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Principal Technician (Tactical Datalink)

210608 Requisition #

Job Title:                                                Principle Technician (Tactical Datalink) 

Post Number:                                        OAC OCMX 0090

NATO Civilian Grade:                           NATO Grade 12

Duty Location:                                       Geilenkirchen, Germany

Post filling date:                                    1 May 2022

Closing date for applications:                13 August 2021


Organisation Summary and Post Context:

Headquarters Allied Air Command (HQ AIRCOM) has been home to a NATO Airpower headquarters since 1974. Allied Air Command is the single service command for delivering Air and Space Power for Alliance Air operations and missions.

The Operations Directorate is responsible for directing, monitoring and co-ordinating operational staff functions. The Operations Centre (OC) provides 24/7 command and control functionality and situational awareness to monitor and/or supervise the execution of standing peacetime operations and activities within COM AIRCOM’s Area of Functional Responsibility including Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD), Air Policing, NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Force (NAEW&CF) coordination, and NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force (NAGSF) coordination. Within the OC, the Tactical Data Link Management (TDLM) Branch is responsible for all aspects of planning, designing, validating, initializing and continuously monitoring and managing the joint multi-link TDL architecture for the NATO Codification System (NCS) and its external interface. The TDLM Cell located at Geilenkirchen, Germany is an extension of the TDLM Branch at HQ AIRCOM in Ramstein, Germany.

Based in Geilenkirchen Germany, the incumbent will provide on-site and remote technical support and training to ensure the appropriate utilization of tactical data links in support of training, exercise and operations. Technical support includes but is not limited to providing advice and assistance, and proposing and evaluating technical and/or software data changes and modifications. 


Main responsibilities:

  • Validating technical requirements for joint/combined information exchanges.
  • Training HQ AIRCOM, NCS, NFS Air C2 sites, NAEW personnel in the TDL field, with a specific focus on technical aspects.
  • Performing on and off equipment fault analysis, diagnostics, inspection, testing, modification, evaluation, replacement and adjustment of the JTIDS/MIDS/JREAP system equipment of/at NATO Air C2 ground sites and other NATO agencies/users and related JTIDS/MIDS special test equipment, in accordance with applicable technical publications and directives.
  • Designing, maintaining and distributing NATO MIDS/JTIDS Link-16 operational, contingency, exercise, training and test networks (to include the NATO Network Library).
  • Producing Link 16 Load files for NATO assets, to include, but not limited to NCS/NFS ACCS sites and NAEW aircraft.
  • Evaluating and improving analysis and diagnostic procedures used at the local facility and/or at the NATO Air C2 ground sites.
  • Maintaining liaison with NATO and national TDLMC.
  • Supporting ACO TDL documentation.
  • Functioning as monitor for technical publications, special test equipment, Consolidated Tool Kit (CTK).
  • Operating logistics, diagnostic and analysis related organic JTIDS/MIDS support means, specific IT systems included.
  • Operating motor vehicles, support and test equipment.
  • Assisting the development of TDL-related diagnostic and analysis procedures and TDL training and TDL network design.
  • Planning and executing modifications of residual assets for further use in the NATO environment.



  • Higher Secondary education and completed higher vocational training in information technology, telecommunications, electronics, computer science or related discipline leading to a formal technical or professional certification with 3 years function related experience; or Secondary education and completed advanced vocational training in that discipline leading to a professional qualification or professional accreditation with 5 years post related experience.
  • Must have good experience in conducting training, preferably in Tactical Data Links (TDL) or related field
  • Must have understanding of technical aspects of Link 16 and knowledge of Link 16 platform dependent implementation.
  • Must have very good technical experience in JTIDS/MIDS equipment.
  • Must have good experience with Link 16 host systems and related C2 systems.
  • Completed Link 16 Network Design Course and/or experience is required.
  • Must have good experience in computing networks.
  • Previous NATO assignment or similar experience working in an international/military environment is desirable.
  • Completion of TDL technical training is an asset and very good knowledge of NATO TDL standards (especially Link 16) is desirable. Good knowledge of JTIDS/MIDS special type test equipment (STTE) is also desirable.
  • Certified instructor preferred.


Language skills: English – good – NATO Standard Language Proficiency 3322, (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) in accordance with NATO standard agreement (STANAG) 6001. NOTE: The work both oral and written in this post and in this Headquarters as a whole is conducted mainly in English.


Personal Attributes and Competencies

The successful candidate should be able to:

Interpret and apply the provisions of technical documentation/orders (manuals),

Display judgment, initiative, adaptability and a logical approach to solving technical problems and JTIDS/MIDS related equipment malfunctions,

Use technical expertise and knowledge to resolve technical problems encountered, not covered by technical orders,

Demonstrate skills in independent diagnostics, fault isolation and analysis of JTIDS/MIDS installations accurately and promptly in high stress situations,

Be flexible and work without supervision,

Integrate in a team and promote team spirit,

Communicate effectively at all levels with tact and diplomacy within a multicultural environment,

Should be able to exercise functional supervision over a small team of technicians,

Represents HQ AIRCOM at different meetings on Tactical Data Links when so ordered,

Maintain regular day-to-day professional internal contacts within the Squadron and with colleague technicians on matters pertaining to assigned responsibilities and duties,

Maintain regular contact with external bodies such as NSPA, NCI Agency, SHAPE, NATO Air C2 ground sites and companies with the purpose of obtaining or exchanging professional information, and

Participate on a regular basis in meetings on TDL related matters.


Contribution to the Objective:

Ensure proper configuration and operation of JTIDS/MIDS installations within the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS) structure. The related technical assistance at the NATO Air C2 ground sites and the E-3A aircraft is essential for sustaining vital capabilities for the exchange of operational information for Command and Control of the Alliance.


Special Requirements

The employee may be required to perform a similar range of duties elsewhere within the organisation at the same grade without there being any change to the contract.

The incumbent may be required to undertake deployments in support of military operations and exercises, and/or TDY assignments, both within and without NATO boundaries. Such operational deployment may exceed 30 days duration up to 183 days in any period of 547 days, and may be on short notice. For NATO International Civilian Staff, acceptance of an employment contract linked to this post constitutes agreement to deploy in excess of 30 days if required.

The incumbent may also be directed to undertake operational duties supporting AIRCOM in its Air Power projection role, and when HQ AIRCOM executes its role as the NCS JFAC. When COM AIRCOM so directs, personnel will be assigned to a JFAC CE position to support operational tasks within the JFAC structure; this will require that the individual undergoes appropriate training and preparation. The expected deployment location will be HQ AIRCOM at Ramstein Air Base.

Personnel may also be directed to support activities in the framework of delivering Air Power for the Alliance. All additional operational duties take precedence over peacetime tasks, involve regular/frequent operational training, and may lead to operational deployments or TDY assignments within and beyond NATO boundaries.

The work is normally performed in a Operational Airbase with possible access to runways aircraft hard standing areas.

Undesirable Conditions apply.

The risk of injury is categorised as: Moderate Risk of Injury



The successful selected candidate must complete a NATO medical examination and have NATO security clearance before an employment offer will be released. AIRCOM’s medical consultant must confirm the recommended candidate is fit to perform the duties and is deployable to NATO's regional areas of operation.

In accordance with current policy, newly recruited staff will be offered a three year contract which may be extended, subject to a satisfactory recommendation, to an indefinite duration contract. Serving NATO International Civilian staff will be offered a contract in accordance with the NATO Civilian Personnel Regulations.


Recruitment process

Candidates have to apply electronically in NATO Talent Acquisition Program: https://nato.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobsearch.ftl?lang=en 

Please be aware that a Selection Board will assess the information provided in the application form. Attachments are supporting documents and should not be referred to in the application form.

AIRCOM anticipates hiring a second candidate for a vacancy effective April 2023.

Assessments and interviews are tentatively planned for September 2021.

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