Air operations support Air Operations (Control) Sergeant CURRENTLY RECRUITING

As an RAF Air Operations (Control) Sergeant, 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 £15,200+ + Benefits

Initial pay after training £33,807 + 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
  • You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or holder of dual UK/ other nationality
  • Commit to minimum 12 years service
  • Meet the health and fitness criteria
  • Pass a General Fitness Test

GREAT FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN:

  • Aircraft
  • Analysis and maths
  • 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 set up temporary runways - or as Weapons Controller.

Non-Commissioned Controllers are vital to keeping control environments running and form the backbone of the squadron, they are in the midst of action controlling the aircraft at all times.

 

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

RECRUIT & NON-COMMISSIONED AIRCREW INITIAL TRAINING

Entering the RAF as a non-commissioned controller means you at the rank of Sergeant (rank attained upon completion of training).

Your career will start with a 10-week Basic Recruit Training Course 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 will also learn about service life. Following BRTC, you will complete the Non-Commissioned Aircrew and Controller Initial Training Course at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. This 11-week course is designed to develop your leadership and management skills and includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.

SPECIALIST TRAINING

Specialist training is delivered at the Defence College of Airspace Control which is split between RAF Shawbury in Shropshire and RAF Boulmer in Northumberland. This training starts with a Foundation Module and is completed alongside the Air Operations Branch (Systems) and (Control) students. Following successful completion you will be assigned to a specialist module in one of the core specialisations: Terminal (Airfield) ATC or Weapons Control. You will be able to return at a later date to complete a short conversion course to allow you to undertake roles in any of the other core areas including Area Radar 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 consolidate your specialist training and develop post-graduate skills allowing you to achieve ‘Combat Ready’ status and become available to deploy on military operations anywhere in the world.

ONGOING TRAINING/DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

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

  • One of the other areas of the Control Specialisation.
  • As ‘Mission Crew’ on the E-3D ‘Sentry’ Airborne Early Warning aircraft based at RAF Waddington.
  • Part of the UK’s deployable, ground-based, Command & Control Unit ‘Number 1 Air Control Centre’ located at RAF Scampton.
  • As part of the Tactical ATC team, providing support to operations at whilst on a high readiness to deploy.
  • Instructing ab-initio and postgraduate students.

 

You may also be selected for advancement to intermediate management roles, responsible for supervising teams of specialists.  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, Japan, Gibraltar, Canada, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and the US. 

YOUR FUTURE CAREER PROSPECTS/PROGRESSION

You will join the RAF as an airman under an initial 12-year engagement. Following 4 years’ service, you will be eligible to apply for an extension of service to complete a Pension Earning Engagement of 20 years’ service or age 40, whichever is the latter, during this time.

TRANSFERABLE SKILLS

As a Non-Commissioned Controller, you will obtain a range of transferable skills including advanced leadership (CMI Accredited), change and project management and the opportunity for further academic development. These skills and your and experience could equip you for a variety of civilian jobs that involve dynamic supervisory or management responsibilities, such as, working within the transportation division of the Public Sector or within an emergency response control centre. 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.

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
3 Other subjects C Grade 4 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 9.1 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

YOU CAN'T APPLY FOR THE RAF IF YOU:

  • Have been or are a member of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence
  • Are waiting to appear in court, or have unspent convictions. You may also have to declare spent convictions for certain roles
  • Misuse drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits
  • Have tattoos, brands or bead implants that are obscene or offensive. All tattoos must not be visible above the neck collar or below the sleeve cuff while wearing uniform
  • Have body piercing which causes holes that do not close up
  • Declare yourself to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt

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