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Next steps after CBAT - ABM and Reg Off questions watch

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    Doesn't appear your post has worked. I'm going ABM and am at the pre OASC stage, passed Filter.
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    I recently completed by CBAT and was hoping to pass for WSOp. Unfortunately, despite exceeding the cutoff, I did not score high enough in Spatial Reasoning. I did, however, pass for ABM, Int and ATC.

    The role of ABM interests me so I arranged a meeting at AFCO to discuss the roles of both Int Off and ABM but it wasn't particularly helpful. The Corporal there was part of the Int branch so seemingly had very little knowledge of ABM (He was just reading the information off of the printout which I had already found online!).

    I've read the 'Ask an ABM' thread by Vizzini but it's 9 years old now. Just wanted to know how accurate and relevant the info he provides is?

    In particular:
    1. What is the current failure rate of the aptitude test before streaming? Is it a very hard and competitive role?
    2. Is it still likely that you will pretty much live at Scampton or Boulmer?
    3. How frequent are detachments and how long do they normally last? (I was hoping for regular detachments hence why I originally applied for WSOp)
    4. Are shifts still 12 hours long, and how many shifts per week average? Is the job exciting or is it mainly mundane monitoring with the odd moment of adrenaline?

    I was also thinking of applying as a Regiment Officer, as originally I wanted a role that would have me around and potentially onboard aircraft, doing something away from a desk, and on regular detachments. But I understand that I would have to sit the AST for that.

    An additional hurdle is that I'm only 21 and I've heard that they like Reg Officers to be slightly older and with more life experience to elicit more respect from Reg Gunners.

    I intend to request an RJP visit for my chosen role to get a better understanding of what I will be doing. But I'm not sure if I have to commit to the role before being eligible for an RJP.

    Any answers or advice greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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    (Original post by vodapo)
    1. What is the current failure rate of the aptitude test before streaming? Is it a very hard and competitive role?
    2. Is it still likely that you will pretty much live at Scampton or Boulmer?
    3. How frequent are detachments and how long do they normally last? (I was hoping for regular detachments hence why I originally applied for WSOp)
    4. Are shifts still 12 hours long, and how many shifts per week average? Is the job exciting or is it mainly mundane monitoring with the odd moment of adrenaline?

    I was also thinking of applying as a Regiment Officer, as originally I wanted a role that would have me around and potentially onboard aircraft, doing something away from a desk, and on regular detachments.
    The info on that thread will largely still ring true. It won't have changed too much.

    1. Failure rate doesn't really matter, tbh. Either you pass or you don't. Branch training is harder and, historically, ABM has a higher failure rate than any other branch, pilot included.
    2. Yes.
    3. Broadly similar across the forces. But more towards the longer than the shorter.
    4. First part; pass. Second part; hard one to answer. If you enjoy that work it won't be boring.

    And, for reference, a regiment officer won't spend much time around aircraft at all...
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    4. 12 hours long, 2 7am-7pm, 2 7pm-7am, 3 days off.
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    (Original post by vodapo)
    1. Is it still likely that you will pretty much live at Scampton or Boulmer?
    2. How frequent are detachments and how long do they normally last? (I was hoping for regular detachments hence why I originally applied for WSOp)
    3. Are shifts still 12 hours long, and how many shifts per week average? Is the job exciting or is it mainly mundane monitoring with the odd moment of adrenaline?

    1. The majority of ABM posts are at Boulmer or Scampton. For your first posting out of Phase 2 it is highly likely you will be at those two locations.

    After that there are a lot of postings all over the country. You can be an operator on the E3-D at RAF Waddington. Working in the Space Operations Centre in High Wycombe. On BMEWS at RAF Fylingdales.

    ABMs are considered to have a strong knowledge on the application of Air Power. Later on in your career there are postings to Test and Evaluation Sqns and to instruct Phase 1, 2 and at the Air Warfare Centre.

    2. There are several detachments available currently as an ABM. Falklands, Cyprus and others. Dets usually last 4 months.

    3. If you are posted to RAF Boulmer you will work some QRA shifts. 2 days, 2 nights, 4 off. 12 hours a shift. It all depends on what is going on. You may not have much happen for a few cycles but once something does happen it gets very exciting. I highly recommend attending an RJP to see what ABMs get up to with Aerospace Battle Management.
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    (Original post by Bunker6685)
    [/list]

    3. If you are posted to RAF Boulmer you will work some QRA shifts. 2 days, 2 nights, 4 off. 12 hours a shift. It all depends on what is going on. You may not have much happen for a few cycles but once something does happen it gets very exciting. I highly recommend attending an RJP to see what ABMs get up to with Aerospace Battle Management.
    4 on, 4 off, maybe I will enjoy our branch merging! It's 6 on 4 off at all the ATC QRA relevant units.
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    (Original post by AlphaTango)
    4 on, 4 off, maybe I will enjoy our branch merging! It's 6 on 4 off at all the ATC QRA relevant units.
    Get yourself in to the bunker!
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    All very helpful info, thanks for the replies.

    I’ve taken everything that's been said, plus some of my own research into account and right now I think Int Officer is probably the most interesting of my options within the RAF. It was suggested to me that I open myself up to a potential career with one of the other forces.

    The RAF and the thought of passing out in front of College Hall at Cranwell has been the dream so I was hesitant. But I took a look at the options open to me elsewhere and I found several roles within the Army in STA which excite me- sadly a lot more than the role of Int Officer.

    So after much deliberation I've put my RAF application on hold for now.

    I think potential recruits need to think about what matters the most to them. For me, that's serving in the military (doesn't have to be RAF) and doing a job I'm passionate and excited about (even if it's not a officer role).

    I believe I could do my first 4 years in the Army and if I decide I want more responsibility I could reapply for a commissioned role in the RAF?
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    (Original post by vodapo)
    I believe I could do my first 4 years in the Army and if I decide I want more responsibility I could reapply for a commissioned role in the RAF?

    You can apply for an inter-service transfer although they are rare and it would set you back a few years in your career.
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    (Original post by Bunker6685)
    You can apply for an inter-service transfer although they are rare and it would set you back a few years in your career.
    I was thinking that if I wanted to then I could just leave the Army after the 4 years service and start the RAF recruitment again rather than transferring?

    If I did decide to do that then I'd be 25/26 after 4 years in the Army so I think it would be possible. But that's all dependant on my career within the Army and if I even want to leave after those first 4 years.
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    (Original post by vodapo)
    I was thinking that if I wanted to then I could just leave the Army after the 4 years service and start the RAF recruitment again rather than transferring?

    If I did decide to do that then I'd be 25/26 after 4 years in the Army so I think it would be possible. But that's all dependant on my career within the Army and if I even want to leave after those first 4 years.
    Leaving the Army and then joining the RAF is possible provided you still meet the job criteria.
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    (Original post by Bunker6685)
    Leaving the Army and then joining the RAF is possible provided you still meet the job criteria.
    I believe the only job criteria on paper is medical/fitness and age. Serving previously in the army would likely help me in the interviews when showing examples of teamwork and potential leadership.

    All that being said; I hope that I will love my job enough to not want to leave.
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    (Original post by vodapo)
    But I took a look at the options open to me elsewhere and I found several roles within the Army in STA which excite me- sadly a lot more than the role of Int Officer.
    Which roles in particular?
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    (Original post by NFI)
    Which roles in particular?
    I've chosen STA Observer, UAS Op and EWS Op. I've heard/seen that the latter two roles have uncertain futures but they still interest me so I thought why not put them as second/third choices. I wanted to work with Intelligence but not be sat at a computer so they seemed like the best options.
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    By EWS do you mean Electronic Warfare Specialist?

    STA observer is an artillery job so your primary trade will be directing artillery guns and air strikes on to targets.
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    (Original post by NFI)
    By EWS do you mean Electronic Warfare Specialist?

    STA observer is an artillery job so your primary trade will be directing artillery guns and air strikes on to targets.
    Yes. And yes I believe that's the TA part of STA. UAS Op is also an artillery job but still is involved in STA.
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    (Original post by vodapo)
    Yes. And yes I believe that's the TA part of STA. UAS Op is also an artillery job but still is involved in STA.
    These jobs are not similar to IntO.

    STA patrols dig trenches for living in for days at a time and pass grids of targets so they can be destroyed.

    UAS operators move the aircraft around the sky. The analysis is done by the Intelligence Corps personnel.

    EW operators carry radios and other interceptor kit around and set it up. Analysis is done by Intelligence Corps personnel.
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    (Original post by NFI)
    These jobs are not similar to IntO.

    STA patrols dig trenches for living in for days at a time and pass grids of targets so they can be destroyed.

    UAS operators move the aircraft around the sky. The analysis is done by the Intelligence Corps personnel.

    EW operators carry radios and other interceptor kit around and set it up. Analysis is done by Intelligence Corps personnel.
    I didn't say they were similar to IntO. IntO is not a job that I currently want to do, nor IntA, else I would have pursued them in the RAF.

    In fairness, all I said is that I was interested in working with Intelligence. I know that STA is not part of Intelligence, but they are involved in surveillance, some to a higher degree than others; the intelligence gathered from which is then passed on to those in the intelligence branch.

    From my understanding STA patrols observers are responsible for target acquisition like you said. But they are also trained in surveillance using photography and SERE. The TA part alone is exciting, because you're reporting target locations which I suppose is a form of intelligence as it can be used by CO's to make decisions.

    There are no jobs similar to this in the RAF. And originally I did want to be a WSOP so my enthusiasm is not limited to purely intelligence based roles. I didn't choose these roles based on how much they work alongside the intelligence branch; I chose them becuase they interest me the most. It just so happens that they work with STA.

    I'm grateful you're trying to help but I have put a lot of time, thought and research into the roles I have chosen, and for now I am happy. Thanks
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    Also have a look at infantry and Royal Armoured Corps regiments. They all have recconaisance platoons/troops which do the same tasks.
    Other options worth consideration:
    148 Bty
    SRS
    PF

    If you want to go light blue then RAF Regt also have recce jobs.
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    (Original post by NFI)
    Also have a look at infantry and Royal Armoured Corps regiments. They all have recconaisance platoons/troops which do the same tasks.
    Other options worth consideration:
    148 Bty
    SRS
    PF

    If you want to go light blue then RAF Regt also have recce jobs.
    I've been told that the Army has better opportunities for infantry-like roles. I did consider RAF Reg Off but at the moment the somewhat specialised roles in the Army seem a bit more interesting. I like that you can start you specialised training straight after Phase 1, whereas I'd assume in the RAF Reg, you would be expected to complete a tour before given the opportunity to train for reconnaissance.

    Regarding the Infantry and Royal Armoured Corps. I'm not sure if women are allowed to serve in the Infantry? My information might be outdated though.

    I will look into those other suggestions regardless. Thanks.
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