Opts
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Hello! I was wondering if anyone could give me some clarification Re: the RAF's organization as I can't seem to get this bit of revision to click, I'm guessing this is pretty fundamental . Going to just write down my train of thought, as I'm not quite sure how to word it....

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So, there are 3 groups.

1 group - Air Combat
2 group - ISTAR
22 (training) group.

These are divided up into wings, which are divided into squadrons, which consist of flights.

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I guess I am struggling with the definition of a 'wing'. I know the group has a more general purpose, do wings serve to break down this purpose into its contributing elements, eg. Intelligence wing / AT/AAR wing etc....?

From there, how are stations organized? I have mapped out in my head the stations and the groups that they belong to... how many wings are in a station, or is it variable?

I'm also aware of the EAW's which serve the purpose of projecting airpower worldwide to support land forces. What is the difference between an EAW and a 'normal' wing, or is it exactly what it says on the tin - the former serving expeditionary purposes and the latter operating primarily from the UK.

-----

I hope (someone) can see where I'm coming from, and will be able to offer some clarification.

Thanks in advance!
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AlphaTango
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Hi Opts

I'm glad you've actually had a look and tried yourself to research rather than most people just ask the questions straight off! So you've done one thing right already.

Have a quick look at Number 2 Group again, its not just ISTAR (which they now call ISR). The most simple way to look at the groups, are the Number 1 Group are the 'teeth' arms of the RAF and Number 2 Group includes everything that supports the operations of Number 1 Group other than any training units which you rightly said come under Number 22 training group.

Have a look here:
http://www.raf.mod.uk/organisation/rafgroups.cfm
http://www.rafweb.org/Org-index.htm

See if you can figure out how wings and squadrons are set up. A huge part of the selection process is researching the information and learning about the RAF yourself.

Don't get too bogged down into it for interview prep but its good for your personal knowledge to know how the RAF works.

Have a look here; http://www.raf.mod.uk/organisation/E...ryAirForce.cfm
For EAW's if you read what each of the EAW's does, and who is deployed within each one you'll get a good understanding of what they are/contain.

Though no doubt i'll write this post and someone will have already given you the answers haha!

Chris
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ProStacker
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You forgot RAF Stations in that first post. Flights are the smallest unit of troops (unless you are RAF Regiment, but let's not go there right now). A Flight has a Flight Commander. They usually work as part of a Squadron, commanded by a Squadron Commander (who is a Squadron Leader, unless it is an aircraft squadron, then they are Wing Commanders to confuse things). The Squadrons work within a Wing, with a Wing Commander at the head. They all usually work for a Station Commander, who is usually a Group Captain, unless the Station is too small, or is too large (Brize Norton for example). Stations work to a Group.

That probably didn't help much!
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Opts
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(Original post by ChrisLincoln)
Hi Opts

I'm glad you've actually had a look and tried yourself to research rather than most people just ask the questions straight off! So you've done one thing right already.

Have a quick look at Number 2 Group again, its not just ISTAR (which they now call ISR). The most simple way to look at the groups, are the Number 1 Group are the 'teeth' arms of the RAF and Number 2 Group includes everything that supports the operations of Number 1 Group other than any training units which you rightly said come under Number 22 training group.

Have a look here:
http://www.raf.mod.uk/organisation/rafgroups.cfm
http://www.rafweb.org/Org-index.htm

See if you can figure out how wings and squadrons are set up. A huge part of the selection process is researching the information and learning about the RAF yourself.

Don't get too bogged down into it for interview prep but its good for your personal knowledge to know how the RAF works.

Have a look here; http://www.raf.mod.uk/organisation/E...ryAirForce.cfm
For EAW's if you read what each of the EAW's does, and who is deployed within each one you'll get a good understanding of what they are/contain.

Though no doubt i'll write this post and someone will have already given you the answers haha!

Chris
Thanks, yes I've been pretty proactive on the research front - mostly from the RAF site (which still lists 2 group as ISTAR!) Thanks for your reply, hoping to start application to be an ABM in a couple of weeks!

(Original post by ProStacker)
You forgot RAF Stations in that first post. Flights are the smallest unit of troops (unless you are RAF Regiment, but let's not go there right now). A Flight has a Flight Commander. They usually work as part of a Squadron, commanded by a Squadron Commander (who is a Squadron Leader, unless it is an aircraft squadron, then they are Wing Commanders to confuse things). The Squadrons work within a Wing, with a Wing Commander at the head. They all usually work for a Station Commander, who is usually a Group Captain, unless the Station is too small, or is too large (Brize Norton for example). Stations work to a Group.

That probably didn't help much!
Thank you very much!
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Schleigg
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(Original post by Opts)
Thanks, yes I've been pretty proactive on the research front - mostly from the RAF site (which still lists 2 group as ISTAR!) Thanks for your reply, hoping to start application to be an ABM in a couple of weeks!



Thank you very much!
I can see how the RAF website could confuse you as there's a layout mistake. Well there is for me using Chrome or Safari.

The initial paragraph describing what 2Gp does has blended with the Motto section!
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Ikaruss
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Opts, just use the RAF website for your research, its hopelessly flawed as Schleigg says, but if that's what they're putting out in the public domain with the corporate RAF logo, you, as a poor member of the public, have to assume it's gospel.

The truth is, the Corporate Comms people can't keep up with all the changes (downsizing) in organisations, stations, aircraft and jobs. That's not your fault mate! Just spout what the website tells you - it's their problem if the information is incorrect.

It all went Pete Tong in the 90s when the MoD were trying to realise a 'Peace Dividend' at the end of the Cold War. Big draw down and restructuring followed. In my little corner of the RAF (Nimrods) we were part of 18 Group, formerly Coastal Command. A long standing (58 years) and historical association that everyone in the relevant Sqns were proud to be a member of. In 1996 it was changed to 11/18 Gp and in the next 10 years morphed into 3 Gp and then 2 Gp. The pride of belonging to 18 Gp did not transfer to any of those incarnations and when I retired a couple of years ago, you'd have been hard pushed to find anyone who actually knew or cared what Group they were supposed to belong to. Same with the EAWs which were effectively a modern 'management' instrument to try and gel disparate units and functions into a single coherent expeditionary entity. By having an EAW shoulder flash on your combats, you were supposed to feel a strong identity with other members of the EAW. I can't answer for current serving chaps, but I felt absolutely no affinity with 325EAW and had little or no understanding or what it was actually supposed to be or indeed why I should feel good about being a member of it rather than any other EAW. I did however have a very strong connection with all of my Sqns, and shed a tear when I participated in a ceremony to hand over my last Squadron standard to the care of the RAF College Cranwell. Now that was a sad day. It's a ceremony that the RAF Regt at Cranwell have become very familiar with in the last few years.

Anyway, Opts, best you don't get contaminated by my cynicism. There's no problem with the organisation and it's a highly effective structure!

Ikky
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Opts
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(Original post by Ikaruss)
Opts, just use the RAF website for your research, its hopelessly flawed as Schleigg says, but if that's what they're putting out in the public domain with the corporate RAF logo, you, as a poor member of the public, have to assume it's gospel.

The truth is, the Corporate Comms people can't keep up with all the changes (downsizing) in organisations, stations, aircraft and jobs. That's not your fault mate! Just spout what the website tells you - it's their problem if the information is incorrect.

It all went Pete Tong in the 90s when the MoD were trying to realise a 'Peace Dividend' at the end of the Cold War. Big draw down and restructuring followed. In my little corner of the RAF (Nimrods) we were part of 18 Group, formerly Coastal Command. A long standing (58 years) and historical association that everyone in the relevant Sqns were proud to be a member of. In 1996 it was changed to 11/18 Gp and in the next 10 years morphed into 3 Gp and then 2 Gp. The pride of belonging to 18 Gp did not transfer to any of those incarnations and when I retired a couple of years ago, you'd have been hard pushed to find anyone who actually knew or cared what Group they were supposed to belong to. Same with the EAWs which were effectively a modern 'management' instrument to try and gel disparate units and functions into a single coherent expeditionary entity. By having an EAW shoulder flash on your combats, you were supposed to feel a strong identity with other members of the EAW. I can't answer for current serving chaps, but I felt absolutely no affinity with 325EAW and had little or no understanding or what it was actually supposed to be or indeed why I should feel good about being a member of it rather than any other EAW. I did however have a very strong connection with all of my Sqns, and shed a tear when I participated in a ceremony to hand over my last Squadron standard to the care of the RAF College Cranwell. Now that was a sad day. It's a ceremony that the RAF Regt at Cranwell have become very familiar with in the last few years.

Anyway, Opts, best you don't get contaminated by my cynicism. There's no problem with the organisation and it's a highly effective structure!

Ikky
That's politics though ha. Amalgamate something effective and identifiable, re-brand it and label it as more cohesive. Boom.
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Ikaruss
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(Original post by Opts)
That's politics though ha. Amalgamate something effective and identifiable, re-brand it and label it as more cohesive. Boom.
Yeah. That's why I and many people have no respect for any modern politicians. The old maxim "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is as valid today as it ever was. The managers (note, not leaders) who populate the upper echelons of many organisations (inc RAF) seem either not to understand this fact or think they know better.

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time - Abraham Lincoln (not quite my generation or nationality, but a proper conviction politician who I would have respected!)

Darn there's my cynicism sneaking out again. Sorry.
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jannisjr
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As far as I was aware it was like this.

Air force Board - One of the the boards of the Defence Council, consists of the CAS, ACAS and significant members of government and advisors e.g Secretary of State for Defence etc.


RAF Air Command - Based at High Wycombe, delegates authority through the group structure.


Groups - 1 - Air Combat
2 - Air Combat Support
22 - Training and Recruitment
No.83 Expeditionary Air Group


Stations - Under command of Grp Capt ideally, although theres plenty of exceptions on smaller stations etc.


Wings - Base Support (admin), Operations, Engineering, Expeditionary Air Wings


Squadrons - 100 or so personnel, around 12 aircraft on flying squadrons.


Flights - A+B usually, but notable exceptions like 22sqn with flights all over the place. Usually under command of sqn ldr.
Independent flights also exist for specific roles e.g RAF mount pleasant on the falklands has a bunch of flights flying SAR and air power in that region
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