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    Hey, a career with the RAF is something I've been considering whilst at uni for a long time now, but I have yet to take any major steps towards application.

    My first question is how much of the ABM role is involved with the 'hands-on' aspects of weapon controlling and surveillance, as opposed to managing personnel and other administrative duties?

    Secondly, at what part of the application process would be best for one of these RJPs?

    Thanks for any anwers you can give
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    Hey, get down to your local AFCO and get all the information they have to offer!

    I was in my final year of university when i applied (Jan '09) and it's taken until now to get through to OASC (the final step to see if you're suitable to start training) so it's by no means a quick proccess. The sooner you're known by your local careers office the better!

    I'm not actually into the RAF yet however my OASC starts on monday so i'm quite confident in what an ABM is and does.

    My first question is how much of the ABM role is involved with the 'hands-on' aspects of weapon controlling and surveillance
    The term "Weapons Controller" is quite vague, however from what i've seen is a very involved proccess. During, say, a training sortie you would be the person letting the pilots know where the "enemy" is. That being altitude, speed, direction and whether or not they are currently a "hot" or "cold" threat - that being if they're currently heading in for an attack or regrouping some distance away. Obviously this is still quite a basic rundown of what goes on and i can only comment on what i have seen, but i assure you every WC i spoke too thouroughly enjoyed their job and it did look like a very interesting role to play

    Over to surveillance, as an IDO (Identification Officer) working in a Control and Reporting Center, your primary role is to identify (duh) aircraft that are entering the airspace that surrounds the British Isles. By identify i mean whether they are friendly, hostile or neutral - such as Swedish Air Force. On out-of-station operations the only thing i can mention is that a Surveillance Officer will work to keep airspace safe for friendlies during training sorties. Letting people know what area and height they should be at (since there are always things flying around in and out of a given area).

    Secondly, at what part of the application process would be best for one of these RJPs?
    I applied in Jan, attended a presentation in Aug, had my filter in Oct, attended two station visits in Nov, attending OASC in Dec and have my RJP in mid-Feb.

    So essentially, get down to your AFCO, have a good look around and ask as many questions as you can think of. If all that goes well you will be offered to attend a presentation which will let you know about life in the RAF and the role it plays.

    Station visit are well worth doing but i wouldn't worry about that until you know that you like what the RAF has to offer

    Good luck!
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    Off to OASC, lets hope the hardwork has paid off.
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    Vizzini,

    Thank you for all the information you have taken the time to post on this thread, and thank you to the other guys who have done so too.

    I received a letter from OASC on Saturday and it explained the delay in the formal selection decision process being due to OSB (ABM) aptitude tests being revised to give a clearer indication of potential success in the branch. I am required to re-visit OASC in the New Year and sit the new, revised ABM aptitude battery tests.

    My striving to become an ABM continues!!!
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    I received this letter too. And here's me thinking that all the medical probs caused the delay :P
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    Hi guys,

    Thanks for all your posts these last 6 months. It's been great chatting to you all - bring on the New Year and best of luck to everyone with their applications!

    Merry Christmas!

    Vizzini
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    Happy new year to you all, here is to 2010!
    I am currently in the application process, with my OASC date 23rd Feb, and I did intially put ATCO as my first choice and ABM second, but having had chance to think things over and read this fantastic thread, I am convinced that ABM is the way forward for me.
    Quick question - RJP's - Do you think I would be able to attend one of these before my OASC date? I am not sure what the waiting time is like for a RJP?
    Also if I pass IOT , the 6 week aptitude/streaming course and then go onto to trade training( depending on what I was streamed into) at what point would I be able to have my son stay with me, as I am a single mum?I have a feeling that it would not be until all training was complete, but just wanted some clarification on this really.I am ringing AFCO on Monday, but wondered if anyone had some advice on this?
    Any advice would be great. Many thanks in advance.
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    (Original post by Jason.faceplant)
    Off to OASC, lets hope the hardwork has paid off.
    Hi Jason,

    Happy New Year! So, how do you think it went? What was your impression of the whole thing? Have you been caught up in this change to the aptitude assessments? Questions, questions, questions... Let us know how things are going!

    Vizzini
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    (Original post by ads392)
    I received a letter from OASC on Saturday and it explained the delay in the formal selection decision process being due to OSB (ABM) aptitude tests being revised to give a clearer indication of potential success in the branch. I am required to re-visit OASC in the New Year and sit the new, revised ABM aptitude battery tests.
    (Original post by Owen27)
    I received this letter too.
    Hi Guys,

    I've deliberately held off replying to this over the break. Now everyone is back, I'll do some digging from my end and see what I can tell you...

    I've now done some digging - I spoke to one of our Wg Cdr's who was at a meeting with OASC before Christmas about just this matter. OASC have amended and updated their ABM-related aptitude tests in line with our reccomendations. What this means is that they've removed some of the tests they thought important, re-weighted aspects of others and introduced several new tests as well. I asked whether this would affect anyone who had already gone through the tests and was told that if their scores were borderline, it might (and I stress might) be the case that they would have to re-sit the improved tests.

    Now, this last point is based on a meeting and neither I, nor the Wg Cdr know whether OASC has formally adopted the re-testing as a requirement, or what may be the parameters of a decision to re-test.

    Stand by for more information from OASC and best of luck with it!

    Vizzini
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    Hey Vizzini,

    I have my filter interview tomorrow at 9am (Ouch!) and i'd just like to say thanks for putting the time in to answer everyone's questions - this thread has been a huge help!
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    (Original post by rafmum)
    Happy new year to you all, here is to 2010!
    I am currently in the application process, with my OASC date 23rd Feb, and I did intially put ATCO as my first choice and ABM second...
    Quick question - RJP's - Do you think I would be able to attend one of these before my OASC date? I am not sure what the waiting time is like for a RJP?

    Also if I pass IOT , the 6 week aptitude/streaming course and then go onto to trade training( depending on what I was streamed into) at what point would I be able to have my son stay with me, as I am a single mum?I have a feeling that it would not be until all training was complete, but just wanted some clarification on this really.I am ringing AFCO on Monday, but wondered if anyone had some advice on this?
    Any advice would be great. Many thanks in advance.
    Hi rafmum,

    Happy New Year and thanks to you too!

    First off - don't discount ATC completely at this stage. It's always good to have options!

    Secondly, there is an RJP coming up before your OASC, it's 16 - 18 Feb 2010. I was told before Christmas that it was full; however, it's always worth expressing an interest to your AFCO to see if they can get you on- people do drop out for various reasons. Make sure they get you on the reserve list. We run 6 a year, so there's generally one every 2 months.

    Your son's welfare is definitely a matter for consideration. I am not sure how IOT would manage that; as to the ABMSC, on successful completion of IOT you would be posted to RAF Boulmer and therefore eligible for Service Families Accommodation (SFA) (quarters / housing, as opposed to living in Mess accommodation).

    To illustrate the worst case from this point on, and this has happened recently, personnel have been posted up here after IOT, moved into SFA with partners / families, made all the relevant changes to lifestyles, schools etc and have then failed the ABMSC... which means re-selection to another branch in another geographical location. So, they've had to undergo the entire process all over again. Would you be happy to only see your son at weekends for, say, 8 months, IOT and ABMSC included, and might that be better than disruption to his schooling etc?

    To continue the worst case, if you are successful on ABMSC and, for argument's sake, do then take a quarter, you could then be detached elsewhere for a hold if there are no spaces available on upcoming courses. A detachment is not the same as a posting as far as our administration staff are concerned and you would probably not be entitled to a quarter - you would have to live in the Mess.

    Once qualified and productive you are liable to be detached at some stage - this time overseas for up to 6 months...

    This is food for thought - I'm not trying to put you off applying! I just want to make sure you're aware of the potential impact on your son, so that you can make suitable arrangements for him. These are matters that will be raised by both your AFCO and OASC. As you say, you should speak in detail to the AFCO, but, to reiterate, as far as ABMSC and beyond are concerned: on completion of IOT you would be able to take a house. Again, would you want to take it for those 6 weeks, just in case, or stretch that absence a bit further to avoid too much disruption to your son?

    I can't say much more than this as I'm not an admin guru; I imagine tpd has given you some much more sound advice! Sorry I can't be of more help, really, and best of luck with the AFCO! Let me know how you get on.

    Vizzini
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    (Original post by TownFanJamie)
    Hey Vizzini,

    I have my filter interview tomorrow at 9am (Ouch!) and i'd just like to say thanks for putting the time in to answer everyone's questions - this thread has been a huge help!
    Hi Jamie,

    You're very welcome, happy to oblige! Best of luck tomorrow - let us know how you get on.

    Vizzini
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    Vizz, my letter from cranwell said that they will be in touch to arrange a date in the new year to sit the new tests for ABM. I scored 151 in july when I was at OASC. Quite looking forward to seeing that place again :P
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    (Original post by Vizzini)
    Hi rafmum,

    Happy New Year and thanks to you too!

    First off - don't discount ATC completely at this stage. It's always good to have options!

    Secondly, there is an RJP coming up before your OASC, it's 16 - 18 Feb 2010. I was told before Christmas that it was full; however, it's always worth expressing an interest to your AFCO to see if they can get you on- people do drop out for various reasons. Make sure they get you on the reserve list. We run 6 a year, so there's generally one every 2 months.

    Your son's welfare is definitely a matter for consideration. I am not sure how IOT would manage that; as to the ABMSC, on successful completion of IOT you would be posted to RAF Boulmer and therefore eligible for Service Families Accommodation (SFA) (quarters / housing, as opposed to living in Mess accommodation).

    To illustrate the worst case from this point on, and this has happened recently, personnel have been posted up here after IOT, moved into SFA with partners / families, made all the relevant changes to lifestyles, schools etc and have then failed the ABMSC... which means re-selection to another branch in another geographical location. So, they've had to undergo the entire process all over again. Would you be happy to only see your son at weekends for, say, 8 months, IOT and ABMSC included, and might that be better than disruption to his schooling etc?

    To continue the worst case, if you are successful on ABMSC and, for argument's sake, do then take a quarter, you could then be detached elsewhere for a hold if there are no spaces available on upcoming courses. A detachment is not the same as a posting as far as our administration staff are concerned and you would probably not be entitled to a quarter - you would have to live in the Mess.

    Once qualified and productive you are liable to be detached at some stage - this time overseas for up to 6 months...

    This is food for thought - I'm not trying to put you off applying! I just want to make sure you're aware of the potential impact on your son, so that you can make suitable arrangements for him. These are matters that will be raised by both your AFCO and OASC. As you say, you should speak in detail to the AFCO, but, to reiterate, as far as ABMSC and beyond are concerned: on completion of IOT you would be able to take a house. Again, would you want to take it for those 6 weeks, just in case, or stretch that absence a bit further to avoid too much disruption to your son?

    I can't say much more than this as I'm not an admin guru; I imagine tpd has given you some much more sound advice! Sorry I can't be of more help, really, and best of luck with the AFCO! Let me know how you get on.

    Vizzini
    Hi Vizzini,
    Thanks for your reply.Yes definitely alot of food for thought there, and useful to know the types of situations I may face in the future in relation to childcare etc.
    I am still ( if I can )going to put down ATC as an option on my application, if all else fails with ABM(hopefully not!)
    I am ringing AFCO tomorrow so I shall definitely ask if they can put me on the reserve list for a RJP, as I would like to attned ideally before my OASC date,so thanks for the info on that.
    As for childcare,I have been advised at my filter interview that I will be expected to live in the mess during IOT and possibly the streaming course, but as discussed with 3PD I think that being able to make suitable arrangements for my son will be very much a situation of crossing that bridge when I get to it. Although they are very good points you made about the disruption to my sons schooling etc, and I will be taking all of this on board.
    Many thanks for your help Vizzini.
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    (Original post by rafmum)
    As for childcare,I have been advised at my filter interview that I will be expected to live in the mess during IOT and possibly the streaming course, but as discussed with 3PD I think that being able to make suitable arrangements for my son will be very much a situation of crossing that bridge when I get to it... Many thanks for your help Vizzini.
    rafmum,

    You're very welcome; glad to have helped, although I appreciate this is probably a lot to consider.

    I've just highlighted that phrase in your post to clarify matters again, because - no matter what they tell you at the filter or AFCO / OASC about the streaming course (this doesn't apply to IOT) - because you are a single mother, you would be entitled to SFA during the ABMSC, which would mean an actual house. I've checked this with the Squadron Leader in charge of ab-initio trg (which is where you would be!). What AFCOs will tell you is based on the majority of candidates we receive and it is usually the case that those attending the ABMSC are required to live in the Mess. Your situation is, clearly, different! Whether you want to take a house, as we discussed, is a different matter. Just wanted to make it absolutely clear where you stand in terms of entitlement.

    Best of luck with the rest of your application process!


    For anybody else reading this post who is not in the same situation as rafmum - you would not be automatically entitled to SFA and would be expected to live in the Mess - the majority rule applies, unless there are other, clear, extenuating circumstances (not liking Mess food doesn't count ! And it's very good here, as Messes go).

    Vizzini
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    Many thanks again Vizzini, that's great.
    I am sure I will be picking your brains again soon about the role of an ABM!
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    (Original post by Vizzini)
    Hi Jamie,

    You're very welcome, happy to oblige! Best of luck tomorrow - let us know how you get on.

    Vizzini
    Hey Vizzini et al,

    I had my filter this morning at 9am, as I mentioned above. It seemed to go okay, I got some feedback immediately after where I was told I needed to 'fine tune', a little, some of my answers before OASC - If I get there.

    I was told I would hear back from the RAF within 2 weeks!

    Some questions I had:

    When was the RAF formed?
    When was NATO formed?
    What happens after IOT?
    Where could you be stationed then?

    Don't mean to hijack the thread Vizz, I'm finished now.
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    Hi Jamie,

    I'm glad it seemed to go well - best of luck for the letter, I well remember how it feels when you see it on the doormat...

    I, too, don't wish to be rude, but remember, 2 of the things you will be assessed on at OASC are intiative and resourcefulness - you've demonstrated both by going to the horse's mouth, so to speak, so kudos to you, but you must also demonstrate self-reliance under pressure ! What you'll quite often find in the Service is that you'll ask a question of a superior and they'll turn round and say, 'Very good question, look in this document, talk to so and so and then come and tell me the answer when you have it'! So, on that note:

    [QUOTE=TownFanJamie]Some questions I had:

    When was the RAF formed? Google / RAF website
    When was NATO formed? Google / NATO website
    What happens after IOT? Read this thread in detail
    Where could you be stationed then? Read this thread in detail [QUOTE]

    Happy reading. Tell us when you've got the answers !

    Vizzini
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    (Original post by Vizzini)

    (Original post by TownFanJamie)
    Some questions I had:

    When was the RAF formed? Google / RAF website
    When was NATO formed? Google / NATO website
    What happens after IOT? Read this thread in detail
    Where could you be stationed then? Read this thread in detail
    Happy reading. Tell us when you've got the answers !

    Vizzini
    I think he meant that they were some of the questions he was asked in the filter interview, rather than questions he needed answering now :confused:
 
 
 
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