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    Hello all,
    I am currently considering applying to be an ABM and I am looking for a few answers to some burning questions!
    Firstly, what would you say is the biggest challenge of your careers as ABM's? I think that this question gives a little food for thought as clearly people's answers may be totally different.
    Secondly, what is the worst thing about being an ABM? Similar question but I am looking for an honest answer here, is it the staying away from family or dare I say it, not being a pilot?
    Finally, are there any opportunities officially/unofficially to get a taster for ABM life before sitting the OASC? Like an acquaint day, for someone who is currently security cleared?

    Many thanks in advance,

    TA
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    (Original post by Total Alien)
    Hello all,
    I am currently considering applying to be an ABM and I am looking for a few answers to some burning questions!
    Firstly, what would you say is the biggest challenge of your careers as ABM's? I think that this question gives a little food for thought as clearly people's answers may be totally different.
    Secondly, what is the worst thing about being an ABM? Similar question but I am looking for an honest answer here, is it the staying away from family or dare I say it, not being a pilot?
    Finally, are there any opportunities officially/unofficially to get a taster for ABM life before sitting the OASC? Like an acquaint day, for someone who is currently security cleared?

    Many thanks in advance,

    TA
    If you get no luck on here, try asking @rafscopie on twitter, he's very apporachable for ABM questions.

    In answer to a taster, there is something called a "realistic job preview" for ABM, ask at your AFCO how to apply/arrange it as I'm not too sure of that part.
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    Hi Vizzini!

    Would you be able to explain to me the difference between the different role, i.e weapons, surveillance and space. Ive been searchin the net and on the careers website but cant find anythin good information on it!

    Cheers
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    (Original post by jebbadiah)
    Hi Vizzini!

    Would you be able to explain to me the difference between the different role, i.e weapons, surveillance and space. Ive been searchin the net and on the careers website but cant find anythin good information on it!

    Cheers
    Hi Jebbadiah, this is an old thread and you may not have any luck with a reply. Although Vizzini is still active on this forum.

    On the first page of this thread he answered a similar question to the one you ask, i'm sure if you read the entire thread you will find all the information you want.

    First off, you need to know that for Weapons, Surveillance or Space you need particular aptitudes, which are different for each role. To generalise, Weapons Controllers are usually in charge of up to 4 aircraft and have to make decisions about the safety and conduct of those aircraft very quickly, with very little information. A Surveillance Officer typically has to deal with lots of different information, coming at them from different sources and systems and quickly fuse all the data and information to come to a correct solution. A Space operative's aptitude needs to be broadly similar to a Surveillance Officer's, but the job is subtly different.

    So, as a Surveillance Officer, once qualified you'll typically start your career as an Identification Officer (IDO) working in one of our Control and Reporting Centres (CRC), either at RAF Boulmer, or RAF Scampton. If you're at Boulmer you work a shift system, which means either a 12-hour day, or night, depending at which part of your cycle you are. During your shift you'll spend several periods on console in charge of producing the Recognized Air Picture (RAP). It will be your responsibility to make a threat assessment on every aircraft in your area of responsibility and assign it a category during that time. This is quite a big deal. During conflict the RAP is what our commanders use to make their decisions on which aircraft to engage. To put it another way - if a 9/11 situation happened in the UK, the IDO is the one who has to locate that aircraft on their RAP and assign the correct category. If it is a 9/11 scenario, commanders in the CRC will scramble live armed fighters to intercept and potentially shoot down a passenger airliner. If the IDO gets it wrong and has given the category to the wrong jet, they are ultimately responsible for a 'blue-on-blue', or in this situation, an immense tragedy. So there's a lot of responsibility! Don't worry, there's plenty of training before you get to this stage to make sure you get it right! That includes exercising the 9/11 scenario. During a shift you'll make this threat assessment hundreds of times and it becomes second nature - you'll get very good at spotting odd behaviour and flagging it to your commanders.

    When you're not on console, you'll spend your time being an officer. You may work on your secondary duties - these are things outside of your main role. So, for instance, it could mean organising what's now called Force Development for your troops and colleagues. This could be something like a team-building day where you go white-water rafting, to organising a four day exped to Wales for 40 people, which is what I'm doing at the moment. When you've been qualified for a while you may also become a Deputy Flight Commander and be in charge of a Flight along with a more experienced officer as the Flight Commander.

    Space Specialists are normally drawn from a Surveillance background, so you may have completed a tour, (also called a posting; they usually last 18 months to 2 years) before moving across streams. You'll be based at RAF Fylingdales as a Watch Commander. Your job there is to run a Watch of 4 personnel and to maintain the Space Picture as part of the US Ballistic Missile Early Warning System. Essentially, you have 60 seconds to detect, track and classify a launching object and then report it up the chain. We use what's called the SSPAR (Solid State Phased Array Radar), which has a range of 3000 miles, to do our bit. You'll be on a similar shift system to an IDO and outside of your normal working role you'll do your additional duties as Watch Commander, like reporting on your troop's performance and looking after their welfare, as well as other Secondary duties like I described above.

    There is more to it as well and lots of different roles to progress into, but I'm banging on now! Feel free to ask more questions.
    Chris
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    Hi All,

    I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone that has posted on this thread from the beginning, it has taken me days to read through all of it! But I feel I have learnt a great deal already.

    Just to introduce myself I applied to be a pilot when I was 17 and got to the aptitude test stage but sadly didn't gain the required aptitude for Pilot or WSOp which was my second choice. Now 25, having gained some valuable life experience and having had a string of very successful professional IT jobs, I am passionately pursuing becoming an ABM. I filled in the online application only a few days ago so hopefully will hear something soon. I am hoping to get on a RJP and would very much like to hear from anyone in the same boat. Also are they any serving ABMs still monitoring this thread? As I would very much like to pester you with questions

    All the best jkxjkx
 
 
 
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