Your career will start with 10 weeks of basic recruit training 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 the RAF lifestyle.
The next step is a Trade training course at No 1 Radio School (No 1 RS), Cosford, near Wolverhampton; a first-class training establishment. This foundation course is approx 35 Weeks long and is designed to prepare you for your first tours by giving you a breadth of skills and knowledge across the full range of duties you may be employed in. You will study a range of subjects, including: electronic and radio principles; mathematics; Cisco Academy IT Essentials; Cisco Introduction to Networks; Microsoft Server 2K12, Relational Databases, Programming Techniques, satellite and data communications; information systems and network administration and Cyber security. In addition you will also be instructed in health and safety, maintenance practices, procedures and hands-on technical skills required to deploy and maintain our range of communications information networks and sensors.
Additional Qualification Opportunities
No 1 Radio School is a Microsoft- and Cisco-accredited academy, and the training you will receive is recognised by a wide range of civilian employers and backed by transferable qualifications. During your specialist training As a Cyberspace Communication Specialist you will be enrolled on a Unified Communications Technician Trailblazer Advanced Apprenticeship which is a level 3 qualification; this will be completed in the workplace during your first tour. You can also gain a Foundation Degree in Information Technology and Communications from Staffordshire University.
Ongoing Training/Development Opportunities
A major advantage of being a Cyberspace Communication Specialist is the breadth and diversity of the jobs that you could be employed in. Further training is open to you to ensure that you are properly trained for your roles. Some people will undertake training that involves the more complex electrical/electronic principles and radar and radio theory. Skills in this area would allow you to develop the deeper technical skills in order to analyse and investigate the more complex faults and carry out specialist in-depth repair. If required, specialist training will be given in application support, web-skills, database and network management and CYBER security to assure the integrity and efficient operation and management of the RAF’s and other military networks.
Your First Tour
During your first tour, you will be employed as part of a team responsible for managing your unit’s ICT systems. You will have the opportunity to develop a range of skills, which may include maintenance tasks associated with satellite terminals, Fibre Optics, aircraft support and other systems vital to the operation of the RAF. Alternatively you could be employed on an airfield maintaining air traffic services, within an information hub (IHub), where you will be the first port of call providing advice on software applications, information management and exploitation and system administration or within an engineering section repairing IT systems and installing software and hardware.
Your Future Career Prospects/Progression
You will initially join the RAF for a period of twelve years on a Notice Engagement with effect from 1 April 2015. After completing one year’s total service, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman, providing you pass a Trade Ability Test and Basic Trade Training. Further promotion to the rank of corporal and beyond is on merit by competitive selection and will require the completion of further periods of Command and Management Training to prepare you for the demands of your new rank.
The qualifications you can earn are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF. When added to your RAF experience, you will be well placed and in demand by any potential civilian employers.