Your career will start alongside all the RAF ground Trades with a 10-week Basic Recruit Training Course (BTRC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. You will learn about life in the RAF as well as undertake both military and fitness training.
Following Basic Recruit Training, you will complete the Non-Commissioned Aircrew & Controller Initial Training Course (NCACITC) at RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. This is an 11-week aviation minded course designed to develop your leadership and management skills and includes fitness development. The course builds on the basics learnt at BTRC and provides the necessary leadership skills required to produce credible, motivated, physically and mentally robust Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCO).
You can find out more information about the NCACITC here.
After graduation, you will complete a week-long survival package and be fitted for your flying equipment during an Aviation Medicine week at RAF Henlow. Once complete you will start your aviation-specific training starting with Generic training.
Generic training is 14 weeks long and takes place on 45 Sqn at RAFC Cranwell. The course comprises of theory, simulator and practical exercises. You will be assessed throughout this course on a wide range of subjects from Meteorology to Radar Theory and Aircraft structures. At the end of this course, you will then be streamed to Electronic Warfare, Rotary or Fixed Wing.
WSOp Support Helicopters (SH) – If streamed SH you will complete an 11-month helicopter training package at RAF Shawbury which will cover all aspects of the rotary crewman role. You will learn the basics of operating on the Squirrel Helicopter and then advanced crewman responsibilities on the Griffin helicopters of 60 Sqn including voice marshalling, navigation, night flying and cargo and passenger regulations. Once complete you will be awarded your flying brevet and be streamed to either our Chinook or Puma helicopter fleets. You will then be posted to 28 Sqn RAF Benson to complete the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU). This training will introduce you to either the Chinook or Puma and get you to a Limited Combat Ready (LCR) standard whereby you will be then posted to a frontline Sqn for your first tour where you could find yourself on exercises and operations around the world transporting troops and cargo around the front line.
WSOp Air Mobility (AM) - If streamed AM you will remain at RAFC Cranwell on 45 Sqn and complete a 20-week training package. This is split into a 10-week theory and practical phase and a 10-week flying phase. Throughout the course, you will learn about the roles and responsibilities of a fixed-wing crewman. This will include dangerous goods management, passenger and cargo regulations, loading and restraint principles and standard operating practices. On completion of this course, you will be streamed to one of the RAF’s fixed-wing platforms. You could be an MSO on Voyager dealing with air to air refuelling, or a crewman on the Bae146, C17, C130 or A400M fleets. Whichever way you are streamed you will complete the relevant OCU on a frontline Sqn after which you could find yourself transporting passengers and freight over long distances across the world and also within operational areas.