Intelligence Officer ADDED TO SAVED ROLES
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.

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

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

Initial pay after training

£30,616 + Benefits

Pay during training

£25,727 + Benefits

Entry level

Officer

Commitment

Usual service

12 Years

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

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

‘In this job, you’re fully exposed to the real meaning of what being in the Armed Forces is all about’

Rachel, Intelligence Officer

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

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

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 a breakdown of the course here.

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 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.

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

Spare Time
Reserve

Reserve Officer Initial Training

After basic training, recruits go on to Reserve Officer Initial Training during their second year. This combines distance learning with four residential weekends at the prestigious RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. It culminates in a two-week residential phase at Cranwell where Reserves mix with Regular Officers on their initial training. During this period you’ll develop your leadership and management skills to command and lead in military roles and beyond.

Specialist Training

502, 600, 611, 614, 7006(VR) AND 7630(VR) Sqn

You will complete the Operational Air Intelligence Course (Reserve) which is a 39 day course split over 12 months. It consists of 2 modules: Module 1 comprises 4 weekends at RAF Waddington Module 2 is 8 weekends and a 15 day block at the Joint Intelligence Training Group, Chicksands in Bedfordshire.

The course is designed to train you as an Operational Intelligence analyst and gives you: an understanding of the sources of intelligence, such as imagery and communications the techniques for processing intelligence the skills to disseminate the intelligence effectively, either through written or graphical means or by delivering an intelligence briefing. The course also covers the roles of UK intelligence organisations and the RAF intelligence structure. You will also learn about IT applications and research techniques.

On successful completion of OPAIC(R) Modules 1 and 2, you will progress to OPAIC(R) Module 3 which will train you for officer specific intelligence roles.

7010(VR) Sqn

If selected for 7010(VR) Sqn, you will complete the Reserve Forces Imagery Analysis Course (RFIAC) which is conducted over a 10 month period. The course is at the Royal School of Military Survey, Chicksands in Bedfordshire and consists of a 15 day block followed by 6 weekends and a further 15 day block. The course will train you for the production of imagery-derived intelligence and target materials.

7630(VR) Sqn

On successful completion of the OPAIC(R) and if selected for 7630(VR) Sqn you will complete the one week Defence Debriefer course at the Joint Intelligence Training Group, Chicksands in Bedfordshire. The course will train you to undertake the formal and systematic questioning of selected consenting individuals.

Your duties will be on RAF bases or at other military locations such as Chicksands in Bedfordshire, the training school for military intelligence. Throughout your career it is likely that you will be detached overseas for anything from a few days to a few months to carry out your Intelligence duties to support live operations in the air or on the ground.

Your Future

502, 600, 611, 614, AND 7006(VR)

You will be assigned to a flight where you will work with information from a range of sources – choosing the most relevant information and providing intelligence briefings both verbal and written. As an intelligence officer, you could be employed in a Headquarters producing current operational intelligence reports and briefing the Station Commander, or you could be the Squadron Intelligence Officer on a frontline flying squadron, providing tactical mission support to aircrew.

7010(VR) Sqn

Personnel joining 7010(VR) Sqn could support operations at either the Defence Intelligence Fusion Centre (DIFC) at RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire, where you will produce strategic and operational intelligence reports used to formulate defence policy and support current operations, or the Tactical Imagery Intelligence Wing (TIW) at RAF Marham in Norfolk, where you will support tactical reconnaissance squadrons on operations at home and overseas.

7630(VR) Sqn

As an intelligence officer working as a debriefer on 7630(VR) Sqn, you will undertake information and intelligence-gathering tasks to support operations. Much of this intelligence is gathered through interviewing and debriefing both UK and foreign nationals, with the aid of an interpreter. You will be part of a small team of military Regulars and Reservists interviewing and obtaining information that is used to help to build up the overall intelligence picture.

Your duties will be on RAF bases or at other military locations such as Chicksands in Bedfordshire, the training school for military intelligence. Throughout your career it is likely that you will be detached overseas for anything from a few days to a few months to carry out your Intelligence duties to support live operations in the air or on the ground.

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

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 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 2  or SNE Grade 5 for both.

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

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


Full Time
Regular

Spare Time
Reserve