Job description: Obtain, analyse and present different forms of intelligence in support of our aircraft and other military assets operating in hostile environments across the globe
Pay after training: £29,580
Joining age: 17.5 – 36
Usual service: 9 years
Open to: men or women
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Qualifications you need: 2 A-levels (at grade A-C) or 3 Highers or equivalent, plus 5 GCSE/SCEs at Grade C/2 minimum or equivalent including English language and a grade B/1 in maths.
Please note: the RAF does not accept A-levels in Critical Thinking or General Studies at any grade.
Qualifications you can gain: Degree or Masters degree
Nationality: UK citizen since birth
The RAF’s Intelligence specialisation gathers, analyses and provides defence intelligence – in both peace and war. It’s a highly specialised field that offers exciting opportunities within a fast-moving, international environment. After your training, you will be posted to the Air Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire to undertake air intelligence duties.
Following this, you could be attached to the Tactical Imagery Wing, where your abilities will be tested to the full as you manage the rapid interpretation of incoming reconnaissance imagery. Alternatively, you could be a Squadron Intelligence Officer producing intelligence assessments in order to brief aircrews before their missions. Or you could be posted to the Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (JARIC) at RAF Brampton in Cambridgeshire, or even to the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) at Northwood in Middlesex to assist in operational planning and management.
You’ll join the RAF on either a Short Service Commission of up to 9 years, or on a Permanent Commission that will normally require a minimum of 18 years’ service. Promotion to the rank of Flight Lieutenant is on a time served/satisfactory service basis. Further promotion to squadron leader and above is by competitive selection.
The analytical and leadership skills and experience you gain throughout your career as an Intelligence Officer could equip you for a number of civilian jobs.
Initial Officer Training
Like all our officers, you’ll begin your RAF career with Initial Officer Training (IOT) at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. You’ll follow a challenging 30-week course designed to develop your leadership and management skills. The course includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.
After Initial Officer Training, you’ll follow a 22 week specialist training course at Chicksands in Bedfordshire. The course is designed to give you a thorough grounding in basic intelligence techniques and sources, including:
• intelligence agencies and their methods;
• collection and analysis of intelligence; and
• briefings and report writing.
The course also covers military equipment recognition, tactics, operations and weapons technology. When you’ve completed your specialist training, you’ll be posted to the Air Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire to follow the Combat Ready Programme.
Training does not finish there. As a Combat Ready Intelligence Officer, deployed to either a main operating base or a front-line squadron, you’ll be assessed continuously to ensure that you are maintaining the Branch’s exacting standards.
Your First Tour
Your first tour could see you being posted to a front-line flying station, where you’ll keep flying squadrons and senior executives aware of the latest threat assessments. You could also be posted to a headquarters to work with information from a range of sources – choosing the most relevant information and providing intelligence briefings. If you subsequently operate within Imagery Analysis, you’ll probably be posted either to the Defence Geospatial Intelligence Fusion Centre (DGIFC) at RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire, where you’ll produce the strategic and operational intelligence reports used to formulate defence policy and support current operations, or to the Tactical Imagery Intelligence Wing at RAF Marham in Norfolk, where you’ll support tactical reconnaissance squadrons on operations at home and overseas.
As an Intelligence Officer, you’ll have extensive opportunities for further professional development throughout your career. As well as leadership training, there are courses in imagery analysis, security, weapons, targeting, electronic warfare and air operations – which you may undertake depending on the training you need to prepare for future tours.