Communications & Intelligence

Intelligence Analyst

Intelligence analysts use state-of-the-art technologies to gather and interpret information. They provide vital intelligence to support military forces deployed around the world.

Typical Responsibilities:

  • Collect, collate and evaluate intelligence from multiple sources.
  • Monitor and analyse coded radio and electronic transmissions broadcast throughout the world.  
  • Analyse and interpret aerial or satellite imagery using high tech systems.
  • Disseminate tailored Intelligence to commanders, aircrews or troops on the ground.

Similar civilian roles include Business Analyst.

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

RAF Regulars and Reserves work side by side.

Scroll down to explore the opportunities as an Intelligence Analyst in the RAF.

Key Facts

Recommend this role

Full Time
Regular

Initial pay after training

£17,485 + Benefits

Pay during training

£14,348 + Benefits

Entry level

Airmen/Airwomen

Commitment

12 Years

APPRENTICESHIP: Adv Apprenticeship In Intelligence Analysis

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Spare Time
Reserve

Initial pay after training

Day rates dependent on rank, role and experience

Entry level

Airmen/Airwomen

Commitment

27 days per year for 12 years minimum. Each year includes a 15 day block for general RAF training, which is taken over a two week period, and 12 days for additional/trade training, or training exercises.

 

The possibility of being deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.

Locations

RAF Northolt, Middlesex

RAF Woodvale, Merseyside

Cardiff, Glamorgan

RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire

RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire

Chicksands, Bedfordshire

Aldergrove Flying Station, Co Antrim

RAF Marham, Norfolk

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Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

In the RAF

My Role

‘I analyse routine radar emissions – the signals that are sent out by radar around the world. The kit we use is really high-tech so you can tell a lot about the signals and we watch out for anything unexpected. Much of the work we do is top secret, so you have to be very careful in this job.

We learn to use all kinds of advanced computer equipment during training, but you start out by getting your European Computer Driving Licence – the same qualification you can get as a civilian. I’ve also done an NVQ Level 2 in computing and computer systems.’

 

My Day

‘The pressure can increase very quickly in a short space of time. As an Intelligence Analyst, it’s my job to find out about threats before they become a danger so I can help prevent wars and prevent people dying.

The RAF stretches you all the time. Earlier this year I went climbing and canoeing in Scotland. I was nervous about canoeing in the fast-flowing water, but I got on with it, ended up in the river a few times and finished the day knowing that I could cope.’

Gary, Intelligence Analyst

Training

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

Full Time
Regular

Initial Training

Your career will start with a 10 week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you’ll also learn about the RAF lifestyle.

Specialist Training

The next step is a 16-week course in the fundamentals of Intelligence at the Defence School of Intelligence at Chicksands in Bedfordshire. The course is designed to train you as an Operational Intelligence (OPINT) analyst and gives you a good understanding of the sources of intelligence, such as imagery and communications, the techniques for processing intelligence and the skills to disseminate the intelligence effectively, either through written or graphical means or by delivering an intelligence briefing. The course also covers the roles of UK intelligence organisations, such as GCHQ, and the RAF intelligence structure, as well as introducing you to the worlds of electronic warfare and electronic intelligence. You will also learn about IT applications, research techniques, military mapping and you will consolidate your training by deploying into the field to put all your new skills into practice. While undergoing Phase 2 training, you will also complete an RAF Apprenticeship that will allow you to gain civilian accredited qualifications. On successful completion of the course, you will graduate as a Leading Aircraftman/woman (LAC) and be posted to your first tour of duty. As soon as you have completed all elements of the RAF apprenticeship, you will be eligible to apply for Advancement in Incremental Pay.

Additional Qualification Opportunities

You will gain a Level 3 Diploma in Intelligence Analysis, City & Guilds Functional Skills Level 2 (Maths, English, ICT) and an Apprenticeship in Intelligence Analysis. Additionally, the Apprenticeship is recognised by Stafford University and much of the work is counted towards a degree in Intelligence & Security, should students wish to pursue it.

Ongoing Training/Development Opportunities

As your career progresses, we will continue to train you in new skills. In addition to management and leadership training you will be selected for one of a number of Further Training (FT) courses in one of the specialist intelligence fields of Imagery (IMINT), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) or Electronic Warfare (ELINT) after your first tour in OPINT. There are two options for Intelligence Analysts who do not complete FT successfully by the rank of Sgt: you could either transfer to another job in the RAF for which you have the necessary aptitude, if there is a vacancy available; or you could leave the RAF.

Your First Tour

For your first tour, you may be posted to an Intelligence Cell at an RAF Station, working in a team with other Intelligence Analysts; you will carry out background research, assist in the preparation of intelligence briefings, perform basic analysis and help produce intelligence reports for military operations. You could also be posted to a frontline Intelligence unit where you will be required to utilise hi-tech systems in support of more senior Intelligence Analysts acting in a tactical imagery intelligence role. Alternatively, you could be posted to a unit tasked with the collection and analysis of a variety of signals, ranging from complex communications data transmissions to sonar returns. During your first tour you will initially work under supervision until you gain experience and, at the majority of these locations, you may be required to work shifts.

Your Future

You will initially join the RAF for a period of twelve years on a Notice Engagement with effect from 1 April 2015. After completing one year’s total service, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman, providing you pass a Trade Ability Test and Basic Trade Training. Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection once you have successfully completed FT and vacancies become available. Additionally, although not linked to promotion, you will be required to successfully complete the Intelligence Continuation and Reinforcement Training programme Established Int An tradesmen may later in their careers consider applying for commissioning as intelligence officers in the Intelligence Branch.

Career Prospects/Progression

Those selected for the IMINT specialisation will complete the United Kingdom Imagery Analysis Course (UKIAC) at IMINT Wing, Royal School of Military Survey (RSMS), DISC Chicksands. Following this course, their duties will mainly concern the production of imagery-derived intelligence and target materials. This work requires a combination of visual-cognitive skills, intellectual attributes and practical abilities. On some units the task requires detailed research into specialised subjects in order to assemble complex written reports and illustrative materials, while on other units the task requires rapid mental and practical work to produce brief written reports under strict time constraints.

Those selected for the SIGINT specialisation will complete one or more specialist courses at SIGINT Wing, DSI, DISC Chicksands. The syllabus followed will depend on the current operational requirements, but could include modules covering Electronic Warfare (EW) and the latest computer assisted search receivers for the analysis of more complex and technically demanding communications systems. Those selected for ELINT specialisation will complete specialist courses that include modules in Weapon Systems and appropriate computer applications for the analysis of radar emissions.

Promotion to SAC is after 12 months in Service (From date of attestation) and successful completion of relevant Trade Ability Tests (TAT’s). Additionally, although not linked to promotion, you will be required to successfully complete the Intelligence Continuation and Reinforcement Training programme. Further promotions are as vacancies become available and are competitive at all ranks.

Transferable Skills

The qualifications you can earn and experience you will gain are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF, which means that whenever you decide to leave the RAF, you will be well placed to find a job in a number of fields including telecommunications, analytical work, research, media, information technology and the Civil Service. All Intelligence Analysts will be offered the opportunity to complete an RAF Apprenticeship which includes City & Guilds Functional Skills, European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) and an Information Computer Technology NVQ. As you move up through the ranks you will gain a great deal of management and leadership experience which you will have the opportunity to develop into related civilian qualifications. We will give you the confidence to succeed in whatever you choose to do.

 

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

Spare Time
Reserve

Initial Training

Your training will start with a Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) consisting of 4 weekends delivered by the HQ Intelligence Reserves (HQIR) training team, followed by a 15 day residential training course at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. This training course will prepare you for service life in one of the most respected military forces in the world; it is also designed to help you tune into the military environment and way of life. As well as military training, you will learn about the core values, code of conduct and history of the RAF, as well as its unique lifestyle.

Specialist Training

502, 600, 611, 614, 7006(VR) and 7630(VR) Sqn Specialist Intelligence Training (Phase 2)

The next step is the Operational Air Intelligence Course (Reserve) (OPAIC(R)) which is a 39 day course split over 12 months. It consists of 2 modules: Module 1 is 4 weekends at HQIR; and Module 2 is 8 weekends and a 15 day block at the Defence School of Intelligence (DISC) at Chicksands in Bedfordshire. The course is designed to train you as an Operational Intelligence (OPINT) analyst and gives you a good understanding of the sources of intelligence, such as imagery and communications, the techniques for processing intelligence and the skills to disseminate the intelligence effectively, either through written or graphical means or by delivering an intelligence briefing. The course also covers the roles of UK intelligence organisations, such as GCHQ, and the RAF intelligence structure, as well as introducing you to the worlds of electronic warfare and electronic intelligence. You will also learn about IT applications, research techniques and military mapping. On successful completion of the course, you will graduate as a Leading Aircraftman/woman (LAC) and be posted to your Sqn

7010(VR) Sqn Specialist Training (Phase 2)

Those who select 7010(VR) Sqn will complete the Reserve Forces Imagery Analysis Course (RFIAC) which is conducted over a 10 month period and consists of a 15 day block followed by 6 weekends and a further 15 day block at Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) Wing, Royal School of Military Survey (RSMS), DISC Chicksands. Following this course, their duties will mainly concern the production of imagery-derived intelligence and target materials. This work requires a combination of visual-cognitive skills, intellectual attributes and practical abilities. On some units the task requires detailed research into specialised subjects in order to assemble complex written reports and illustrative materials, while on other units the task requires rapid mental and practical work to produce brief written reports under strict time constraints.

Post Training

The RAuxAF Intelligence Analyst Trade is made up of highly motivated, bright, flexible men and women who have the important responsibility of providing timely intelligence support to military forces deployed on operations around the world. Whether deployed or working from their home bases across the UK, Intelligence Analysts are well trained and highly skilled. The RAuxAF intelligence trade is split into 3 specialisations: operational intelligence; imagery analysis; and human intelligence. The Intelligence Analyst plays a vital role in protecting the security of the UK, its National and International interests and our allies, by collecting, analysing and disseminating intelligence.

Intelligence is collected from multiple sources, including aerial and satellite imagery and foreign communications, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Intelligence analysts are required to collect, collate and evaluate the vast amount of information that is used in the production of useable, actionable intelligence reports and threat assessments. As an intelligence analyst on 7006(VR), 502, 600, 611 or 614 Sqn, you could be employed in a Headquarters assisting with the production of current operational intelligence reports and briefings for the Station Commander, or you could be assisting the Squadron Intelligence Officer on a frontline flying squadron, by providing tactical mission support to aircrew.

Today’s aircraft are equipped with reconnaissance and surveillance systems that produce imagery using electro-optical, radar and infrared sensors to provide Imagery Intelligence. In addition we also utilise Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) and satellite imaging sensors, to gather intelligence to support operations world-wide. As an Intelligence Analyst on 7010(VR) Sqn you could analyse these images and generate reports for the intelligence departments of National and NATO organisations. Working on high-tech systems, you could develop graphics and produce intelligence that will be used to help plan military operations, or you could carry out extensive background research to ensure that reports are as detailed and accurate as possible.

As an intelligence analyst working as a debriefer on 7630(VR) Sqn, you will undertake information and intelligence-gathering tasks to support operations. Much of this intelligence is gathered through interviewing and debriefing both UK and foreign nationals, with the aid of an interpreter. You will be part of a small team of military Regulars and Reservists interviewing and obtaining information that is fed back to Intelligence Officers and used to help to build up the overall intelligence picture.

Your duties will be on RAF bases or at other military locations such as Chicksands in Bedfordshire, the training school for military intelligence. Throughout your career it is likely that you will be detached overseas for anything from a few days to a few months to carry out your Intelligence duties to support live operations in the air or on the ground. The contribution made by Intelligence Analysts is vital to operational success and they will often be the person at the front, assisting the senior commander in making key decisions on aspects of a military operation.

Requirements

Full Time
Regular

Job requirements

Qualifications:

Minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade C or above or SCE Standard Grade 2/Scottish National 5.  Mandatory requirement is for English Language and Mathematics. There is no preference for the 3rd and 4th subject, although any qualification or previous experience appertaining to IT would be an advantage.

Age:

  • Minimum age 17½.  Younger candidates cannot be accepted because of current security vetting requirements.  Maximum age limit is 35yrs i.e. must have attested by their 36th birthday

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.

Spare Time
Reserve

Job requirements

Qualifications:

4 GCSE/SCEs at Grade C/2 minimum or equivalent, including English language and maths.

Age:

  • 18 - 54.6

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.