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22 Group is responsible for training RAF personnel and providing technical training for the Army and Royal Navy.
Always Rising Again
Royal Air Force Number 22 Group provides the qualified and skilled personnel that the RAF and the other two Services need to carry out operations world-wide. 22 Group has a wide area of interest with responsibilities for many aspects of training.
22 Group directly employs 3,800 military and 1,900 civilian personnel. The Air Cadet Organisation has approximately 41,000 cadets and 12,000 adult volunteers. Each year, the Group trains around 61,000 individuals at varying levels of training across its 53 sites. A selection of these sites house some of the 420 or so training aircraft owned by the Group.
Air Officer Commanding 22 Group sits at the head of the organisation as well as occupying the role of Chief of Staff Training for the RAF. The Group is divided into 6 ‘pillars’, each headed by its own 1 Star commander.
These pillars each have their own responsibilities in fulfilling the Group’s mission:
The Directorate of Ground Training delivers RAF individual training and education policy, governance, assurance and support. Composed of Training Policy and Plans, Adventure Training, Force Development and Air Power Education.
This provides a wide range of courses that train officers and Non-Commissioned Aircrew (NCA) to the high standards needed when flying on modern operations.
The Directorate of Flying Training delivers competent and highly trained military aircrew, Air Traffic Controllers and Flight Operations personnel to meet front line requirements. Comprising Elementary Flying Training, Advanced Flying Training (Multi-Engine, Fast Jet, Rotary Wing) and the RAF Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows.
Royal Navy, Army and RAF technical training and education is delivered by the Defence College of Technical Training to around 20,000 trainees per annum through four Defence schools focussed upon specialisations of aeronautical engineering, electronic and mechanical engineering, marine engineering, and communications and information systems engineering. The Schools are located across six sites with Royal Navy training being delivered at HMS SULTAN in Gosport, Army and Royal Marine training at MOD Lyneham and Blandford Garrison, and RAF training at RAF Cosford, MOD St Athan and RAF Digby. DCTT provides initial training to Service personnel entering the Armed Forces in the engineering trades, and delivers development training to qualified engineers throughout their careers.
The RAF's Air Cadets is one of the country's premier youth organisations and the world's largest youth air training organisation, supported by thousands of dedicated volunteer staff. Composed of the Air Training Corps (ATC), Combined Cadet Force (CCF) RAF sections, Gliding and Air Experience Flying.
Delivers Recruit and Officer Training, and administers the University Air Squadrons, from RAF Cranwell.
RAF sport at individual, unit, Service and inter-service levels and is responsible for providing guidance to volunteer sporting committees throughout the RAF.
Through these pillars, 22 Group works with local communities, recruits and selects individuals to join the Service, provides comprehensive training, looks after individuals’ professional development and helps them resettle into civilian life after leaving the Service.
"Efficiently deliver world-class trained and educated personnel, RAFAT display, RAF sport and the premier cadet force experience in order to support RAF strategy to meet Defence commitments."
Air Vice-Marshal James joined the Royal Air Force on a scholarship in 1985. A helicopter pilot and instructor in his early service, he has operated all over the world. During his career he has commanded the UK’s tri-Service helicopter instructor school, a Search & Rescue squadron (No 202) and, as Station Commander, the base at RAF Shawbury, delivering the UK’s tri-Service helicopter crew training, Air Traffic Control and Flt Operations specialisations.
Appointed as Air Officer Commanding 22 Group, on promotion in June 2017, he is one of only 4 RAF Group Commanders and one of only 6 Operational Duty Holders for aviation safety across Defence.
Part of 22 Group, supplying flying training to the RAF Air Cadets through Volunteer Gliding Squadrons around the country. The VGS fleet is split into two main types of aircraft, powered and unpowered. For unpowered or conventional gliding, the Viking T Mk 1 glider is used. For powered gliding VGSs use the Vigilant T Mk 1 motor glider.
No 3 Flying Training School (3FTS) is responsible for the delivery of Elementary Flying Training (EFT) and Multi-Engine Pilot Training (MEPT) for all 3 UK military Services; EFT/MEPT is also provided to our International Defence Training partner nations. 3FTS currently utilise the Grob Tutor and Beechcraft King Air aircraft, which are provided by Babcock International Group and Serco respectively. 3FTS comprises of 5 Sqns: 16 (R) Sqn, based at RAF Wittering; 45 (R) Sqn (the MEPT Sqn) and 57 (R), both based at RAFC Cranwell; and 674 AAC and 703 NAS, both based at RAF Barkston Heath.
No. 4 Flying Training School (4FTS) takes RAF and Royal Navy fast pilots from Basic Flying Training (BFT) and trains them to fly fast jets prior to moving on to their Operational Conversion Units.
Stood up at RAF Wittering on 7th September 2015. 6 FTS commands and manages the RAF University Air Squadrons (UAS) in the UK. 6 FTS will deliver annual flying and ground training to 1200 UAS students and Air Experience Flying to 25,000 Air Cadets.
HQ RAF Air Cadets manages both the community-based Air Training Corps (ATC) and the school-based Combined Cadet Force (RAF). Within the ATC there are six regional HQs, 34 wing HQs and 921 squadrons throughout the UK and at five locations overseas. The Combined Cadet Force (RAF) has 220 units in both state and public schools in the UK and at three locations overseas. In total there are 55,000 cadets and volunteers, a flying training school and two adventure training centres which are all managed by HQ RAFAC. The RAFAC is a world-class uniformed training organisation which is often used by other nations to model their own cadet forces and it is a leader in the provision of training to young people aged 12-19 years.
Due to be formed on 1 April 1918, the same day as the RAF was established, the Group was not activated until 1 July that year. It controlled No. 78 Wing RAF and its airfields in Scotland. The Group was disbanded on 30 May 1919
The second incarnation began 12 April 1926 when the Group was re-formed from No 7 Group within Inland Area. The Group, responsible for controlling all Army Co-operation work, became part of Fighter Command and was disbanded on 1 December 1940 with the creation of Army Co-operation Command.
3 years later, Numbers 72 and 20 Groups were combined and renamed Number 22 Group on 1 Aug 1943 as Technical Training Command. For 30 years, the group was responsible for similar functions to that for which it is responsible today, before its disbandment on 31 January 1972.
The current iteration of 22 Group began was established on 30 October 2006, encompassing the Training Group which it was replacing.
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