Experience on the MX Series of turrets is nice, time as an instructor is great, second language (other than english) is a bonus.
But the point is, don't limit yourself to working as a mission systems operator in Afghanistan. Yes, that would be nice, but that is a market segment. We are looking for operators that are willing to become trainers and demonstrators of the best airborne surveillance system in the world. How many other companies have had their equipment in space on the ISS? How many others have done sporting events (yes, including NASCAR) been requested by Garth Brooks (I think he has something to do with country music....I think) and have an Oscar to boot. Although we gave up the entertainment side and are now concentrated fully on the military and ALE sectors, the MX Series are still the workhorse of both military marine, land and airborne systems.
If you have questions about what we do here, or the move package to join our team. Please drop me a line. The job descriptions are at L3WESCAM/Opportunities. There are many positions available (not just in training or in Canada).we will give you and interview and then a formal one so we can both size each other and see if the company and the department are going to be compatible.
Drop me a line. ASOG is built by Sensor Operators. Come see what we have and think about us as your next career move. We are flight proven and rock steady for a reason.