This timetable is representative of what happens at various stages of the course; it is not, however, an exact timetable. Recruits will be given a complete timetable for the duration of their course as part of their arrival brief.
OC Brief, Kit preparation and start of classes
[link not available]
Recruit Training Squadron will welcome all recruits to RTS and clearly lay out what he expects from them and what the course will entail. They will also receive a lecture on equal opportunities and diversity, which lays out the RAF’s stringent policy on such matters, and a healthy lifestyle lecture, which advises them on nutrition and coping with injuries. Finally, recruits will begin to prepare their kit to the exacting standards demanded by the RAF. They will be shown basic ironing, polishing and cleaning skills, all of which will be developed in the coming weeks.
Team Building and core values
The first weekend is used to start moulding the flights into a solid team. This is done through various team-building exercises, such as completing tasks within a time frame and with varying conditions imposed. Recruits will also go on the low-ropes course to practise what they have learnt in a more practical manner (pictures of which are available on the facilities page). The two flights frequently compete with each other, to encourage greater effort and determination within the flight. The RAF’s core values are also taught here. These are 4 personal qualities – Respect, Integrity, Service before Self and Excellence – which RAF personnel should aim to embody and within which they should perform all their duties. These 4 core values are rigorously taught, enforced and revised at every opportunity within Phase One Training and recruits must adhere to them.
Start of lessons
During the next week the recruits begin their military training in earnest. They will continue their kit preparation lessons, learning how to highly polish shoes, produce smartly-ironed combat uniform and present spotless lockers – the Corporals have eyes everywhere, so recruits are constantly advised on how to improve their performance!
Recruits will receive their first inspection this week. They will receive regular physical training that will include aerobic and strength exercises and will involve using a variety of equipment, as well as the Station Swimming Pool.
eneral Service Knowledge (GSK) lessons run throughout the first module of training, teaching the recruits about the history of the RAF, tri-service rank structures, a working knowledge of our Sister Services, RAF bases around the world, serving and historic aircraft, and the uniform worn by RAF personnel. Beliefs, values and pastoral care are taught to reiterate the values that the RAF holds, as well as the varying beliefs that diverse religions follow. Finally, drill is an opportunity for the recruits to come together as a squad. They will be taught how and when to salute, the rudiments of drill and marching as a formed squad.
Day 10 Inspection
This is the recruits’ first formal inspection. All aspects of their kit and bed space are examined, with the result recorded in their personal files. Any recruit whose personal kit is not deemed to be up to scratch must re-present it again the following day.
As part of their training, recruits visit the RAF Museum at Hendon. This allows them an opportunity to examine the history of the Royal Air Force and a great many of the now-historic aircraft that have served. Recruits travel to the Museum in smart civilian clothes to ensure that the image they present to Museum visitors is appropriate to that of future serving personnel. Whilst at the Museum, recruits receive GSK lessons on the Development of Air Power and the History of the RAF, Air Power in Relation to Current Operations and Flight Safety. They also have the opportunity to ask Museum staff questions before completing an assignment on what they have seen. Hendon Museum is normally a popular day out for the recruits and many go back to visit the Museum when their training is complete.
Community Support Project
On their 3rd weekend recruits will undertake a Community Support Project. RAF Halton is very proud of its contribution to its local community and, as such, recruits are encouraged to make a contribution to the local community and other worthy causes. Recruits are able to nominate a cause they would like to support and past projects have ranged from assisting at local fetes, to helping other RAF stations, to tidying and renovating children’s playgrounds. This is a relaxed, informal weekend, which is seen as good fun for the recruits, whilst providing valuable assistance to the local community.
The GSK exam is a culmination of the knowledge that recruits will need to start life in the RAF and is one which they will have to pass in order to progress to Module 2 of the training programme.
Day 21 Inspection
Day 21 is their second formal inspection and their kit and bed space is expected to be of a very high standard, reflecting the training and instruction that they have received over the last few weeks.
Module 2 - Initial Force protection Training (IFPT)
For a 4-week period, the recruits move to Initial Force Protection Training (IFPT). Taught by the RAF Regiment, this is where recruits learn basic Force Protection skills which will eventually culminate in a 3-day field exercise away from RAF Halton.
Recuperation training teaches the recruits how to deal with various incidents that may occur on a station or at a deployed operating base.
RGDT – CBRN Training
The next aspect they are taught is Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear skills. This centres on how recruits identify if one of these four situations is imminent or has already occurred and what they should do in the event of such weapons being utilized. The necessary drills and procedures are rigorously taught and tested, including the testing of personal drills in the Respirator Testing Facility (RTF). Recruits will also continue with their physical training for the duration of the week.
RGDT – Recuperation
This involves learning how to deal with various incidents that may occur on a station or at a deployed operating base.
RGDT – First Aid
The next phase to be taught is First Aid. This equips all recruits with a basic knowledge of first aid and current procedures, including placing a casualty in the recovery position, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, treatment for broken bones, bleeds and bruises. Again, physical training continues for the duration of the week.
Skill at Arms and Weapon Training
Rifle skills are taught in the third week, where recruits are introduced to the L85 A2 rifle, which is the weapon currently in service with the RAF. They are taught how to clean and maintain their personal weapon in all environments, as well as the principles of marksmanship. Facilities available to recruits include the outdoor firing range and an indoor synthetic close-quarter training range. This phase culminates in the Weapon Handling Test, which all recruits must pass.
Exercise BLUE WARRIOR
Exercise BLUE WARRIOR is designed as a representative peacekeeping situation, testing skills that recruits may well be called upon to use when they serve outside of the UK. These skills include patrolling, manning vehicle checkpoints, personal administration in the field and engaging with indigenous foreign populaces.
After two nights in the field, eating rations and cooking over small stoves, recruits must collapse the tents they have been using and clear their campsite. They are then either transported by helicopter back to base, or complete a 1.5 mile walk back to the coaches, which will take them back to RAF Halton.
MODULE 3 -Continuation of military training
When the recruits complete IFPT, they continue the physical training and other military skills that we first developed in their initial weeks at Recruit Training Squadron, including completing the RAF Fitness Test.
Day 56 Inspection
Day 56 is a second formal inspection, where recruits’ kit and bed space is expected to be of the highest standard, reflecting the training and instruction that they have received over the past weeks. Their number one uniform will also be inspected, to ensure that it is suitable for them to graduate in the following week.
RAF Benevolent Fund and RAF Association Brief
The RAF has two main charities – the RAF Benevolent Fund and The RAF Association. Serving personnel actively support these and as such, the recruits receive briefing on the work of both. They also receive training on the RAF’s personnel administration system, called Joint Personnel Administration (JPA). This is similar to the process of internet-banking, allowing recruits to check their pay, allowances and leave entitlement via a computer.
The last few days at Recruit Training Squadron are spent practicing for the recruits’ Graduation Parade. Here, foot and arms drill is perfected, uniforms are smartly pressed and shoes polished to a mirror finish, ready for the big day.