Air operations support Air Operations (Control) Officer CURRENTLY RECRUITING

As an RAF Air Operations Control Officer you could be providing an air traffic control service at an airfield, working alongside civilian air traffic controllers at the UK’s Air Traffic Control Centre at Swanwick or as a Weapons Controller directing fast jet aircraft to intercept potentially hostile aircraft.

Learn more about this role

PAY DURING TRAINING £26,500+ + Benefits

Initial pay after training £31,800+ + Benefits

Is this for you?

APPLICANTS MUST:

  • Be aged 17.5 – 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday)
  • Have GCSE at Grade C/4-5 or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in English Language, Maths and three other subjects
  • Have at least 2 A2 Levels/3 Highers at Grade C or above (excluding General Studies or Critical Thinking) which must total a minimum of 64 UCAS points. Or hold a UK degree at Grade 2:2 or higher (or acceptable alternative)
  • You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or holder of dual UK/other nationality and have resided in the UK for at least the last 5 years
  • Commit to minimum 12 years service
  • Meet the health and fitness criteria
  • Pass a General Fitness Test

GREAT FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN:

  • Analysis and maths
  • Aircraft
  • Gaming & Computers

VIEW ALL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

TYPICAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Coordinate air traffic to and from military airfields.
  • Become part of the team that order Typhoon jets to scramble and intercept suspect aircraft.
  • Control fighter, bomber, surveillance, refuelling and even unmanned aircraft as they support missions at home and overseas.
  • Work alongside civilian controllers as an Area Radar Controller making sure military aircraft don’t clash with civilian airliners.
  • Give specialist battlespace management support to both UK and international missions around the world.
  • Go away on military operations as Tactical Air Traffic Controller, where you will be in charge of setting up temporary runways.

Air Operations Control Officer is a leadership role and involves a degree of managerial and organisational command tasks alongside controlling and directing the aircraft.

The three key employment areas are Terminal Air Traffic Control (providing service at an airfield), Area Control (working alongside civilian air traffic controllers at the UK’s Air Traffic Control Centre at Swanwick) and finally as a Weapons Controller (direct fast jet aircraft to intercept potentially enemy aircraft that threaten the integrity of UK Airspace).  As an Air Operations Control Officer you could be working from a field, a bunker, a building, a tent, an E-3D aircraft or even an aircraft carrier.

WHY JOIN THE RAF?

Thanks to subsidised food, travel, accommodation and free gym you get more money in your pocket.

Salary
Benefits Salary
Civilian Role
RAF Role
  • Rent from £75p/m
  • Free gym
  • Subsidised food
  • Health care
  • World travel
  • 6 weeks holiday

See All Benefits

TRAINING AND CAREER

TRAINING YOU’LL RECEIVE

Your career will start by completing the Initial Officer Training Course at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. You will complete a challenging 24-week course designed to develop your strength, fitness, leadership and academic skills through a number of indoor and outdoor exercises across the UK.

SPECIALIST TRAINING

Specialist training is held at the Defence College of Airspace Control, which is split between RAF Shawbury in Shropshire and RAF Boulmer in Northumberland. Upon completion of your Foundation Module, you will be assigned to a specialist module in one of the core specialisations: Terminal Air Traffic Control or Weapons Control.

More details +

FOUNDATION TOUR

Following successful completion of your specialist training, your first tour will last approximately 24-36 months and will be at one of the RAF’s airfields around the UK or in Cyprus, at one of our two Control and Reporting Centres or at the Air Traffic Control Centre. You will then strengthen your specialist training and develop post-graduate skills, which will make you ‘Combat Ready’ and become available to deploy on military operations anywhere in the world.

 

YOUR CAREER PROSPECTS

You will join the RAF on an initial commission of 12 years and may be selected to continue your service on a pension earning commission of 20 years' service or to age 40, whichever is the later. Promotion to the rank of Flight Lieutenant is on a time served/satisfactory service basis after 3½ years from completing Initial Officer Training. Further promotion to Squadron Leader and above is by competitive selection.

ONGOING DEVELOPMENT

Subsequent tours of duty may see you being employed in a wide variety of areas, including:

  1. One of the other areas of the Control Specialisation.
  2. As ‘Mission Crew’ on the E-3D ‘Sentry’ Airborne Early Warning aircraft based at RAF Waddington.
  3. Part of the UK’s deployable, ground-based, Command & Control Unit ‘Number 1 Air Control Centre’ located at RAF Scampton.
  4. Tactical – high readiness small teams who deploy ahead of the main force to set up landing zones and airfields worldwide.
  5. Instructing students.

 

You may also be selected for advancement to higher management roles, responsible for leading large teams of fellow officers and airmen. Throughout your career, you should expect operational deployments (generally of up to but not limited to 6 months duration) to a range of locations worldwide, together with ad-hoc shorter detachments to such locations as Cyprus, Lithuania, Gibraltar, Canada, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and the US. The RAF also has a variety of exchange opportunities which include instructing the US Marine Corps in Arizona; the US Air Force Space Command in Colorado and the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

 

TRANSFERABLE SKILLS

As an Air Operations Control Officer, you will obtain numerous transferable skills including advanced leadership, change and project management and the opportunity for further academic development. Opportunities for closer alignment to the civilian air traffic control licences are being continually assessed.   

TRAINING AND CAREER

INITIAL TRAINING

Your training will start with a Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) consisting of 4 weekends at your chosen RAF Reserves Squadron, 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

After successfully completing initial training, you will be trained for your specific role in the RAF either at your squadron or another RAF station in the UK.

Commitment and location

You will have to commit to 27 days per year for 12 years minimum.


Each year includes a 15-day block for general RAF training, and 12 separate days for extra training or exercises.


You might be deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

ALL APPLICANTS MUST:

Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or holder of dual UK/other nationality and have resided in the UK for at least the last 5 years.

Be aged 17.5 – 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday)

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

Have these minimum grades:

  GCSE GCSE 2017 SNE
Mathematics C Grade 4 Grade 5
English Language C Grade 4 Grade 5
Three Other Subjects C Grade 4 Grade 5

In addition, you need at least 2 A2 Levels/3 Highers at Grade C or above (excluding General Studies or Critical Thinking) which must total a minimum of 64 UCAS points.

If you hold a UK degree at Grade 2:2 or higher (or acceptable alternative) you only need Mathematics and English Language GCSEs at a minimum of Grade C (Grade 4-5) or Mathematics and English Language SCE Standard Grades of 2 or SNE Grade 5

You can see what the RAF accepts in lieu of GCSEs & A Levels here

NATIONALITY & RESIDENCY

You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or holder of dual UK/other nationality.

Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 5 years immediately preceding your application. However, candidates with a minimum of 3 years will be considered.

Following the Home Office announcement that the UK Armed Forces will now be able to recruit commonwealth citizens without the 5 year residency requirement, please note that the RAF continues to apply standard residency requirements for security clearance,  ie, DV employment requires 7-years UK residency immediately prior to enlistment; SC requires 3-years. 

FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

You must be physically fit to complete both initial and specialist training, and to do your role effectively. To check your fitness levels, we put every candidate through two or three separate fitness tests as part of the application process: Selection Fitness Test, Pre-joining Fitness Test or Pre-recruit Training Course.
How fit you need to be to pass these tests can vary depending on role, age and gender.

MALES - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 11.39 9.03 20 35
17-29 11.11 9.10 20 35
30-34 11.36 9.04 19 32
35-39 12 8.09 18 29
40-44 12.26 8.03 17 26

 

FEMALES - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 13.54 6.07 10 32
17-29 13.23 7.02 10 32
30-34 13.47 6.08 9 29
35-39 14.13 6.04 8 26
40-44 14.48 5.08 7 23

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

BEFORE YOUR APPLICATION:

There are health requirements that must be met by all applicants:

  • Body Mass Index requirements:
Age Male and female minimum Male and female maximum Male maximum with additional assessment Female maximum with additional assessment
18 + 18 28 32 30
16 to < 18 17 27 27 27
  • Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew.

Get in touch if you have any questions about the health criteria, or would like to find out if any additional health requirements apply to your role of interest.

DURING YOUR APPLICATION:

The Medical Risk Assessment that all candidates undergo is there to make sure that you are healthy enough for the intense training required by the RAF. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information.

BACKGROUND CHECKS

YOU MUST:

  • Declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
  • Check if you qualify under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 through this summary
  • Have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance

DISQUALIFYING FACTORS

If you don’t have any of the above, you might still be able to apply. For more information contact your local AFCO.

GOT WHAT IT TAKES?

Apply here and receive an email that invites you to your full online application.

Apply as a Regular