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.
Your next step will be to undertake a selection of Basic Driver Training Courses; these courses could comprise Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) Category C (ridged truck), Category C + E truck and trailer combination (either drawbar or articulated), and/or Category D Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV – Coach up to 54 seats).
You will also undertake the military ‘White Fleet’ package and General Service (GS) Vehicle Module 1 & 2 driver packages including driving off road, learning convoy procedures and the military art of camouflage and concealment for vehicle activities.
In addition, you will study to earn the ADR Licence (Vocational Training Certificate for the carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road) administered by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).
These courses will give you a basic understanding of your role as a driver, which include transport procedures and regulations, vehicle loading and the handling of passengers and cargo. Successful completion of some of these courses will assist you in completing your Trade Ability Tests (TATs), and in subsequently achieving promotion to Leading Aircraftsman (LAC).
Specialist Driver Training
Once promoted to LAC, and depending on your civilian experience, with the Trade Sponsor’s dispensation you may be authorised to drive articulated LGVs and/or large coaches unsupervised; otherwise, you will be supervised by a JNCO until deemed competent. Once promoted to Senior Aircraftsman (SAC), driving these vehicles is routinely unsupervised. With experience and once holding the rank of SAC, you will progress onto more specialist platforms such as Battlefield Ambulance (BFA) Trauma Management Vehicle (TMV) Airfield Sweeper, Airfield Snow and Ice clearing and Anti-Icing equipment, Forklifts both Industrial and Rough Terrain, leading up to aircraft refuelling vehicles.
Ongoing Training/Development Opportunities
As your career progresses, you will continue to train and learn new skills. After further training courses, you will qualify to plan transport loads, calculate routes and distances using Drivers’ Hours and speed-distance calculations, operate in MT Control - which will afford you Fleet Management skills using the Management Information System ‘JAMES’. There are also opportunities for management and leadership training, and to complete an extensive range of additional driving courses, such as driving instruction, Defence Driving Examiner and Master Driver, all subject to rank progression.
Within your Squadron there will be ‘Operational Flights’. Here you will consolidate your training on Flight weekends, either as an individual or as a member of a small team, by supporting your regular counterparts at your parent Station or at an operational Unit nearby. Other opportunities will be available during Squadron-initiated exercises or HQ AIR Cmd taskings, such as support to Air Shows or Range work. You will also have the opportunity to undertake taskings in support the RAF Transport Fleet worldwide.
You will initially join the RAF Reserves for a period of 12 years. After approximately 2 years, and following successful completion of your basic Trade Ability Tests, you’ll be eligible for promotion to SAC. Further driver training, subject to recommendations from your Flight Commander, will make you eligible for promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond; this is by competitive selection and subject to you obtaining positive annual appraisals.
The qualifications you will gain are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF Reserves, which means that whenever you decide to leave, you’ll be well placed to find a new job, for example:
• Large Goods Vehicle Driver (LGV CAT C, C+E)
• Petroleum Tanker Driver
• Vehicle Dispatch Clerk
• Chauffeur / VIP Driver
• Coach / Bus Driver Cat D
• Driver of Hazardous Loads under ADR regulations
• Fork Lift driver/operator
• Defence Licence Acquisition Instructor (at Cpl rank)
• ‘Appointed Person’ for Crane Lifting Operations