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    I'll just leave this here:

    Sky News

    Vizzini
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    Hi Vizzini, great thread, and very informative.

    I recently graduated University, and the role of an ABM seems like just the thing for me. However, there's one question which I haven't seen answered. You talk of tours of duty, and these lasting 18 months to 2 years. You also mention 4 months abroad. Is that the typical amount of time spent abroad, or is it likely/possible to be longer? I've been with my girlfriend for almost two years now, and we'd like to stay together through all this, and I've heard of posting abroad of up to 18 months. This would obviously be a very difficult situation for the two of us.

    I suppose, what I'm trying to ask after all that rambling, is how long do typical abroad postings last, and how likely are they to extend beyond this?

    Thanks
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    You can be away for weeks or months on 'operations' - 4 months is the normal tour time. There are also postings (where you work day to day) and they are usually for around 18 months to 2 years as an officer. Some of these are abroad, but not usually until you have done at least one UK tour to consolidate training.
    Long term, it can be hard on relationships - especially those informal ones.
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    Do you really get many 18 month tours? How on earth do you have any time to consolidate, and how does it affect your career if you've only picked up one OJAR plus a posting one from an entire tour?

    I knew some scribblies might get a short tour as Stn Adj or something, but I thought most post-training tours were tending towards 2.5 years.
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    Mine have ranged from 17 months to 3.5 years, with the onus on the shorter ones.

    Picking up 2 SJARs in 18 months is seen as a good thing - it gets more under your belt and gets you onwards and upwards, providing you are hacking it. I agree that many people don't consolidate much in that time, but I've seen them climb the ladder quicker as they concentrate on doing the right things rather than doing things right.
    In many of the Ground Branches, a first tour is commonly less than 20 months - often because they are scarce and there is pressure on them to keep moving.
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    (Original post by Socaddict)
    Hi Vizzini, great thread, and very informative.

    I recently graduated University, and the role of an ABM seems like just the thing for me. However, there's one question which I haven't seen answered. You talk of tours of duty, and these lasting 18 months to 2 years. You also mention 4 months abroad. Is that the typical amount of time spent abroad, or is it likely/possible to be longer? I've been with my girlfriend for almost two years now, and we'd like to stay together through all this, and I've heard of posting abroad of up to 18 months. This would obviously be a very difficult situation for the two of us.

    I suppose, what I'm trying to ask after all that rambling, is how long do typical abroad postings last, and how likely are they to extend beyond this?

    Thanks
    Hi Socaddict,

    You'll already have seen the excellent responses from ProStacker and Wzz, so hopefully that's cleared up some of the confusion. In response to Wzz's point, the tour lengths I've given are also based on my experience (vice ProStacker).

    At present, an ABM's first tour, on completion of training, is a minimum of 18 months, to allow for career consolidation. It may well be slightly longer for the WCs as they can take more time to reach CR status due to the number of events they have to complete to reach the qualification.

    I think your main concern was overseas or Out-of-Area (OOA) tours. The OOA tours, usually known as a detachment (det), which for an ABM are predominantly HERRICK or the Falklands, last 3-4 months. Some people have completed OOA dets of up to 6 months, but these are few and far between. As to overseas postings, you won't see one of these before your second tour, in any case.

    What I will say is that you're at a very early stage of your application and you've got a long road ahead of you before tour lengths, or detachments become a real factor. It is something you need to consider and discuss with your gf; as ProStacker says, long term, Service life is difficult for any relationship. Even before you get to your first tour, your relationship is going have to stand the test of separation during IOT. I'll be blunt - with plenty of compromise, flexibility and understanding, from both partners, you can make a relationship work through all this - but it's not easy by any stretch of the imagination.

    Vizzini
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    Thanks for the info. Officer aircrew tours are very rigidly around the 3 year mark, with no real possibility of short-touring below 2.5 years, but a real chance to extend as far as 4.
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    Just thought i would add some information in here. Just had an RJP (realistic job preview) at RAF Boulmer and it was one of the best experiences ever. Really in depth and will shoe you exactly what you will be doing as an ABM, the training you will recieve and just the general lifestyle you will be leading.
    If you haven't had one yet i suggest you have one, especially as they are free! Just talk to your AFCO about it and they should be able to sort you out with one.
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    (Original post by O.P)
    Just thought i would add some information in here. Just had an RJP (realistic job preview) at RAF Boulmer and it was one of the best experiences ever. Really in depth and will shoe you exactly what you will be doing as an ABM, the training you will recieve and just the general lifestyle you will be leading.
    If you haven't had one yet i suggest you have one, especially as they are free! Just talk to your AFCO about it and they should be able to sort you out with one.
    I second that...just had an RJP @ Boulmer too (22-24th). Well worth the trip. :yep:
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    Hi was wondering if someone could clear this up for me, I've got a printout from RAF Boulmer here that says the Space specialist training is 19 weeks (its actually abit fuzzy but it looks like a 9) but on the information form from the AFCO it says Space training is either 8 weeks Ballistic Middle Defence and Space Surveillance at RAF Flyingdales or 4 weeks Space Operations Command Course and RAF High Wycombe.

    Which is it?

    Edit: Looking at it again the Printout has Weapons - 25 weeks and Surveillance 21 weeks whereas the AFCO form has 27 and 20 weeks respectively.
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    (Original post by jon33)
    Hi was wondering if someone could clear this up for me, I've got a printout from RAF Boulmer here that says the Space specialist training is 19 weeks (its actually abit fuzzy but it looks like a 9) but on the information form from the AFCO it says Space training is either 8 weeks Ballistic Middle Defence and Space Surveillance at RAF Flyingdales or 4 weeks Space Operations Command Course and RAF High Wycombe.

    Which is it?

    Edit: Looking at it again the Printout has Weapons - 25 weeks and Surveillance 21 weeks whereas the AFCO form has 27 and 20 weeks respectively.
    Hi Jon,

    If you look back through this thread, you'll see that the figures given on the information you have from Boulmer are the same as what's on here. I wrote the sheet you have and then replicated it here. I checked at the time of writing and those are the most recent course length figures we've got, unless anyone who works in the Space stream would like to put me straight? I can't check again just at the mo, as I'm overseas on exercise!

    Is there a particular reason why you're concerned about the course lengths?

    Vizzini
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    (Original post by Vizzini)
    Hi Jon,

    If you look back through this thread, you'll see that the figures given on the information you have from Boulmer are the same as what's on here. I wrote the sheet you have and then replicated it here. I checked at the time of writing and those are the most recent course length figures we've got, unless anyone who works in the Space stream would like to put me straight? I can't check again just at the mo, as I'm overseas on exercise!

    Is there a particular reason why you're concerned about the course lengths?

    Vizzini
    I've been following this thread and somehow missed that post of yours! It's jus the space one that doesn't seem to match with the powerpoint printout from Boulmer. It's for revision for the OASC interview I don't want to go telling them false info:woo:
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    (Original post by Vizzini)
    If you are selected at ABMFC, which is discussed in an earlier post, you will be streamed either Surveillance, Weapons or Space. Training predominantly takes place at Boulmer, although some students are detached to Scampton, and is broken out thus:

    Space

    As a space operator, you will study the two-week Space Operations Foundation Course, followed by either the 8-week Ballistic Missile Defence and Space Surveillance Course at RAF Fylingdales in North Yorkshire, or alternatively the 4-week Space Operations Command Course at RAF High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire.
    (Original post by jon33)
    I've been following this thread and somehow missed that post of yours! It's jus the space one that doesn't seem to match with the powerpoint printout from Boulmer. It's for revision for the OASC interview I don't want to go telling them false info
    Jon,

    I understand your concerns. As I say, these are the most recent figures I have, from the guys who mandate the course-lengths. If they do pull you up on it at OASC, you can tell them you made every effort to check and it was me what said it!

    Best of luck with OASC, btw. When are you going?

    Vizzini
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    Yeah I suppose I'll just go with that. My OASC is 15th November not long to wait now!

    Cheers!
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    Welcome!

    Vizzini
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    Hi Vizzini,

    Once again, great thread. I'm finding it very useful as I build my knowledge for filter and hopefully OASC.

    In the ABM handout from AFCO it mentions 'warning Special Forces of surveillance by hostile satellites'. I presume this comes under the Space specialisation. Is there any chance you can expand on this and the non-BMEWS aspects of the Space operator roles?

    Thanks,
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    (Original post by Kero)
    Hi Vizzini,

    Once again, great thread. I'm finding it very useful as I build my knowledge for filter and hopefully OASC.

    In the ABM handout from AFCO it mentions 'warning Special Forces of surveillance by hostile satellites'. I presume this comes under the Space specialisation. Is there any chance you can expand on this and the non-BMEWS aspects of the Space operator roles?

    Thanks,
    Hi Kero,

    First off, thank you, glad to be of use.

    Okay, on to your query. What I do know, not being a Space specialist, is that BMEWS has 2 missions: Missile Early Warning and Satellite Surveillance. I'm still standing by to be corrected by an actual specialist! Other than that, I can't tell you much more at the mo as I'm not in the UK and don't have access to any Space colleagues from whom to get the correct information. Have you tried to find the RAF Fylingdales website? They shoud have one and that might help you out intially. Otherwise, if your filter interview isn't for a few weeks yet, I'll pass something on when I return. Sorry I can't be of more help just now.

    Vizzini
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    Not really related to the application, training or any other relevant topic covered in this (very informative) thread. But i was wondering, as an established ABM, be it with space/surv/weapons, what is the rank/title given to you once you've finished training?

    I have my filter interview on the 22nd and feel like i know as much as i can know about officer training/current issues/NATO/UN/aircraft/stations and various operations around the world.

    I'd like to thank you for the information you've offered to everyone so far and my question albeit irrelevant for the most part, has been bugging me for a while :P
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    Your rank is the same as any other Officer Branch - be it Pilot Officer, Flying Officer or Flight Lieutenant. Your title will be related to your post and be indicative of your position and role.
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    (Original post by Jason.faceplant)
    Not really related to the application, training or any other relevant topic covered in this (very informative) thread. But i was wondering, as an established ABM, be it with space/surv/weapons, what is the rank/title given to you once you've finished training?

    I have my filter interview on the 22nd and feel like i know as much as i can know about officer training/current issues/NATO/UN/aircraft/stations and various operations around the world.

    I'd like to thank you for the information you've offered to everyone so far and my question albeit irrelevant for the most part, has been bugging me for a while :P
    Jason,

    ProStacker speaks the truth! If you look back through this thread you'll see the job titles feature quite prominently throughout, but, as PS says, your job title is not rank dependent. And you are an officer first and foremost with the rank you gain. Your title will depend on which specialisation you qualify in and at which stage you are in your career. So, either Weapons Controller or Identification Officer, progressing to either Fighter Allocator or Surveillance Director and then progressing to Master Controller.

    Hope that clears things up; have another read back through so you understand how you get to the relevant qualifications and you'll be set.

    Vizzini
 
 
 
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