7010 (VR) Photographic Interpretation

The facts

Station Name: Squadron trains at RAF Marham, Norfolk and RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire. Squadron administrative HQ is located at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire.

Station address: Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN5 9NB

Motto: When summoned we shall be there

Mission: To provide well-trained and highly motivated imagery analysts to support RAF intelligence units in the UK and on operations overseas.

Roles: https://www.raf.mod.uk/recruitment/roles/

Get in touch: 0345 606 9069

More about this squadron

7010 Squadron is the RAF Reserve’s Imagery Intelligence. Most of the squadrons training takes place at RAF Marham (West Norfolk) or RAF Wyton (Cambridgeshire, near Huntington). However its administrative headquarters is co-located with other Intelligence Reserve Squadrons at RAF Waddington, near Lincoln. 7010 squadron recruits men and women from all over the UK, and will pay travel expenses from most places in the UK. No previous training or experience is required.

Roles and specialist skills

Intelligence Analysts (Imagery) (frequently shortened to “Imagery Analysts”) analyse aerial imagery obtained from reconnaissance aircraft, remotely piloted air systems, and satellites. They typically work in a small teams on an imagery exploitation system (a computer workstation using common IT applications and specialist imagery software), either in an office-style environment or in an air-conditioned mobile cabin. Their job is to analyse imagery to answer specific intelligence questions posed by military commanders. The result is typically an intelligence report containing annotated digital images and text.

Because exploitation tasks have to be done to a tight deadline, a good aptitude is needed for the work, which is assessed via a specialist aptitude test at the Defence College of Intelligence at Chicksands in Bedfordshire. A good level of basic IT skills are also essential.

Phase 2 Trade Training takes place at the Imagery Intelligence Training Wing at Chicksands. It normally takes 18 to 36 months to make a new recruit fully fit for role.

After Phase 1 and 2 Training, all subsequent training will take place at Tactical Imagery-Intelligence Wing at RAF Marham (West Norfolk) or at the Defence Intelligence Fusion Centre (DIFC) at RAF Wyton (Cambridgeshire near Huntington).

Recent deployments

In recent years, 7010 Squadron’s Reservists have been mobilised for tours of 2 to 6 months, primarily in the UK, Cyprus, Italy or Afghanistan. This has mostly involved supporting Tactical Imagery Intelligence Wing detachments, the Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre, or a deployed RAF headquarters. Exercises have also been undertaken in the UK, the Middle East, mainland Europe, Turkey, Canada and Australia.

7010 is rare amongst Reserve units, in that once its personnel are trained, they work on real life operations during training weekends in the UK. This provides enormous job satisfaction.


Today’s squadron evolved from the 7010 Flight RAF Volunteer Reserve which was formed in 1955, making 7010 one of the RAF Reserves’ longest continuously operating units. Its Reservists first went overseas on operational deployments in 1992, and they have been doing so ever since.

Further Information

If you would like to attend a without commitment information day and learn more about imagery intelligence, contact 0345 606 9069 ask to put in touch with 7010 squadron.

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