Forces FAQ (including AFCO locator & useful phone numbers)

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Report Thread starter 12 years ago
I will post links here and as this was an RAF FAQ thread I'll try and expand that to the Army and Navy with the help of a few friends. Sources are as before, the BBC, the RAF site, RAF Careers, the Officer thread and some personal sources. Most of this information has been removed over time so check out:

I will try to put as much info up here as possible but if there is a question you have about any of it feel free to PM me. Also please try having a look here before typing something out in a thread, your answer may well be here!

Click the numerals to be taken to the post


General I (How to join, preparing for interviews)

General II (NCO vs Officer)

General III (Roles, Ranks, Joint Operations)

General IV (Senior Commanders, Eligibility, Contacting the RAF)



RAF Links I


Pilot I II

Air Traffic Control Officer I

Fighter Control I II

Medical Officer I

RAF Regiment I

Weapons Systems Officer I


Weapons Systems Operator (WSOp) I

Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic I
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Report Thread starter 12 years ago

I'm interested in the RAF as an Officer, what happens now?

1. Initial Talk at the AFCO (Armed Force Careers Office). You go to your AFCO and chat to the staff there. They'll give you the right brochures and ascertain whether you are qualified to apply for the given branches. You don't need to know anything other than the fact you are interested, they will give you as much information and advice as you want.

2. Officer Presentation. You spend several hours at the AFCO and recieve information about the RAF, The RAF/Officer Way of Life, The Selction Process and Initial Officer Training. BE WARNED - many of the questions that you'll later get asked in interview can be answered from the information given during the presentation. TAKE LOTS OF NOTES. Especially about OASC and IOT (you need to know these in great detail). Finally, ask loads of questions...this isn't a time to be shy!

3. AFCO Interview. The first stage of the selection process proper. The interview lasts between 30 min and an hour. They will ask about you family background, education (know your grades!), jobs you've done, hobbies, sports, when you've had reponsibility, why you want to join the RAF, why you want to be an Officer, why you want to do the branch/es you've chosen, what happens at OASC, what you do at IOT, what you do for your Branch training and what you will do as a Junior Officer in your branch. Sometimes they will ask about Military topics (overseas bases, deployments, aircraft etc) Top Tips....prepare really well, be very confident and SELL YOURSELF. If you pass this they will send you to OASC....

4. OASC. (Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre) 4 days at RAF Cranwell. PART ONE is Aptitude Test, Medical and Interview (very hard interview). If you pass Part One, you will go on to complete PART TWO. Part Two is Discussion Exercise, Fitness Test, Individual Problem Solving, Group Problem Solving, Leaderless Practical Exercise, Leadership Exercise and a final Interview.

So what should I do to prepare?

A. SELL YOURSELF. Analysis the things you have done (work, hobbies etc) and use these to demonstrate the qualities that you think they are looking for (leadership, ruggedness, adventurous, active etc).

B. Do your RESEARCH. They will expect you to have a detailed knowledge about current affairs, the military, the RAF, OASC, Officer Training, Specialist Training and the job itself. You MUST research these in detail. In interview, be concise and accurate. You CANNOT blag your way through selection...if you don't prepare you will look a fool say "I don't know" over and over again in an interview.

C. Get FIT. You need to score EXCELLENT on the Bleep Test. This means that you need to go out running on a regular basis. Can't be bothered? Then you haven't got sufficient motivation to join.

D. Be YOURSELF. Don't pretend to be something you are not. They'll spot it a mile away and you'll fail for it. It is a MYTH that you need a posh accent etc. If you have the qualities, you'll pass.

E. Be CONFIDENT. If you pass, you'll be an Officer within 9 months. You'll be in charge of people (experienced, intelligent people). You need bags of confidence to pull that off.

F. Practise your MATHS. The problem solving exercises and aptitude tests require a strong ability to metal arithmatic QUICKLY and IN YOUR HEAD.

G. Develop your LEADERSHIP. Take any opportunity to put yourself into a position of responsibility, make decisions and motivate other people to achieve things.

H. Decide WHY you want a Commission. It's not an easy job...why do you want to do it?

I. PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE....and when you think you've done enough...prepare some more. DO NOT underestimate OASC!!!

Are there any requirments?

Yes, these can be found at

What is IOT?
Initial Officer Training is held at Cranwell for a period of 24 weeks. This is due to change to 30 weeks in November 2005 to 30 weeks in 10 week blocks.

IOT is split into phases as well; Basic Phase is weeks 1-4, and is basic military skills. 5-11 is the Leadership Phase, ending in Field Leadership Camp of a week and a half. 13-18 form the Academic Phase, then 18-20 is Carousel, where the squadron splits into thirds and does adventurous training, a station visit, and a management simulator week. Then you do a week's military skills to prepare for the final exercise, which is a week away, called Exercise Peacekeeper. Then you have Champagne Monday (find out if you're gradding or being recoursed) followed by 2 weeks of drinking and practicing your drill. Then graduation and onto specialist trade training.

What sort of things will I be asked at my interview?

Here is a vague idea, questions will change from person to person and branch to branch, but they tend to follow a defined format.

What is your date of birth?
How old does that make you in years and months?
Where do you live?
How long have you been there?
Did you have any particular problems growing up with your parents? (what he was getting at is emotional family stuff, they want to know you had a stable upbringing.)
How do your parents feel about joining the RAF?
Are you in a relationship?
How does he/she feel about your joining the RAF?
How many GCSE's did you get?
How many A levels did you get?
Looking back, how do you feel about the results you got?
What opportunities at school (up to the age of 16) did you have for joining Air Cadets or Army Cadets or Sea cadets?
What opportunities at school did you have for travel?
What opportunties at school did you have to join clubs?
What sports if any did you play with the school?
What organisations or schemes (i.e. Duke of Edinburgh Award etc) were you involved with at school?
What was involved with your D of E Award?
What sports were you involved with outside of school?
What else were you involved with out of school?
What university did you attend?
And what was the result of your degree?
How do you feel about that result?

**Same questions about sport and club involvment but now at university.

What if any, leadership roles did you have during this time?
What opportunities have you had to travel, either with you family or by yourself?
What employment did you have whilst you were at school?
At university?
Between University and now?

On to the second bloke.

So why do you want to join the RAF?
You've chosen Pilot, Intelligence and WSO, what are your reasons for chosing these branches in particular?
So you've been accepted, how does your training start and where?
And then?

**he will pick on one or more of your branches ask you to run through the training including duration and places or pick one point out in detail**

Given that i was going for pilot he asked;
What Aircraft do the RAF operate?
Where is that based? (picked couple at random)
What new aircraft are the RAF getting?
What new capabilities are the RAF getting? (he was talking about ASTOR (Airborne StandOff Radar for battle field surveillance)
Where does the RAF have permanent bases overseas?
If you were unsuccessful in your application, what do you plan to do?
Having put on a uniform, you are now a target. How do you feel about that?
Give me some headlines that have grabbed your attention from around the world? (have enough to reel off at him till he stops you because they will wait to see when you stop and thus if you have just learnt a few for this occasion)

**he will go into detail about one or more of these, i had Isreal and the failed road map to peace**

When was NATO formed?
Do you know how many countries are currently in NATO?
So what would be your 'road map to peace'?
What roll if any do you think NATO plays or should play in the world since the fall of the Soviet Union?
Give me some news stories that have struck you recently at home? (again, be able to reel off a **** load, make him stop you. Go for a wide range of topics but be able to back them up with some understanding just the same as world topics)

Then the 'Standard' questions (he may pretend to read them off a card) dont let you guard down, these count too.

If you failed in gaining a commission, would you be interested in a NCO position?
We realise that in this day and age many of are younger applicants may have had some experience with drugs. What if any contact have you had with drugs?
Have you ever used drugs yourself?
We operate a random drugs testing program in the RAF how do you feel about that?
Do you feel that infringes on peoples privacy?
What are your veiws on drug taking within the armed forces?
What are you view on drug taking in the general population?
Have you ever faced a criminal conviction/ had a/ have a outstanding court order on you etc etc.?
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What is the difference between commissioned and non-commissioned ranks?
In the RAF, the commissioned ranks are Pilot Officer through to Marshal of the Royal Air Force. They are generally referred to as 'officers'. In the RAF, a commissioned officer is a member of the Service who derives authority directly from a sovereign power (i.e. the Monarchy), and as such holds a commission from that power. Any officer (and all non-commissioned ranks) address a senior officer as "Sir" or "Ma'am".

Non-commissioned ranks are split into three groups; airmen (Aircraftsman up to Junior Technician), non-commissioned officers (or NCOs: Corporal to Flight Sergeant) and Warrant Officers. In the British Armed Forces, NCOs are split into two categories - Junior NCOs (abbreviated to JNCOs) are Corporals while Senior NCOs (SNCOs) covers Sergeants to Flight Sergeants.

NCOs are enlisted members of the RAF who have been delegated leadership or command authority by a commissioned officer. They are the junior management of the Service. Experienced NCOs are a very important part of many armed forces; in many cases NCOs are credited as being the metaphorical "backbone" of their Service, and of their individual units.

Warrant Officers (WOs) are often included in the SNCO category, but actually form a separate class of their own. A Warrant Officer will have many years experience and is respected by both rank structures. Warrant Officers are addressed as "Mister" (or "Mrs", "Ms" or "Miss" for female Warrant Officers) by commissioned officers (and as "Sir" or "Ma'am" by everyone else). SNCOs and WOs have their own messes, whereas JNCOs live and eat with the junior ranks.
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What is the Royal Air Force?
The RAF is the air component of the United Kingdom's Armed Forces. (The other Services being the Royal Navy and British Amy).

What are the roles of the Royal Air Force?
To understand the roles and responsibilities of the RAF, we must first look at the Defence Mission. It says:

The purpose of the Ministry of Defence, and the Armed Forces, is to:
defend the United Kingdom, and Overseas Territories, our people and interests;
act as a force for good by strengthening international peace and security.
To achieve this, we:
make a vital contribution to Britain's security policy and its promotion at home and abroad;
direct and provide a defence effort that meets the needs of the present, prepares for the future and insures against the unpredictable;
generate modern, battle-winning forces and other defence capabilities to help:
prevent conflicts and build stability;
resolve crises and respond to emergencies;
protect and further UK interests;
meet our commitments and responsibilities;
work with Allies and partners to strengthen international security relationships.
From this, the key roles of the RAF can be split into two main areas:

Offensive and defensive air operations. Initial phases of recent conflicts have involved concentrated air operations designed to gain control of the air. Once this control has been achieved, land-based forces will the begin their operations. These operations involve air defence (e.g mounting aerial patrols to intercept opposition aircraft) and a number of different offensive operations (e.g disrupting enemy communications, destroying radar sites etc).

Supporting air operations. Often the unsung heroes, there are three main types of support operations. Reconnaissance and surveillance (e.g. locating enemy troop positions and stores), air transport (e.g long-range movement of personnel, equipment or aid using aircraft such as the Tristar or Hercules or localised transport involving helicopters such as Chinooks and Merlins) and air-to-air-refuelling which is used to extend an aircraft's range.

How does the Royal Air Force contribute to Joint (or coalition) air operations?
Recent deployments have seen RAF aircraft working alongside those of allied nations and this is likely to remain the case for the future. Aircraft such as the Tornado GR4A and its low-level reconnaissance ability can contribute a unique and highly specialized capability to an air campaign. Our Tristar and VC10 tankers also deployed to Afghanistan to provide aerial refuelling for US Navy aircraft even though no RAF combat aircraft were used.

But it is not just with aicraft of other countries that the RAF works in a joint environment. Our Chinook, Puma and Merlin helicopters form part of the British Joint Helicopter Command. Here RAF personnel are trained to work alongside those from the Royal Navy and Army in their everyday duties, not just on operational deployments.

What is the RAF Motto?
It is 'Per Ardua ad Astra'. Although difficult to translate, it is generally said to be "Through Struggles to the Stars". To find out how this motto was adopted, click HERE.

Why do RAF aircraft have a target on the side?
It is not a target but the RAF Roundel. All the world's military forces have markings on their aircraft to identify their aircraft and each has a different way of doing so:- The United States Air Force uses the famous 'Star and Bars' badge, whilst the Russians have the equally famous 'Red Star'. The RAF's is either a three-colour insignia with a blue outer ring, white middle ring and red inner, as used on support aircraft, or a blue and red two colour roundel for fighters. To find out why it looks like this, click HERE.

What are the ranks of the RAF?
There are two rank structures, one for commissioned officers and one for other ranks. The structures are as follows:-

Commissioned Ranks
Pilot Officer
Flying Officer
Flight Lieutenant
Squadron Leader
Wing Commander
Group Captain
Air Commodore
Air Vice-Marshal
Air Marshal
Air Chief Marshal
Marshal of the Royal Air Force
Non-Commissioned Ranks
Leading Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman
Senior Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman
Junior Technician (Technical trades only)
Chief Technician (Technical trades only. To be phased out.)
Flight Sergeant
Warrant Officer / Master Aircrew
This is covered in greater detail in the Organisation section.

What is the difference between commissioned and non-commissioned ranks?
In the RAF, the commissioned ranks are Pilot Officer through to Marshal of the Royal Air Force. They are generally referred to as 'officers'. In the RAF, a commissioned officer is a member of the Service who derives authority directly from a sovereign power (i.e. the Monarchy), and as such holds a commission from that power. Any officer (and all non-commissioned ranks) address a senior officer as "Sir" or "Ma'am".

Non-commissioned ranks are split into three groups; airmen (Aircraftsman up to Junior Technician), non-commissioned officers (or NCOs: Corporal to Flight Sergeant) and Warrant Officers. In the British Armed Forces, NCOs are split into two categories - Junior NCOs (abbreviated to JNCOs) are Corporals while Senior NCOs (SNCOs) covers Sergeants to Flight Sergeants.

NCOs are enlisted members of the RAF who have been delegated leadership or command authority by a commissioned officer. They are the junior management of the Service. Experienced NCOs are a very important part of many armed forces; in many cases NCOs are credited as being the metaphorical "backbone" of their Service, and of their individual units.

Warrant Officers (WOs) are often included in the SNCO category, but actually form a separate class of their own. A Warrant Officer will have many years experience and is respected by both rank structures. Warrant Officers are addressed as "Mister" (or "Mrs", "Ms" or "Miss" for female Warrant Officers) by commissioned officers (and as "Sir" or "Ma'am" by everyone else). SNCOs and WOs have their own messes, whereas JNCOs live and eat with the junior ranks.

Why do you salute?
The custom of saluting commissioned officers relates wholly to the commission given by Her Majesty the Queen to that officer, not the person. Therefore, when a subordinate airman salutes an officer, he is indirectly acknowledging Her Majesty as Head of State. A salute returned by the officer is on behalf of the Queen.

As with many things in military history, the origin of the custom of saluting is a little obscure. In a book called 'Military Customs', Major TJ Edwards suggests that 'saluting and the paying of compliments may be said to proceed from the exercise of good manners'. Indeed, if you take the word saluting literally, it is merely the offering of a salutation or greeting, which in the military must be reciprocated.

A more romantic theory dates from medieval times which suggests that victors at the many tournaments of the day shielded their eyes with their hands when receiving their prize from the Queen, rather than be dazzled by her beauty. This is very unlikely, but far more chivalrous. A far more plausible tale relates that the military salute is merely a form of offering an open hand as a token of respect and friendship in much the same way as a handshake does. Knights in the Middle Ages greeted each other by raising the visor of their armour, an action not unlike a military salute.

During the 17th Century, military records detail that the 'formal act of saluting was to be by removal of headdress' For some time after, hat raising became an accepted form of the military salute, but in the 18th Century the Coldstream Guards amended this procedure. They were instructed to 'clap their hands to their hats and bow as they pass by'. This was quickly adopted by other Regiments as wear and tear on the hats by constant removal and replacing was a matter of great concern. By the early 19th Century, the salute had evolved further with the open hand, palm to the front, and this has remained the case since then.

The RAF salute is essentially the same as that of the Army. When RAF personnel hand salute they display an open hand, positioned such that the finger tips almost, but not quite, touch the hat band. The Naval salute differs in that the palm of the hand faces down towards the shoulder. This dates back to the days of sailing ships, when tar and pitch were used to seal the timber from seawater. To protect their hands, officer wore white gloves and it was considered most undignified to present a dirty palm in the salute so the hand was turned through 90 degrees.

Why do some officers have yellow rope on their shoulders and braiding on their hats?
The correct name for the yellow rope is 'aiguillettes' and they are plaited cord shoulder distinctions worn on ceremonial occasions by air officers, equerries and aides-de-camp. The hat braiding (known in RAF slang as 'scrambled egg') is also worn.

Who's in charge of the RAF?
The most senior position in the RAF is that of Chief of the Air Staff (CAS). At the moment this position is occupied by Air Chief Marshal Sir Glen Torphy.

I've always been interested in a career in the RAF. How do I join?
Once you have decided that the RAF is for you, then please contact your nearest Careers Office for details on joining the RAF. A full list of all offices complete with telephone numbers, addresses, maps and e-mail details, can be found on the RAF Careers website
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Report Thread starter 12 years ago

What Is Fighter Control?

Fighter Controllers are the guardians of the UK’s airspace, 24/7. There are two streams: Weapons, who deal directly with the control of fighter aircraft, and Systems, who integrate the many sophisticated ground, sea and airborne systems used to monitor the wider air defence picture. You could find yourself patrolling the skies in a Sentry E-3D aircraft, deployed at home or overseas with the UK’s Tactical Radar Unit, or watching the approaches to UK airspace in a high-tech operations room.

Where Are They Based?

On 21st July 2004, the Minister for Armed Forces, Mr Adam Ingram MP, confirmed the closure of RAF Boulmer.

All Service personnel from RAF Boulmer, with the exception of those employed in support of the Search and Rescue (SAR) tasks and some personnel to maintain the remote radar head at Brizlee Wood will relocate to RAF Scampton/Coningsby by 2012. Number 1 Air Control Centre has already moved to RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey; the School of Fighter Control will relocate from 2010 and the Control and Reporting Centre in 2012. The Station will then remain an enclave site for A Flight 202 Sqn at least until the introduction of a new SAR helicopter.

What FC units Are Located At Boulmer?

Control and Reporting Centre
1 Air Control Centre
'A' flight 202 squadron (Sea Kings)
School of Fighter Control
Engineering and Supply Squadron
Support Wing

Command structure for FCs

Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) 9, RAF High Wycombe
Group Captain ASACS, HQ 3 Gp RAF
UKASACS Duty Controller
Master Controller (at CRC)
/ \
/ \

Surveillance Weapons

After that FCs are divided into weapons and surveillance. The highest level of weaponeers is the Fighter Allocator (FA). He is aided by the Fighter Marshal, who in turn is supported by Weapons Controllers. The highest surveillance officer is the Surveillance Director, he is assisted where necessary by the Sensor Manager. Then you have the IDO (Identification Officer).

Fighter Control Training

Right I am 99% sure of this info but I don't know how its broken down into names of courses or dates. Sorry I can't be more informative but it was a passing phonecall.

Weapons is 7 months with sim training and then live training in CRC. Surveillance is 18 weeks sim, 3 weeks theory, 14 weeks practical and 1 week visit to a live base.

Fighter Control Training Cont

All future FCs have to undergo 5 weeks at Boulmer, which is the Air Defense Foundation Course. This is at the RAF School of Fighter Control within Boulmer. It's a mix of theory and practicals with sim lessons. This is also where they determine which you are best suited for, weapons or surveillance. You're then streamed at the end onto one or the other.

Weapons Control Course is in 5 phases. Phase one is ATC where you learn how to move aircraft around in the air, you also learn basic interception skills. Phase 2 is is done in one of the Control and Reporting Centres and involves live missions with Hawks and F3s. After this you get a certificate of qualification which allows you to handle aircraft solo. The rest of the phases allow you to become combat ready and in turn you will be able to be deployed worldwide on operations.

The identification officer course is for surveillance. The initial course is 2 weeks long and done at the school of fighter control. This is all just theory based stuff. Then onto Phase 1 which is 8 weeks and still at the school of fighter control. This includes 'recognised air picture' production exercises and more theory. Onto phase 2 which is live training at one of the control and reporting centres. This phase is about 10 weeks long. This is important as when you are combat ready you must be able to identify wether aircraft is hosyile or friendly within minutes. I've seen it live at Boulmer and it is pretty tense. After phase 2 you get a certificate of qualification and you are able to conduct live operations. Further training and you are combat ready and able to go world wide.
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Report Thread starter 12 years ago

I am interested in becoming a fast jet pilot. I am only 14 but am dedicated to getting into the RAF. What should I do next, like join the air cadets or a certain group? What subjects are best to take at school?
Firstly, there is no single right way of preparing yourself for a career in the Royal Air Force as a pilot or for any of the other 70 careers that we offer. What is more important is that you achieve a certain minimum standard of education, normally 2 A' Levels for officer entry (3 highers in Scotland) and you are the right person for the career you want (all pilots enter at officer level).

Having said that, the Air Training Corps is a fantastic youth organisation that offers you a real insight into the Royal Air Force. On summer camps, you fly in RAF aircraft and gliders and it lets you get a taste of RAF life before you apply for the real thing.

Even if there is no ATC squadron nearby I would recommend that you take every opportunity to develop yourself; get involved with school or community groups, keep yourself fit and above all pursue your goal with determination.

When you eventually get to RAF Cranwell for Officer and Aircrew Selection you are going to have to convince some senior officers that you are the right person to be a leader in the Royal Air Force and are capable of being trusted with some serious military hardware!

I've wanted to be a fast jet pilot since I can remember but I have glasses, so can I join? There has been a lot mentioned about the RAF relaxing standards on short sightedness and allowing candidates entry with laser eye surgery but nothing is definite. Any advice would be great!

I am afraid that entry standards for medical, educational and personal standards are very strict and currently your need to wear glasses would prevent your selection for pilot. Although I can imagine that this must be a huge disappointment to you there are a lot of other careers that may interest you from officer branches that take you up close to the aircraft - from our Engineering roles to controlling the action as an Air Traffic or Fighter Controller.

Similarly there are many airmen trades that offer challenging work and an interesting career that could not be described as routine or run of the mill. For example RAF Regiment Gunners serve all over the world defending our airfields on Field Squadrons and are equipped with the Rapier missile system. They also serve on ceremonial duties at the Royal Palaces and in high profile public roles as members of the Queen's Colour Squadron.

I've wanted to work with jets ever since I can remember. I want to go to university to study aeronautical engineering and would like to try and get a scholarship to the RAF. Does anyone know how to go about it, as where I live there are only Army centres.

Your first point of call should be the Royal Air Force Careers website at, which has a huge amount of information on tap. You should also look in the Yellow Pages under 'Armed Services' for your nearest RAF Careers Office, many of which are co-located with Royal Navy and Army offices.

You can qualify for sponsorship to the tune of £5,500 a year through the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS) if you're studying Engineering or a related subject at the universities of Southampton, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumbria or Aston. The scheme will also start at Loughborough University in 2005. In return, you will be asked to become a member of the University Support Unit, spending at least 45 days a year with the RAF - and to join the RAF once you finish your studies.

If you're at another university, you can apply for a University Bursary of £4,000 a year. And if you're in the Sixth Form, you can qualify for a Sixth Form Scholarship of £2,000. In return, we ask you to become a member of the University Air Squadron (or Air Training Corps while you're at school) and to join the RAF once you finish your studies.

I'm 14 and have wanted to be a fast jet pilot for years, but I'm a girl and I don't know if girls can do that. I want to know what it's like for girls to join the RAF and what we have to do? Also, I want to find out what subjects I should take in school to become a pilot?

If you want to be a pilot then it's up to you to go for it, it doesn't matter if you are a girl. As you may have seen in the programme we have three female Flying Instructors at RAF Valley and they are highly professional, respected officers. They have got where they are today on merit and ability and that's what we demand of everyone irrespective of gender, sexuality, religion, marital status or race.

There are lots of flying related careers available including Pilot, Weapons System Operator and Air Loadmaster to name but three. There is only one career opportunity that is not available to women and that is RAF Regiment Gunner.

Good Luck.

You need maths and English at GCSE level and at least 2 A' Levels to become a pilot. You don't have to have a university degree, though it can help you when applying to join. It doesn't really matter which subject you take your degree in, though if you want to be an RAF engineer you should study engineering.

I would like to be a helicopter pilot in the RAF after university. When you join the RAF do you get to chose if you fly planes or helicopters and can you leave before you complete your term of service?

You are clearly focussed on what you want to do and have a specific flying goal. The officer and aircrew selection process is quite sophisticated and aims to identify individuals who have the potential to succeed in their chosen careers but it does not distinguish different pilot specialisations at that stage.

Once you've completed initial flying training, assuming that you have not been a member of a University Air Squadron, you would be selected for the fast-jet, multi-engine or rotary-wing streams depending on your strengths and ability.

If you are chosen to follow the helicopter path your duties might include anything from search and rescue flights to ferrying troops and equipment into combat zones and is very challenging.

There are a number of circumstances in which members of the Royal Air Force may leave before they have completed their commissions or engagements but the waiting times can be lengthy (up to 18 months) and we would expect a satisfactory return upon the extremely expensive training that is provided. For a pilot this is 12 years.

Might I suggest that if you make it to interview, this is a question that may not exactly fill the officers who are interviewing you with the greatest confidence about your commitment to a career in the Royal Air Force!

Can you become a pilot if you're older than the stated 17.5 - 23 years of age?

I am afraid that entry standards and criteria are (necessarily) very strict and they are not normally varied beyond the laid down limits which exist to ensure that candidates have the best possible chance to succeed in training and the opportunity to pursue a full career. There are occasional dispensations made to individuals who are already in the Royal Air Force, but these would be granted only to those who are already in a flying appointment of some sort and are deemed to have a reasonable chance of success. Thirty-eight year old Dave McBryde is a good example.
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Report Thread starter 12 years ago
What is OASC?

OASC stands for Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre. OASC is located at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire. This is the final stage of assesment for Officer and Aircrew candidates.

What Does OASC Consist of?
OASC is currently a four day selection process that breaks down into the following:

Day one: You arrive at Cranwell and have an initial briefing. You will have the evening free to yourself.

Day two: A 7:15am start followed by an Aptitude test! The length of this test varies from depending on branch choice. These tests are computer based. You will be tested on such topics as; deductive reasoning, memory, spatial orientation, mental agility and hand/foot/eye coordination. These tests are designed to help identify abilities that the RAF, and your chosen branch are looking for.

Following your aptitude test you will be invited back for a review. You will be told how you preformed and if you made the aptitude score for your branch choice. All test results are confidential and someone will be there to advise you.

After this you will be given a medical. All medicals include measurements in height, weight, eyesight, hearing and lengths. Some branches will be asked to return for more in depth medicals at a later date.

Day Three: You will have an interview. All candidates will be asked similar questions. An interview will last about 45 minutes. See the General I for possible questions. You will be marked on: Manner, appearance, speech and power of expression, awareness, motivation, physical level, physical potential, activities and interests, academic level, academic potential and overall impact.

At this stage you will have a review. This is the end of the preliminary phase. If you pass, you will move onto the exercises. If you fail at this point you will be advised by a review Officer. If you have not passed for your original branch choice, you may still be suitable for other branches. You will be able to ask for more information and advice at the time.

What Are The Fitness Requirements?

Bleep Test
AGE 17-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 30-44 45-49
MALE 9.10 8.10 8.03 7.04 6.01 5.01
FEMALE 6.10 5.06 5.03 4.07 4.03 3.09

Pressup Test (time permitted: 1min)
AGE 17-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 30-44 45-49
MALE 13 12 11 10 9 8
FEMALE 10 9 8 7 6 5

SitUp Test (time permitted: 1min)
AGE 17-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 30-44 45-49
MALE 35 31 27 23 19 15
FEMALE 25 22 19 16 13 10

What Are The Medical Measurements For Pilot?

Height: 1575mm-1905mm
Weight: 56.6kg-96.5kg
reach: 720mm min
sitting height: 865mm-990mm
buttock-knee: 560-660mm
buttock-heel: 1000-1200mm

Eyesight Requirements

Pilot; Uncorrected Acuity 6/6, Refraction range plano to +1.75. Cyl up to +0.75. That means you MUST have 6/6 vision with NO myopia but a small range of long sightedness is acceptable. You can have virtually no trace of astigmatism.

WSO: Uncorrected 6/24, correctable to 6/6, refraction -1.25 to +3, cyl to +1.25. So you must be correctable to 6/6 with glasses or contacts, and you can't have a myopia/long sightedness of less than -1.25 or greater than +3.

WSOp is uncorrected 6/24, correctable to 6/6, with a refraction range of -2 to +3. Linguists can get away with -4 to +4.

What Can I expect from the aptitude tests?

Some of the tests are the following: (From RAF Testing Methods Booklet)

1) Control of Velocity test (CVT)

Use a joystick left and right to hit the targets. The targets are small circles cascading down the screen but theres a delay between what you do, and the dot actually moving.

2) Instrument Comprehension (INSC)

A measure of general and spatial awareness using basic aircraft instrumentation (alt, art horiz, vertical speed, air speed, compass aswell as turn and bank). First part uses just the artificial horizon and compass to identify the correct orientation of an aircraft from a set of pictures, the second part uses all 6 instruments and given a number of verbal descriptions of orientation. You then have determine which description matches what you have on screen.

3) Sensory Motor Apparatus (SMA)

This is basically a tracking task. Using a joystick and pedals to move a dot both horizontally (pedals) and vertically (joystick), keep the dot as close to the target as possible. The dot is moved away forcing you to compensate.

4) Digit Recall

Short term memory test where you are presented with sets of numbers of varying length on screen, each being shown for about 10 secs. As soon as it disappears you have to type the number in.

5) Vigilance (VIG)

You are presented with a 9x9 matrix on screen. Each cell in the matrix is identified by numbers along the top and left hand side. You then are asked to do 2 tasks; 1 routine and the other priority. The routine tasks involves entering the cell number when a star appears in it, the priority task involves doing the same when an arrow appears. This has to be cancelled first by pressing a key then entering the cell number.

This is not finished so no more abuse over it, give me some time and it will be done asap
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Report Thread starter 12 years ago

What is IOT?

IOT stands for Initial Officer Training. It is conducted at RAF College Cranwell and must be compleated by anyone wishing to serve as an Officer in the Royal Air Force. This is a course in leadership that you will go onto if you pass OASC.

How long is it?

Currently the IOT course is 24 weeks long. This is due to change in November 2005. See IOT II for the brief.

What do I do there?

IOT is divided into three main phases with a review after each.

Basic Phase: Largly physical training, ground defence training, English Language study and drill

Foundation Phase: Academic study. Major areas of study are oral communications, leadership and management training and field leadership camp.

Applications Phase: completion of academic studies and exams. Station visit, adveture training, station management simulator, and leadership exercise PEACEKEEPER.

How often are there IOTs?

November, February, May, August, and October

What is the new IOT?

The Officer Cadet Training Review (OCTR) Team, established in Apr 03, delivered their Report to AOC TG outlining the optimum training solution for Initial Officer Training (IOT), together with recommendations for taking forward through-life officer development. AOC TG endorsed the Report and a new IOT Course (IOTC) based on 3 terms of 10 weeks core training, with one week’s leave at the end of each of the first 2 terms, is to be introduced on 21 Nov 05. The final term will include the 2-week Basic Air Warfare Course.

The OCTR determined that tomorrow’s officer will need to be military minded and of a courageous and determined fighting spirit, mentally agile and physically robust, politically and globally astute, technologically competent, capable of understanding and managing inter-personal relations, flexible, adaptable and responsive, willing to take risks and able to handle ambiguity. It was considered that there were many good features in the current IOTC that produced officers who were proud of their achievements during the course, were well motivated towards their specialist training and had a high degree of teamwork and camaraderie. However, the research highlighted that the leadership style developed was predominantly control based, that the course had a strong assessment culture, a lack of standardisation in some areas, and that many graduates had an inability to relate to other ranks in general and SNCOs and WOs in particular. Furthermore, there was minimal use of IT and a lack of realism in some aspects of the training. At the time of producing the Report, it was evident that the current OACTU staffs had also noted many of the deficiencies and significant progress had been made in addressing the issues, albeit within the constraints of the current over pressurised course programme.

The new IOTC will result in an entry of up to 120 cadets every 11 weeks, providing an annual throughput of up to 540 cadets per year. Recommendation for graduation will be made at the end of the second term to enable the final term to be transformational in nature, thus allowing individuals to make the transition from officer cadet to Junior Officer (JO). The new course will also incorporate a revision of the organisational development (OD) of OACTU. The flight system that has traditionally had a JO flt cdr responsible for 8-10 cadets will change. Specifically, the flt cdr, supported by a FS deputy flt cdr, will now have responsibility for up to 30 cadets. Additionally, specialist training teams will be established, including a team responsible for leadership; instructors from this team will join individual flts for large elements of the IOTC, thereby ensuring that the 1:10 ratio that is so important for experiential training is retained. The revised OD will help decouple training and assessment. Moreover, an enhanced and integrated academic department will be formed enabling each flt to be allocated a tutor. The new department will incorporate an Academic Defence Studies Department comprising academics affiliated to an accredited university.

The concept of empowered leadership based on the principle of mission command will be introduced to balance the action centred leadership currently taught. The practical exercises will be designed on deployed operations scenarios with maximum involvement of the wider RAF and MOBs in particular. All aspects of physical education within the new IOTC will be redesigned as part of the integrated course design process being conducted by newly formed multi disciplinary teams. Cadets will have round the clock access to the RAF intranet and gatewayed internet in all domestic and training accommodation. Finally, the Review identified a number of concurrent initiatives affecting through-life officer development, including work linked with the RAF Leadership Centre, the Air Warfare Centre, the RAF Division, together with individual annual training requirements and preparation for OOA deployments. The Report recommended an urgent requirement to review the content and sequencing of non-specialist training and Command and Staff Training.

Following the endorsement of the OCTR report the Course Design and Implementation Team (CDIT) was established on 1 Nov 04. CDIT is empowered to take the vision forward and produce the new IOTC. This briefing note has been produced to provide information and an overview for recruits to the new course. It will also enable the recruiters to accurately brief potential recruits upon the proposed changes. It is worth noting that whilst general information has been included, specific course detail has been omitted due to ongoing design phase of the CDIT’s workstreams.

Term 1:

Week 1-4:
Military Skills (Weapon training, First Aid, Essential Service Knowledge, PEd, Drill, Nav Ex, Leadership (Fundamentals - PICSIE))

Week 5:
Ex STATIC 1 - Leadership Hanger Exercises

Week 6:
Leadership Ex DYNAMIC 1

Week 7-8:
Fairbourne / Academics - OS

Week 9:
Military Skills (SAA)

Week 10:
Leadership Ex DYNAMIC 2

** Review then leave **

Term 2:

Week 11-12:

** Review **

Week 13-15:
Academics (Op Studies, ESK, Staff Studies, Written Comms, Leadership (Transactional))

Week 16:
Military Skills (NBC), Ex Plan (FP)

Week 17-18:

Week 19:
Academic Exams

Week 20:
Grad Support

** Recommended for Graduation then leave **

Term 3:

Week 21:
Leadership Academics

Week 22-25:
Carousel: Basic Air Warfare Course (BAWC) / Grantown-on-Spey / Care in Command / Station Visit

Week 26:
DE Planning

Week 27-28:

Week 29:
Graduation Prep

Week 30:
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Report Thread starter 12 years ago
Medical Officer

What is the role of an RAF Medical Officer

The primary role of a MO is to keep RAF personnel fit and healthy and able to perform their duties.

A RAF MO has time to deliver high quality care to patients. They also have the opportunities to travel, participate in sport to the highest levels, and undertake adventurous training– unlike NHS doctors. The role provides opportunities to work around the country and world, as well as working with medical services from other air forces, particularly NATO and the UN.

What is Primary Care

Primary Care is working in a GP practice looking after the personnel and their families in medical centres on RAF bases.

What is Secondary Care?

Secondary Care - Working in hospitals in UK an abroad.

Medicine in RAF

There is a link between civilian and aviation medicine because you’ll be delivering primary care to a diverse community. It’s unlike the NHS because as an MO you’ll have the clinical time to spend with patients which is likely to lead to a more efficient diagnosis as you can take a much fuller history of the problem. It also gives a more personal service.

Because RAF MO’s work and live on base, they have a much better understanding of the unique and often stressful environment that service personnel and their families are faces with – often different to civilian problems. Personnel are often parted from their families for long periods when on military exercises, there is a constant security threat and the knowledge that what they do could ultimately kill them. This can be extremely stressful, especially over a period of time so it is important that doctors have a good understanding of the psychological aspects of personnel welfare.

It is particularly important that MO’s have a good knowledge and understanding of psychology and medicine, particularly in relation to the effects of medication on personnel who are flying at high altitudes.

Medical Training

MO's are trained to deal with a range of issues that they are unlikely to come across in NHS. They receive basic training in:

Aviation medicine
Primary Care – occupational and public health
Secondary care – Trauma

Both primary and secondary care doctors can be deployed to provide medical support to personnel in the field

They have to cope with extra challenges of working in a field hospital – which could be a tent in the desert or a mobile treatment centre.

Aeromedical Evacuation

Aeromedical evacuation is the safe transfer of patients by air. All MO’s receive some basic training in Aeromedical evacuation on joining. It involves:

•Transporting casualties from an operational environment

•Recovering someone from an accident on adventurous training

The Centre for defence in Birmingham is the centre of excellence for military medicine and is the receiving unit for Aeromedical evacuations around the world.

Station Medical Officer (MO)

•Staion MO's or UMo's learn about aviation and occupational medicine (occupational may include policy making and public health in more senior positions), and Aeromedical evacuation

•Occupational screening is an important part of MO’s role. Everyone has a screening to make sure they are fit to undertake duties.

•They also visit workplaces and make recommendations about safe working practices

•Primary Care MO's work on a base medical centre and look after the healthcare needs of RAF personnel and sometimes their families.

•They provide crash cover for bases where there are fast jets

•Able to spend more time with patients, working as part of a multi-skilled team – Doctors, nurses and support staff

•On smaller bases you might be the unit MO – which is the single point of contact for the medical needs of all RAF personnel on the base.

•May be trained as a occupational health adviser, assessing the risk to people’s health in the environment they work.

•Most of the time MO's will be stationed at a base in UK. There will be opportunities to work overseas and serve on Aeromedical evacuations as part of a Tactical Medical Wing

•RAF MO’s have a better understanding of their communities needs (both social and domestic) because they live and work in the same community and environment.

•A key role is aviation medicine. They supervise the undertaking of controlled simulations so that personnel know about the thermal and physical challenges of flying.

•Mo’s need officer qualities of leadership and management

•All MO’s start their career in General Practice to help them understand the RAF and what personnel do.

Aviation Medicine

This covers aspects of medicine that keep people safe or improve their performance in the air e.g decompression chambers to demonstrate the effects of breathing too little oxygen.

Doctors in this field carry out training with anyone in RAF who flies regularly, using controlled simulations in a safe training environment so aircrew can recognise symptoms of hazards and get themselves out of trouble if something goes wrong. All doctors must be familiar with the issues that aircrews face.

MO’s learn about the effects of illness and medication on the ability of personnel to perform in the air. They also check health and safety aspects of aircrews specialist flying clothes and survival equipment.

Initial Officer Training - SERE (Specialist Entrants and Re-Entrants Course)


8 weeks – IOT Cranwell
3 weeks - Initial nursing and medical officer course
2 weeks –Initial Medical Officer (Aviation Medicine) Course

All doctors must now complete a 2yr foundation course (F1 and F2) after registration.


Secondary Care – spend a year on a main RAF flying unit as a junior medical officer to learn about the workings of RAF and its personnel.

Primary Care Up to 18 months as a senior house officer, and up to 18 months as junior MO on a main RAF flying unit to learn about the workings of RAF and its personnel.

Roles for Doctors in RAF

• Station Medical Officer (Primary Care)
• Senior Medical Officer (Primary Care)
• Surgeon (Secondary Care)
• Anaesthetist (Secondary Care)
• Aviation Medicine

Sponsorship (monetary awards for 2004/05)

Bursary - £4000 for 1st and 2nd years of university covering pre-clinical phase. There is a commitment to join UAS and apply for cadetship for last three years of Uni.

Year 3 med school – awarded 13k
Year 4 – attain rank of Pilot Officer – awarded 14.5k
Year 5 – awarded 16k

PRHO (Pre registration house officer) – attain rank of Flying Officer – paid 36k per annum (04/05 rates)

For cadetships there is a commitment to join UAS and join the RAF on a 6yr short service commission after PRHO year -i.e after full registration with GMC (General Medical Council)

This can be extended to a medium commission (18yrs), or full commission (which takes you up to 58th birthday)

Following registration you join the RAF and commence Initial Officer Training SERE course.
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Report Thread starter 12 years ago

Nimrod MR4 Contract

Tornado GR4 Information

C-17 Aquirement (Ta Scorg! )


BBC News

World News

World Affairs


want more links while waiting for me to post more info? Try Google out for youself
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Report Thread starter 12 years ago
General IV

Who is 'in charge' of the RAF?

The Royal Air Force is headed by a group of Senior Commanders. They are as follows:

Chief of the Air Staff (CAS)
Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup

Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (ACAS)
Air Vice-Marshal Chris Moran

Commander-in-Chief Strike Command (CINCSTC)
Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burridge

Deputy Commander-in-Chief Strike Command (DCINCSTC)
Air Marshal C R Loader

Chief Of The Defense Staff (CDS)
General Sir Michael Walker

These positions will change in May 2006 and will be as follows:

Chief of The Defense Staff
Sir Jock Stirrup

Chief of The Air Staff
Air Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy

What are the eligibility requirements for joing the RAF?

This information is only a guide, and is subject to change from time to time. Please call the RAF enquiry line on 0845 605 **** or contact an Armed Forces Careers Office if you need further assistance.


The Royal Air Force values every individual's unique contribution irrespective of race, ethnic origin, religion, gender sexual orientation or social background.

Your application will be rejected if you are, or have been, a member or supporter of, or associated with, any group or organisation whose purpose includes incitement to racial hatred and violence.

All branches and trades are open to both men and women. However, for reasons of combat effectiveness, the RAF Regiment is open to men only.


For most RAF jobs, you must have been a citizen of the UK, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland – or holder of dual British/other nationality – since birth.

For security reasons there are extra nationality requirements for some jobs. These requirements may change to reflect the international situation. You will find details of specific nationality requirements in each relevant job file.

For a few branches and trades, the nationality of your parents is also important. In exceptional circumstances, it is possible that some individuals who do not meet these requirements exactly could still be considered for service.

If you are unsure about your eligibility you can call the RAF enquiry line on 0845 605 **** or visit an Armed Forces Careers Office.


Candidates, whether or not they are of UK origin, should normally have resided in the UK for the 5 years immediately preceding their application. However, provided satisfactory enquiries can be made in your country of residence, we may be able to consider an application even if you have never lived in the UK.

If you are unsure about your eligibility you can call the RAF enquiry line on 0845 605 **** or visit an Armed Forces Careers Office.

Court appearances and convictions

If you are awaiting a court appearance, in any other capacity other than as a witness, you may not be eligible to apply until the outcome of the hearing is known.

Spent and unspent convictions (including prison, young offenders institution or probation) for certain types of offence, may mean that you are ineligible to apply to join certain branches or trades in the Royal Air Force. If you have any queries regarding this restriction, please seek advice from an Armed Forces Careers Office.

Applications will not be accepted from ex-Service personnel who were discharged for disciplinary reasons.


Random compulsory drug testing is practised in the Royal Air Force. If you are a habitual user of illegal substances, you will not be eligible to apply.

Health and fitness

The Royal Air Force requires all recruits to be medically fit to serve worldwide. New entrants undergo intensive training that is both physically and mentally demanding. Accordingly, they must be fit and free from disease or pre-existing injury to meet this challenge.

If your application is accepted, you will be required to pass an occupational health assessment. This is to ensure you meet the minimum level of health and fitness.

Before you are examined by a medical officer, you will be asked to declare certain information about your medical history to identify conditions for which rejection is automatic. Please note that your application will be rejected if:

1. You suffer from Epilepsy, Diabetes, Colitis, gastric disorders or Crohns Disease (or any other long standing bowel disorder).
2. You have had your spleen removed.
3. You have had a detached retina or corneal transplant, or had Incisional Keratectomy (i.e. Radial or Astigmatic Keratectomy). However, refractive error corrective surgery may not necessarily prevent you from joining the Royal Air Force.
4. You suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis, or any other bone or joint disorder.
5. You suffer from hay fever causing severe symptoms or wheezing.
6. You suffer or have suffered from Asthma in the last 4 years. However, if you have been diagnosed previously as suffering from asthma but have remained symptom-free for a continuous 4-year period, you may be considered for RAF ground service but not aircrew.
7. You have a chronic eye condition.
8. You suffer from severe headaches or migraine.

The above list is not exhaustive and you may find that your application is rejected due to other medical conditions that, although not listed above, are subject to the discretion of the examining doctor or Service medical authorities.


You must be aware that, should you be selected to join the RAF, you may be required to serve anywhere in the world.

How Can I contact the RAF?

If you wish to apply to the RAF, or indeed any of the armed forces then your first step is to go to your local Armed Forces Careers office for information. The number and address for your local office can be found in the phone book.

If you wish to get in touch with OASC, then the address is as follows:

Royal Air Force College
NG34 8HB,
United Kingdom

If you wish to call a central number regarding careers information:

0845 605 ****

If you wish to get in touch with the Ministry of Defense then the address is:

Ministerial Correspondance Unit
Ministry of Defence
Floor 5, Zone A
Main Building
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Report Thread starter 12 years ago

Weapon Systems Operators (WSOps) are recruited in the RAF as Crewmen (WSOp Cmn) , Electronic Warfare (WSOp EW), Acoustics (WSOp Aco) and Linguist ( WSOp L) specialists. They serve in RAF multi-engine and helicopter aircraft fleets as well as working in specialist areas in the ground environment.

Non Commissioned Aircrew Initial Training Course (NCAITC)

After completing initial recruit training at the Recruit Training Squadron (RTS) at RAF Halton, aircrew cadets join their service re-role counterparts and attend the 10-week Non-commissioned Aircrew Initial Training Course (NCAITC). On successful completion of the NCAITC students are promoted to the rank of acting Sergeant (unpaid) and remain at No 3 Flying Training School, RAF Cranwell Lincolnshire, for professional WSOp training.

WSOp Generic Training Course

The 24 week Generic Course builds the foundations of aircrew skills and knowledge. Instruction in basic survival training and aviation medicine is followed by a short but important maths/science package. This leads to instruction on electrical theory and aircraft systems, as well as developing communications procedures and flight planning prior to a 20 hour Dominie flying training package. SNCO development and operational skills feature throughout the course and students are able to plan and participate in adventurous training. After this phase has been successfully completed the students will be streamed and remain at No 3 Flying Training School RAF Cranwell. WSOp Linguists, who are pre-streamed, will move to the Defence Special Signals School at Chicksands in Bedfordshire to complete specialist Language training.

General Service Training

Throughout professional training the student continues with a variety of General Service subjects. Current affairs, defence studies and combat survival and rescue are all covered in preparation for service as both an SNCO and an aircrew member. All sporting activities are encouraged and project works within the local community are used to build team spirit. The Sergeants' Mess figures prominently in social activities during the course, with social and formal evenings where members learn to live together in a Service community.

Specialist Training

Specialist Training for the WSOp (EW) concentrates on radar, electronic warfare and communications, including synthetic training and a further Dominie flying phase. The student learns to operate one of the most modern radar systems in service, practices communications using voice and radio-teletype procedures, learns to analyse radar parameters and improves his/her airmanship. On successful completion of their specialist phase WSOp (EW) students are awarded their Brevet and appointed to acting Sergeant (paid). They continue training on their respective Operational Conversion Unit (OCU). This could be on the Nimrod MR Mk 2 at RAF Kinloss; the Sentry AEW Mk 1 or Nimrod R at RAF Waddington; or on Search and Rescue (SAR) Helicopters.

During their specialist phase the WSOp (Aco) studies oceanography and the propulsion systems of surface and sub-surface vessels (which generate and transmit noise through seawater). Analysis of this acoustic information to locate and identify individual friendly or potential enemy vessels is also practised. Efficient use of a modern acoustic detection system requires a great depth of knowledge and the maximum use of information obtained. Students also get a further Dominie flying package within this phase. On successful completion of their specialist phase WSOp (Aco) students are awarded their Brevet and appointed to acting Sergeant (paid). They continue training on their respective Operational Conversion Unit (OCU). For most, this will be the Nimrod MR Mk 2 on No 42 (R) Sqn at RAF Kinloss in Scotland; although some will be posted to Sentry AEW Mk 1, Nimrod R or Search and Rescue (SAR) Helicopters.

Professional language training for WSOp (L) is undertaken at the Defence Special Signal School at Chicksands in Bedfordshire (or exceptionally at the Defence School of Languages at Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire) and takes up to 19 months depending on the assigned core language. Students then move directly to 51 Sqn to complete the 5-month Special Operators Course (SOC). WSOp (L) are awarded their brevet and granted the acting rank of Sergeant (paid) on completion of the SOC.

Students Streamed WSOp (Cmn) Fixed Wing are taught basic aircraft systems, weight and balance, aircraft systems, contact skills, loading and restraint and cargo handling. The theoretical classroom lessons are reinforced with practical demonstrations and exercises in a purpose built practical training area that simulates the Hercules aircraft. Students also undertake specialist first aid training instructed by DMSTC, Keogh Barracks staff. The FW course contains a specialist flying phase which develops the students ability to operate as a WSOp (Cmn) in the practical flying environment. On completion of training the FW student moves to an operational Conversion Unit (OCU) either at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire for a 14-week course or to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire for a 16-week course. On successful completion of their OCU students are awarded their Brevets and appointed to acting Sergeant (paid).

For students streamed WSOp (Cmn) Rotary Wing the next phase of training is a 34-week crewman course at Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire. This includes 105 hours on the Squirrel and the Griffin helicopters and covers all aspects of helicopter operations. On successful completion of their training, students are awarded their Brevets and appointed to acting Sergeant (paid). Those students posted to the Chinook go to RAF Odiham in Hampshire and the Puma or EH101 at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.
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Report Thread starter 12 years ago
RAF Regiment

The RAF Regiment is the Royal Air Force's own specialist corps of ground warfare specialists. The Royal Navy has the Royal Marines, the Royal Air Force has the RAF Regiment.

Although they look like soldiers on the outside, the members of the RAF Regiment belong to, and are an integral part of, the Royal Air Force. The RAF Regiment is approximately 3000 strong and is generally formed into Squadrons of 100 to 150 personnel. Their basic job is to provide ground support for the choppers and jets. The RAF Regiment has 5 Field Squadrons, these are responsible for the defence of RAF installations from attack by enemy ground forces. One of the Field Squadrons, No 2 Squadron, has a parachute capability.

The RAF Regiment also has 4 Ground Based Air Defence Squadrons. These squadrons provide the anti-aircraft defence for RAF assets. They are equipped with the Rapier (Field Standard 'C') surface-to-air missile system, which is probably the most advanced system of its type in the world. (Take note that the Rapier system is due to be taken over by the Army, meaning the RAF have no GBAD systems) There is also an Auxiliary Squadron, No 2623 Squadron, based at Royal Air Force Honington in Suffolk.

In recent years units have served in Bosnia and most recently in Kosovo. Individuals are serving world wide, wherever RAF aircraft operate. A small number of selected personnel are working with the United Nations on peace keeping tasks in Sierra Leone, East Timor, Kuwait and Georgia.
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Report Thread starter 12 years ago
Weapons Systems Officer (WSO)

What is a WSO?
A WSO is a weapons systems officer. This branch was formerly called Navigators. You’ll be allocated to your type after your basic flying training. Following more advanced flying training, you’ll be posted to an Operational Conversion Unit to be trained on the aircraft type – fast-jet, multi-engine or rotary. Fast jet WSOs are gradually being phased out by the RAF as it moves forward with single seat advanced fast jets.

Where do they train?

WSO training is done at 4 locations throughout the UK. RAF Cranwell, Linton-on-Ouse, Leeming and Shawbury. Training details can be found at the following:

How do you become a WSO?

WSOs are slected at the Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre at RAF Cranwell. They undergo the same testing as officers candidates. (More information can be found in the OASC thread) Prior to this, you must undergo a P2 presentation at your local AFCO as well as a filter interview before you can be recommended to attend OASC.

Some Information about TANS

TANS (Tucano Air Navigation Squadron) evolved from BATS (Bulldog and Tucano Squadron) which was itself established in Apr 92 as a result of a major development and restructuring of Navigator training. Upon the closure of RAF Finningley in the mid 1990s, TANS was relocated to RAF Topcliffe before once more moving to its present home at RAF Linton in May 2003.

The Squadron comprises 12 instructors including a Sqn Ldr commanding Officer, 4 WSO instructors and 7 pilot instructors with a student throughput for next year of approximately 36 students. The Squadron’s role is to teach basic navigation techniques and airmanship. More specifically, techniques covered include low level navigation, targeting, valley flying, mixed profile medium to low level exercises, and emergency handling. In performing its role, TANS forms the second of the first 3 modules of WSO training whose overall aims are to assess the ability and suitability of the WSOs under training for specialist training for a variety of roles on the Tornado, Hercules, or Nimrod fleets.

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Report 12 years ago
I noticed there wasn't an ATC link and so added what knowledge I have to help out. If anyone knows anything I've missed please feel free to Pm me and I'll edit accordingly. Similarly if there are any glaring faults also contact me and i'll set them straight.


Air Traffic Control Officers provide a service that allows aircrew to carry out their missions safely as well as supervising the teams of Air Traffic Controllers and Air Traffic Control Assistants who work within your specialisation.
Like most jobs within the RAF you’ll probably move jobs every few years, known as a tour. Most of these tours will either be in the air traffic control tower on an RAF base or co-located with civil controllers at one of the joint ATC centres in London, Prestwick in Scotland or Swanwick near Southampton. There are also opportunities to take on a staff or training role.
In an ATC tower on an RAF base it’ll be your job to ensure the safe departure and recovery of aircraft to your airfield using modern radar and communications equipment. Also it will be down to you to carry out essential safety services within the airfield environment, such as maintaining operational control of the emergency services and runway inspections. You’ll also provide an Air Traffic service to other aircraft wishing to fly through your area of reponsibility.
If you’re based at one of the joint civil military control centres, you’ll work with your civilian colleagues to ensure the safety of all aircraft within UK airspace. You’ll use radar, radio and data processing facilities to give instructions to aircrew and provide aeronautical advice. You’ll also be responsible for supporting the emergency services.


Within the first few years you’ll probably be detached overseas for anything from a few days to a few months. ATC’s within the RAF have worked in all the recent operational theatres, offering an essential service that has allowed combat operations to take place and then supporting the humanitarian efforts by international organisations. When operating overseas you will supervise teams of RAF Air Traffic Controllers and Air Traffic Control Assistants, as well as personnel from other nations.

First Tour

For your first tour of training you’ll work at an airfield on an RAF base, where you’ll work under the supervision of experienced Air Traffic Controllers until you reach a level of proficiency where you can control solo.


RAF Cranwell – 30 weeks: Fitness, military training, academic study plus outdoor leadership challenges. (See mankyscot2’s IOT FAQ)

· Specialist
RAF Shawbury – 6 months: This 6 month course covers theoretical and practical training in:

o Aerodrome control
o Radar approach and directing
o Precision approach radar procedures
o Navigation
o Meteorology
o Airspace structure and management

Training continues during your first tour under the guidance of more experienced Air Traffic Controllers, and if all goes well you’ll receive certificates of competency from the Air Traffic Control Examining Board (ATCEB) to operate in all the control positions of your unit. At every new posting you receive you will receive further training to learn the local skills at your new unit.

· Ongoing

Before taking up a role in the joint Air Traffic Control centres, there is a 5 week course in area radar control at RAF Shawbury. As with your tour at an airfield there is further on-the-job training in order to gain the certificate of competency from the ATCEB.
Once you become more experienced you’ll be asked to perform a training role within your unit to pass on the local skills you have learnt to new arrivals. Before undertaking this role you will complete a training team course to furnish you with the necessary skills and techniques.
If this interests you you could be sent to RAF Shawbury as an instructor. Prior to taking this demanding and important role, you’ll be fully trained in instructional and other educational techniques. There are also opportunities for training in Battlespace Management for future operations.

Future Career Prospects

Short Service commission of 6 years or Permanent Commission of 18 years onwards. Promotion to Flight Lieutenant on a time served/satisfactory service basis, further promotion to Squadron Leader and above by competetive selection.

Transferable Skills

· Civil air traffic controller
· Emergency service operations room controller
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Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic

What is an AMM?

AMM stands for Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic. They are responsible for first line servicing of the RAF’s aircraft. There are two streams for AMMs, Avionics and Mechanical. The avionics stream will be trained on aircraft navigation, communication, and electrical systems. The mechanical stream will be trained on all airframes and propulsion aspects of aircraft; for example, hydraulic systems, fuel systems, gas turbine engines etc.

How am I selected to be an AMM?

Selection for AMM is done as any other ground trade, at your local AFCO. Selection will consist of aptitude tests, medical, and 2 interviews, all of which must be passed. If the AFCO sees you to be fit for training as an AMM you will be offered a provisional offer of service.

When do I choose what stream I want to be?

You choose either Avionics or Mechanical at the AFCO depending on the results of your aptitude tests. I’d suggest that you get some background info, or perhaps some station visits to see the trades in action. This is so you can get a good idea of what you ant to do and what appeals to you most.

What does the AMM training consist of?

AMMs start as any other ground trade at RAF Halton on Recruit Training Squadron (RTS). This phase 1 basic training lasts for 9 weeks and transforms you from civilian to airman/woman. It covers such things as how to look after, prepare and wear your uniform, drill, first aid, ground defence training, physical education and general service knowledge training. If you pass all these aspects of training you will graduate from RTS as an Aircraftsman/woman and be posted to the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering (DCAE) Cosford for your Phase 2 trade training.

At DCAE Cosford you will be taught a generic AMM course that all AMMs no matter what stream get taught. This course lasts approx 6 months. You will learn all the safety aspects of working on airfields and aircraft; for example FOD and human factors. Basic aviation science, maths, principles of flight and electronics will be taught over a few weeks cumulating in some basic exams. Passing these will lead to you gaining a City & Guilds level 2 in Aeronautical Engineering. After this basic knowledge you will move onto how various aircraft systems work such as gas turbine engines, hydraulic systems, electrical systems, RADAR etc. All of these are a very basic overview on the fundamentals of aircraft systems. The theory training culminates with practical tasks such as wheel changes, engine drops, line replacable unit changes etc. The final phase sees trainees being taught how to carry flight servicing and aircraft handling on the line training flight. After successful completion of this training you will graduate as a LAC AMM and be posted to you unit.

Where are AMMs posted?

AMMs can be posted to any squadron that operates the RAF’s aircraft. For the first tour this will be on a flight line type environment. From there on it could be any aircraft maintenance environment.

Progression in the AMM trade

After your basic trade training you are posted to a flying unit. After completion of 1 years service from attestation and TAT 1 part A and B you will be promoted to SAC. On your first posting you will need to gain 2 positive recommendations on your annual appraisals to earn a place of a further training course in your chosen stream. You will have a time limit in which to gain these 2 reccomendations. The minimum time is 18 months, the maximum being 3 years. Realistically you are looking at about 2 years. If you do not get recommended after 3 years, you will serve as an AMM to your 4 year point, then PMA will decide whether to remuster you, or end your service.

If you are recommended for further training you will again be posted to DCAE Cosford for approx 14 – 18 months to study your chosen stream. This will be more in depth training than before as it is at technician level. At the end of this training you should leave Cosford with an NVQ level 3 in aeronautical engineering, a BTEC and a promotion to SAC (T). From here you can be posted to any aircraft maintenance environment. This could be first line rectification or 2nd/3rd line in depth maintenance.
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Report Thread starter 12 years ago
Details below of every AFCO in the UK.


Aberdeen 63 Belmont Street AB10 1JS 01224 640440

Aberystwyth TA Centre, Park Road SY23 1PG 01970 610148

Aldershot Hospital Hill GU11 1PB 01252 347125

Ashington 30 Woodhorn Road NE63 9AS 01670 813246

TA Centre, Glynne Road LL57 1AH 01248 362889

10 Midland Street S70 1SE 01226 203438

Barnstaple 2 Litchdon Street EX32 8ND 01271 373737

Barrow-in-Furness TA Centre, Holker Street LA14 5RA 01229 812871

Bath TA Centre, Upper Bristol Road BA1 3AE 01225 317668

Bathgate 64 North Bridge Street EH48 4PL 01506 655806

Belfast Palace Barracks BFPO 806 02890 425718

Birkenhead 12 Oxton Road CH41 2QJ 0151 647 6860

Birmingham 46 The Pallasades B2 4XN **** 6334963

Bishop Auckland 158 Newgate Street DL14 7EJ 01388 604110

Blackburn 46 Church Street BB1 5AL 01254 264263

Blackpool 162 Church Street FY1 3PS 01253 620634

Bolton 20 Great Moor Street BL1 1NP 01204 364111

Boston TA Centre, Main Ridge PE21 6SS 01205 364710

Bournemouth 244 Holdenhurst Road BH8 8AZ 01202 557734

Bradford 33 Westgate BD1 2QT 01274 726661

Brighton 120-121 Queens Road BN1 3EX 01273 325096

Bristol 4 Colston Avenue BS1 4TY 0117 9262368

Burnley 14 Yorkshire Street BB11 2DJ 01282 831164

Burton-On-Trent 181 Station Street DE14 1BN 01283 568172

Cambridge 2 Glisson Road CB1 2HD 01223 358060

Canterbury 17 St Peters Street CT1 2BQ 01227 464649

Cardiff 8th Floor, Southgate House, 84 Wood Street CF1 1GR
02920 726828

Carlisle 94-96 English Street CA3 8ND 01228 522873

Catterick Segrave Road,

Catterick Garrison DL9 3LB 01748 872093

Chatham 3 Dock Road ME4 4SJ 01634 842273

Chelmsford 1-3 Dorset House, Duke Street CM1 1HG 01245 355925

Chester 64 Watergate Street CH1 2JT 01244 321833

Chesterfield 31 Westbars S40 1AG 01246 232857

Chichester RMP Training Centre, Roussillon Barracks PO19 4BN
01243 534289

Colchester Flagstaff House, 2 Napier Road CO2 7SW 01206 782301

Coleraine Laurel Hill Camp, Laurel Hill Road BFPO 802 02870

Coventry 60 Hertford Street CV1 1LB 02476 223569

Crawley TA Centre, Kilnmead, Northgate RH10 2BG 01293 515318

Crewe 177 Nantwich Road CW2 6DF 01270 212503

Croydon Sharpshooter House, 1 Mitcham Road Croydon, Surrey CR0
3RU 020 8688 7226

Darlington 148 Northgate DL1 1QT 01325 464530

Derby 35-36 Castlefields, Main Centre DE1 2PE 01332 345619

Doncaster 43 Hallgate Street DN1 3NR 01302 344128

Dover TA Centre, London Road CT17 0SZ 01304 202907

Dumbarton 16 College Way G82 1LG 01389 763303

Dumfries 114 English Street DG1 2DE 01387 252192

Dundee 29-31 Bank Street, PO Box 81 DD1 1RW 01382 227461

Dunfermline TA Centre, Elgin Street KY12 7SB 01383 721843

Durham 78a Claypath DH1 1QT 0191 3847682

Edinburgh 67-83 Shandwick Place EH2 4SN 0131 221 1111

Elgin 5 Batchen Street IV30 1BH 01343 547145

Exeter Fountain House, Blackboy Roundabout, Western Way EX1 2DQ 01392 271533

Galashiels 67 Paton Street TD1 3AT 01896 758842

Glasgow Charlotte House, 78 Queens Street G1 3DN 0141 224

Gloucester Britannia Warehouse, The Docks GL1 2EH 01452 524539

Greenock 22 Westburn Street PA15 1RY 01475 786383

Grimsby 241 Freeman Street DN32 9DW 01472 354112

Guildford Stamford House, 91 Woodbridge Road GU1 4QE 01483

Halifax TA Centre, Prescott Street HX1 2LG 01422 362860

Hamilton 184 Quarry Street ML3 6QR 01698 281579

Hastings TA Centre, Portsway, St Leonards-on-Sea TN38 0JA
01424 426254

Haverfordwest The Dalton Vc Centre, Freemans Way SA61 1TN
01437 767239

Hereford 6 Commercial Road HR1 2BB 01432 273917

Horden TA Centre, Sunderland Road SR8 4NL 0191 586223

Huddersfield 26 Kirkgate HD1 1QQ 01484 424868

Hull Britannia Suite, Norwich House, Saville Street HU1 3ES
01482 325901

Ilford 180a Cranbrook Road IG1 4LR 020 5184565

Inverness 3 Bridge Street IV1 1HG 01463 235610

Ipswich 37 Silent Street IP1 1TF 01473 25***1

Irvine 71 East Road KA12 0AA 01294 273796

Kendal TA Centre, Queen Katerine Street LA9 7DG 01539 720960

Kirkcaldy 5 Sang Place KY1 1HA 01592 202024

Lancaster TA Centre, Alexandra Barracks, Caton Road LA1 3NY 01524 844888

Leeds 10-14 Bond Court LS1 2JY 0113 2440785

Leicester St Georges House, 6 St Georges Way LE1 1SH 0116

Lincoln Sibthorp House, 350-352 High Street LN5 7BN 01522

Liverpool Victoria House, 15 James Street L2 7NX 0151 2361566

London 9 Lee Road, Blackheath SE3 9RQ 0208 8521464

London 453-454 Strand WC2R 0RG 0207 9308603

London AFCO London, St Giles Court, 2-12 Bloomsbury Way WC1A 2SH
0207 3054311

Luton Dunstable House, Dunstable Road LU1 2EA 01582 725752

Manchester Petersfield House, 29-31 Peters Street M2 5QJ 0161

Mansfield TA Centre, Bath Street NG18 1BA 01623 621934

Middlesbrough 67 Borough Road TS1 3AE 01642 243413

Milton Keynes Medena House, 302 Silbury Boulevard MK9 2AE 01908

Newcastle-upon-Tyne New England House, 10 Ridley Place NE1 8JW 0191 2322306

Newport 4-5 Kingsway NP9 1EX 01633 250306/09

Newport (IOW) 91 Pyle Street PO30 1UH 01983 522385

Northampton 7 The Parade, Market Square NN1 2EA 01604 633318

Norwich 2 Magdalen Street NR3 1HX 01603 624616 RAF Tel: 01603 614616 RN/RM Tel: 01603 620033

Nottingham 70 Victoria Centre, Milton Street NG1 3QX 0115 9473629

Oldham 3 Lord Street OL1 3HP 0161 6273233

Omagh St Lucia Barracks BT78 5E4 02882 248698

Oxford 35 St Giles OX1 3LJ 01865 515989

Paisley 9-11 New Street PA1 2BA 0141 8875778

Perth 127-129 Dunkeld Road PH1 5QA 01738 625716

Peterborough 21 Hereward Centre PE1 1TB 01733 ***366

Plymouth Mod Mount Wise, Devonport PL1 4JH 01752 501781

Pontypridd 8 Gelliwastad Road CF37 2BP 01443 402189

Portadown Mahon Barracks, Mahon Road BT62 3FP 02838

Portsmouth Cambridge Road PO1 2EN 02392 823744

Preston 54 Fishergate PR1 8BH 01772 203030

Reading 19-20 St Mary's Butts RG1 2LN 01189 594533

Redruth Oak House, Chapel St TR15 2BY 01209 215785

Rhyl The Drill Hall, John Street LL18 1PP 01745 334244

Rochdale 3 Union Street OL16 1DY 01706 710538

Salisbury 13 Castle Street SP1 1TT 01722 320445

Scarborough 17 Northway YO11 1JH 01723 375646

Sheffield Central Buildings, 1a Church Street S1 2GJ 01142 720103

Shrewsbury Princess House, The Square SY1 1JZ 01743 232678

South Shields 88-90 Fowler Street NE33 1PD 0191 4555043

Southampton 152 High Street, Below Bar SO14 2BT 023 80

Southend-On-Sea Level 3 Chartwell Square, Victoria Plaza SS2
5SP 01702 456380

St Helens 63 College Street, St Helens WA10 1TN 01744 739527

Stirling 67 Port Street FK8 2ER 01786 475167

Stockport 16 Grand Central Park, Wellington Road South SK1 3TB
0161 4804188

Stoke-on-Trent 36-38 Old Hall Street, Hanley ST1 3AP 01782 281780

Sunderland 3 Saville Place, Borough Road SR1 1PA 0191 5650542

Swansea 17-19 Castle Street SA1 1JF 01792 653362

Swindon 19 Faringdon Road SN1 5AR 01793 523251

Taunton 35 East Street TA1 3LS 01823 272272

Torquay 180 Union Street TQ2 5QP 01803 293516

Tunbridge Wells TA Centre, St Johns Road TN4 9UU 01892

Wakefield 82 Northgate WF1 3AY 01924 376232

Warrington 18 Winmarleigh Street WA1 1NB 01925 631574

Wembley 594 High Road HA0 2AF 0181 9021376

Wick The Rifle Hall, 36 Dempster Street KW1 5QB 01955 602484

Wigan 2 Baileys Court, Hallgate WN1 1LR 01942 243904

Wolverhampton 43a Queen Street WV1 3BL 01902 423892

Worcester 44 Foregate Street WR1 1AN 01905 723667

Workington St John's Precinct CA14 3BD 01900 605798

Wrexham Halkyn House, 21 Rhosddu Road LL11 1NF 01978

York 108 Micklegate YO1 6JX 01904 623653
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Report Thread starter 12 years ago
Revised RAF abbreviations. Found at There are more listed on the RAF site, these are the main ones that you may find useful.

AAC Army Air Corps / Anti-Aircraft Co-operation
A&AEE Aeroplane and Armament Evaluation Establishment
AAF Auxiliary Air Force
AAM Air to Air Missile
AAR Air to Air Refuelling
AC Army Co-operation
ACE Allied Command Europe
ACM Air Chief Marshal
ACT Air Combat Training
ADC Aide-de-Camp
ADF Automatic Direction Finding
ADGB Air Defence of Great Britain
ADGE Air Defence Ground Environment
ADIZ Air Defence Identification Zones
ADR Air Defence Region
ADV Air Defence Variant
AEAES Air Electronics and Air Engineer School
AEF Air Experience Flight
AE Air Engineer
AES Air Electronics School / Aerial Erectors School
AEW Airborne Early Warning
AFB Air Force Base / Air Force Band
AFC Air Force Cross
AFCENT Air Forces Central (Europe)
AFDS Air Fighter Development Squadron
AFT Advanced Flying Training
AFM Air Force Medal
AFNORTH Air Forces Northern (Europe)
AFS Advanced Flying School
AFSOUTH Air Forces Southern (Europe)
AGM Air to Ground Missile
AHB Air Historical Branch
AHQ Air Headquarters
AI Aircraft Interception
AIDU Aeronautical Information Documents Unit
AIU Accident Investigation Unit
AL Army Liaison
ALARM Air Launched Anti-Radiation Missile
ALBM Air Launched Ballistic Missile
ALCM Air Launched Cruise Missile
ALDP Airborne Laser Designator Pod
ALO Air Liaison Officer
AM Air Ministry / Air Marshal
AMF ACE Mobile Force
AMP Air Member for Personnel
AMRAAM Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile
AMSL Above Mean Sea Level
AMU Aircraft Modification Unit
ANS Air Navigation School
AOC Air Officer Commanding
AOP Air Observation Post
APC Armament Practice Camp / Armoured Personnel Carrier
APO Acting Pilot Officer
APU Auxiliary Power Unit
AQM Air Quartermaster
ARIC Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre
ARM Anti-Radiation Missile
ARTF Alkali Removable Temporary Finish
AS Armstrong-Siddeley
ASC Advanced Staff Course
ASI Air Speed Indicator
ASM Air to Surface Missile / Anti-Submarine Missile
ASR Air Sea Rescue / Air Staff Requirement
ASRAAM Advanced Short Range Air to Air Missile
AS&RU Aircraft Salvage and Repair Unit
ASV Air to Surface Vessel
ATC Air Training Corps / Air Traffic Control
ATCC Air Traffic Control Centre
ATU Air Training Unit
AVM Air Vice Marshal
AWACS Airborne Warning and Control System
BBMF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
BCDU Bomber Command Development Unit
BDU Bomber Development Unit
BFJT Basic Fast Jet Training
BMEWS Ballistic Missile Early Warning System
BoB Battle of Britain
BP Boulton Paul
BSEL Bristol-Siddeley Engines Ltd
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CAA Civil Aviation Authority
CAACU Civilian Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit
CAP Combat Air Patrol
CAS Chief of Air Staff
CASEVAC Casualty Evacuation
CATCS Central Air Traffic Control School
CAW College of Air Warfare
CCF Combined Cadet Force
Cdr Commander
CFE Central Fighter Establishment
CFI Chief Flying Instructor
CFS Central Flying School
CGS Central Gliding School
CI Chief Instructor
C-in-C Commander in Chief
CIO Careers Information Office
CNS Central Navigation School
CofA Certificate of Airworthiness
CO Commanding Officer
COI Central Office of Information
COS Chiefs of Staff
Cpl Corporal
CRC Control and Reporting Centre
CRE Central Reconnaissance Establishment
CRO Community Relations Officer
C/T Chief Technician
DFC Distinguished Flying Cross
DFM Distinguished Flying Medal
DRA Defence Research Agency
DSA Defence Support Agency
DSC Distinguished Service Cross
DSM Distinguished Service Medal
DSO Distinguished Service Order
DZ Drop Zone
EWAU Electronic Warfare Avionics Unit
EWETU Electronic Warfare Experimental and Training Unit
FAA Fleet Air Arm
FAC Forward Air Controller
FBW Fly by Wire
Fg Off Flying Officer
Flt Flight
Flt Lt Flight Lieutenant
F3 OEU Tornado F3 Operational Evaluation Unit
FTS Flying Training School
GD General Duties
Gp Group
Gp Capt Group Captain
GS Gliding School
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HAR Helicopter Air Rescue
HARM High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile
HAS Hardened Aircraft Shelter
HDU Hose Drum Unit
HE High Explosive
HMG His/Her Majesty's Government
HMS His/Her Majesty's Ship
HP Handley Page
hp Horse Power
HQ Headquarters
HS Hawker Siddeley
HTF Helicopter Training School
HUD Head-up Display
IAM Institute of Aviation Medicine
IAS Indicated Air Speed
i/c In charge
ICBM Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile
IDS Interdictor Strike
IF Instrument Flying
IFF Identification Friend or Foe
ILS Instrument Landing System
IOT Initial Officer Training
IR Infra Red
IRBM Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile
ITS Initial Training School
IUKADGE Improved UK Air Defence Ground Environment
JACIG Joint Arms Control Implementation Group
JARIC Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligent Centre
JATE Joint Air Transport Establishment
JEFTS Joint Elementary Flying Training School
JSP Joint Service Publications
JSTARS Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar
JTIDS Joint Tactical Information Distribution System
KBE Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
KCB Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
KCVO Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
KG Knight of the Garter
kt Knot
LABS Low Altitude Bombing System
LAC Leading Aircraftman
LANTIRN Low Altitude Navigation Targeting Infra Red Night
LERX Leading Edge Root Extension
LORAN Long Range Aid to Navigation
LRMTS Laser Ranger & Marked Target Seeker
LTW Lyneham Transport Wing
M Mach number
MALM Master Air Loadmaster
MAMS Mobile Air Movements Squadron
mb Millibar
MBE Member (of the Order of the) British Empire
MCSU Mobile Catering Support Unit
MET Meteorological
METS Multi-Engine Training Squadron
MHz Megahertz
mm Millimetre
Mk Mark Number
MLU Mid-Life Update
MoD Ministry of Defence
MoD(PE) Ministry of Defence (Procurement Executive)
mph Miles per hour
MRAF Marshal of the Royal Air Force
MRCA Multi-Role Combat Aircraft
MSC Major Subordinate Commander
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
NATS National Air Traffic Services
NCO Non-Commissioned Officer
nm Nautical Mile
NVG Night Vision Goggles
OASC Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre
OC Officer Commanding
OCU Operational Conversion Unit
OEU Operational Evaluation Unit
OR Operational Requirement
ORB Operational Record Book
OTU Operational Training Unit
PA Personal Assistant
PAR Precision Approach Radar
PE Procurement Executive
PFE Pathfinder Executive
PMO Principal Medical Officer
PMRAFNS Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service
P/O Pilot Officer
PoW Prisoner of War
PR Public Relations
PRO Public Relations Officer
PRU Photographic Reconnaissance Unit
P&SS Provost and Security Services
PTC Personnel & Training Command
POS Parachute Training School
PUS Permanent Under Secretary of State
QCS Queen's Colour Squadron
QCVSA Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air
QFI Qualified Flying Instructor
QHI Qualified Helicopter Instructor
QRA Quick Reaction Alert

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