Recruit & Non-Commissioned Aircrew Initial Training
As a direct entrant joining the Royal Air Force at the rank of Sergeant (rank attained upon completion of Weapons Controller 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 will also learn about service life. Following recruit training, you will complete the Non-Commissioned Aircrew Initial Training Course (NCAITC) at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. This 10-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.
After the NCAITC, you will complete the 6 week Aerospace Battle Management Foundation Course at RAF Boulmer. This will be followed by the Weapons Controller course, also delivered at RAF Boulmer. During this 6 month course you will learn to direct fighters to intercept threat aircraft, carry our air-to-air refuelling and defend the UK from suspicious aircraft.
Your first tour will be at one of our 2 Control and Reporting Centres, which are located at RAF Boulmer in Northumberland or RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire. You will consolidate your specialist training and develop post-graduate skills making you Combat Ready and ready to deploy on operations anywhere in the world.
Your Career Prospects
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 later, during this time.
Subsequent tours of duty may see you being employed in a wide variety of areas, including:
a. As ‘Mission Crew’ on the E-3D ‘Sentry’ Airborne Early Warning aircraft based at RAF Waddington.
b. Part of the UK’s deployable, ground based, Command & Control Unit ‘Number 1 Air Control Centre’ located at RAF Scampton.
c. 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, Gibraltar, Canada, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and the US. The RAF also has a variety of overseas exchange opportunities.
As a SNCO Weapons Controller, you will obtain plenty of transferable skills including advanced leadership (CMI Accredited), 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.
Visit to an RAF Unit
Opportunities exist to visit an RAF unit where you will be able to meet serving SNCO Weapons Controllers and learn more about the Specialisation and the various roles you could find yourself employed in. These visits are called Realistic Job Previews, for which on-site accommodation and funding is available. However, places are unavoidably limited and you are therefore strongly encouraged to book early through the RAF staff at the various Armed Forces Careers Offices.
GCSE at Grade C/4-5 in English Language
GCSE at Grade C/4-5 in Maths
GCSEs at Grade C/4-5 in 3 other subjects
SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in English
SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in Maths
SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in 3 other subjects
17½ - 40 (Must enter Recruit Training before 41st birthday.)
To join the RAF you will need to meet the fitness, health, nationality, residency and other criteria detailed below.