Your career will start with a 10 week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) 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’ll also learn about the RAF lifestyle.
The next step is a specialist training course at DSAE Cosford, near Wolverhampton, which lasts about 12 months. This course is designed to give you a basic understanding of your role as an RAF Armament Specialist, including the awareness of explosive safety requirements and the maintenance and repair skills of aircraft weapon systems, weapon launching systems and aircraft escape systems.
Additional Qualification Opportunities
During your specialist training you will be enrolled on an Advanced Apprenticeship, the Technical Certificate element of which is a Level 3 Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering and delivered entirely in training. You will be required to complete the portfolio element of the NVQ Level 3 during your first tour when you leave specialist training where on completion, you will be awarded your Advanced Apprenticeship.
Ongoing Training/Development Opportunities
As your career progresses, we will continue to train you in new skills and you will develop as a technician. You may be posted to a specialist area of employment, such as bomb disposal, on an RAF Regiment squadron, or as part of an Expeditionary Armament squadron. You could also have opportunities for management and leadership training. The qualifications and experience you will gain in your RAF career can be used to meet the joining criteria for relevant civilian professional associations.
Your First Tour
For your first tour you may join a flying squadron at an RAF base where you could be employed on the maintenance and repair of aircraft weapon systems and involved in storing and handling different types of weapons; you could also be responsible for fitting these weapons onto aircraft ensuring that they are fit for use. Also, you could be responsible for the care and maintenance of weapons used by your station and, which ever role you undertake, you will work alongside experienced technicians and gain exposure to more complex maintenance and repair work which will help your professional development.
Your Future Career Prospects and 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. As you gain experience and complete your NVQ Level 3, you will achieve Technician status. Further promotion to the rank of corporal and beyond is on merit by competitive selection. As you advance through the ranks, you will have the increased opportunity to lead and direct people, managing resources and manpower within your area of work to deliver the required outputs whilst maintaining and instilling the highest standards expected within the RAF.
The NVQs and Apprenticeships that you can earn are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF. Furthermore, as an armament specialist and aircraft engineer in the RAF, the skills and qualifications you will have gained will place you in good stead for a wide range of employment fields when you leave the RAF.