Intelligence

Intelligence Officer

The RAF relies heavily on defence intelligence to support operations in both peace and war time. Intelligence Officers obtain, analyse and present this intelligence from a variety of sources.

Typical Responsibilities:

• Provide intelligence updates and threat assessments to support operational planning
• Provide intelligence support to aircrew before their missions
• Lead teams of skilled intelligence analysts to provide Imagery or Signals intelligence

Similar civilian roles include Police Inspector or Criminologist.

RAF Regulars and Reserves work side by side.

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

Key Facts

Full Time Regular

Full Time Regular

Initial pay after training

£30,616 + Benefits

Pay during training

£25,727 + Benefits

Entry level

Officer

Commitment

Usual service

12 Years

Spare Time Reserve

Spare Time Reserve

Initial pay after training

Day rates dependent on rank, role and experience

Entry level

Only qualified ex-military commissioned personnel are eligible to enter directly as officers, however we actively encourage suitable personnel, who enter as airmen and airwomen, to apply to commission as they gain experience. Many of the serving officers in this specialisation have commissioned in this way.

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

502 Sqn Aldergrove Flying Station, Co Antrim 
505 Sqn St Mawgan, Newquay (Extremely Ltd Vacancies) 
600 Sqn Northolt (Extremely Ltd Vacancies) 
602 Sqn Glasgow (Extremely Ltd Vacancies) 
607 Sqn RAF Leeming, Northallerton 
611 Sqn RAF Woodvale, Merseyside 
614 Sqn Cardiff, Glamorgan 
7006 Sqn RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire 
7010 Sqn RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire 
7010 Sqn RAF Marham, Norfolk 
7630 Sqn Chicksands, Bedfordshire

In the RAF

My Role

‘Our job is to collect information, analyse that information, produce intelligence and distribute the results. My role is to have one of the broadest understandings of our operations and of what we do as an armed fighting force.

My training was in operational intelligence, where I was taught the techniques and mindset required to support operations. You can then specialise further.’

My Day

‘My work is primarily to support the squadron. If they have exercises or operations coming up, I’ll do all the intelligence groundwork to make sure that when they’re briefing prior to flying the missions, they’ll already know the threat scenario they’ll be operating in and the kind of capabilities that they’ll be coming up against.

There are lots of opportunities to be deployed away from base on operations. The best experience for me was supporting operations in Afghanistan and Libya. You’ve got sand blowing around outside and jets taking off to fly over hostile territory – the job really comes to life then. When you brief aircrew before their missions, you’re very aware that the intelligence analysis and information you give them is a vital contribution towards their safe return.’

Pete, Intelligence Officer

Training

Full Time Regular

Full Time Regular

Initial Training

Like all our officers, you’ll begin your RAF career with Initial Officer Training (IOT) at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. You’ll follow a challenging 24 week course designed to develop your leadership and management skills to command and lead in military roles and beyond. The course includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges. You can find out more information about IOT in this publication.

Specialist Training

You will then undertake a 23 week specialist training course at the Joint Intelligence Training Group, Chicksands in Bedfordshire. This course will teach you how to deliver Operational Intelligence. You will be taught a breadth of subjects including: the components of intelligence work, different intelligence sources, analytical techniques, the structure of air defence systems and the details of specific equipment that pose a threat to aircraft.

By the end of the course, you will be able to collect and evaluate relevant information and be able to provide intelligence through written assessments and deliver formal verbal briefings. Your final exercise will test your ability to work in a small station intelligence team and by yourself as a squadron intelligence officer. You will be able to provide intelligence support to senior commanders, contribute to the planning of air operations and the force protection of airbases.

Your Future

As an intelligence officer, you could be employed in a Headquarters producing current operational intelligence reports and briefing the Commander, or you could be the Squadron Intelligence Officer on a frontline flying squadron, providing tactical mission support to aircrew.

You will move jobs every 2-3 years developing your experience as an Intelligence Officer and RAF Junior Officer. There is a range of employment areas that you could work in, which provide extensive opportunities for further professional development throughout your career. Your job may be at another Air Command unit or could be in Joint Force Command working closely with our colleagues in the Royal Navy and the Army.

You could undertake further training in:

  • Operational Intelligence, completing courses in air weapons employment, electronic warfare or air operations
  • Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance management
  • Targeting
  • Imagery Intelligence, completing the United Kingdom Imagery Analysis Course (UKIAC)
  • Signals or Human Intelligence
  • Cyber

Your Career Prospects

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

Transferable Skills

The analytical and leadership skills as well as the experience you gain throughout your career as an Intelligence Officer could equip you for a number of civilian jobs.

Spare Time Reserve

Spare Time Reserve

Reserve Officer Initial Training

Well-established RAF Reserve Int Ans who are successful in applying for a Commission as a RAuxAF Intelligence Officer will attend the Reserve Officer Initial Training Course at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. The course lasts for 24 days spread over 4 weekends and a 2 week Residential Phase. It is designed to develop your leadership and management skills. The course includes fitness development, military training and academic study, as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.

Specialist Training

All RAF Reserve Intelligence Officers will complete the Operational Air Intelligence Course (Reserve) (OpAIC(R)) unless having already completed the course whilst serving as a RAuxAF Int An Airman. The OpAIC(R) is a 39 day course split over 11 months. It consists of 11 training weekends and a 15 day block at the Joint Intelligence Training Group (JITG), Chicksands in Bedfordshire.  The Training Delivery Division at Chicksands was officially recognised by OFSTED in Oct 2016 as ‘Outstanding’ for its outcomes for trainees, quality of welfare & duty of care and its effectiveness of leadership and management.  The course is designed to train you as an intelligence analyst and gives you an understanding of the different sources of intelligence, such as imagery intelligence and open source intelligence.

The course also teaches the techniques for processing intelligence and the skills required to disseminate intelligence effectively, either through written or graphical means or by delivering an intelligence briefing. The course covers the roles of UK intelligence organisations and the RAF intelligence structure within the wider MOD. You will also learn about IT applications and research techniques.

Those chosen to specialise in imagery intelligence will complete the Reserve Forces Imagery Analysis Course (RFIAC) which is a 40 day course conducted over a 10 month period. The course is at the Royal School of Military Survey, Chicksands in Bedfordshire and consists of a 14 day block followed by 6 weekends and a further 14 day block. The course will train you in the production of imagery-derived intelligence and targeting materials.

Upon completion of this course, your duties will mainly involve 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 produce 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.

Your Future

As an Intelligence Officer, you will have extensive opportunities for further professional development throughout your career. As well as leadership training, there are courses in security, weapons, targeting, electronic warfare and air operations – which you may undertake depending on the training you need to prepare for future Operational Deployments.  To broaden your personal development and expansion of professional knowledge, you will be actively encouraged to undertake further education and training.  The opportunity to move between different Int Reserve sqns and flts will also be encouraged to offer greater variety, experience and opportunities for career progression.

Your Career Prospects

You will initially join the RAuxAF for a period of 12 years. Promotion to the rank of Flying Officer and subsequently Flight Lieutenant is on a time served/satisfactory service basis. Further promotion to Squadron Leader and above is by competitive selection.

Requirements

Full Time Regular

Full Time Regular

JOB REQUIREMENTS

Qualifications:

You need:

GCSE at Grade C/4-5 or above in English Language
GCSE at Grade C/4-5 or above in Maths
GCSEs at Grade C/4-5 or above in three other subjects.

or

SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 (Grades A-C) in English Language
SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 (Grades A-C) in Maths
SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 (Grades A-C) in three other subjects

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. 

Alternatively, 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 to 5 with effect from Aug 17) or Mathematics and English Language SCE Standard Grades of 2  or SNE Grade 5 (A-C).

Age:

  • 17½ – 36* *Must have entered IOT by 37th birthday.  Upper age limit of 44 for Internal Commissioning Scheme

RAF Requirements

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

Spare Time Reserve

Spare Time Reserve

JOB REQUIREMENTS

Qualifications:

You will need a minimum of 5 GCSEs (or acceptable equivalents): at a minimum of Grade C (Grade 4 to 5 with effect from Aug 17), including English Language, and Mathematics or 5 Scottish Certificate of Education (SCE) Standard Grades; at a minimum of Grade 2, including English Language, and Mathematics or 5 Scottish National Equivalent (SNE) Grades at a minimum of Grade 5 including English Language and Mathematics.

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 160 UCAS points. 

Alternatively, 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 to 5 with effect from Aug 17) or Mathematics and English Language SCE Standard Grades 2  or SNE Grade 5 for both.

Only qualified ex-military personnel, are currently eligible for this role.

Age:

18 – 54 (Must attest before 55th birthday – Ex Regulars over the age of 55 may be considered on a case by case basis)

RAF Requirements

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

Apply

Register your interest for Regular service, and apprenticeships. Use the link below or call the Regular information line.

Full Time Regular

Full Time Regular

Apply for Reserve service now using the link below or by calling the Reserve information line.

Spare Time Reserve

Spare Time Reserve