1.0     Aerospace Battle Manager

  • Specialist Training: Once trained, individuals will use their aerospace battle management skills in a wide variety of environments, working closely with multinational aircrew, the RN, the British Army and foreign military forces. As individuals gain experience, they could be employed either as an E-3D Sentry Airborne Early Warning aircraft mission crew member, or qualify on ground mobile radar equipment as part of Number 1 Air Control Centre (No 1 ACC), the RAF’s rapidly deployable mobile radar unit, or further specialise as a Space Operator. Alternatively, individuals could also return to the School of Aerospace Battle Management (SABM), at RAF Boulmer, to instruct new students. The role also encompasses a variety of exclusive exchange opportunities which include working with the US Marine Corps in Arizona, the US Air Force Space Command in Colorado and the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
  • Ongoing Development: By the time individuals are on their third tour (or possibly as early as the end of a second tour) they are likely to be ready to start climbing the career ladder. This will involve training for the next level within a sub-specialization. As a Surveillance specialist, this is likely to be training in the role of Surveillance Director (SD). As a Weapons Controller, individuals will progress to Fighter Allocator (FA).  Both SD and FA are classed as middle management roles. At this stage of a career, individuals will go on to develop wider ABM experience and knowledge which could lead to a number of interesting and exciting roles as well as leadership and management opportunities. Throughout a career as an ABM, individuals can expect to undertake detachments to the Falkland Islands as well as detachments in support of Middle East Operations, in Afghanistan or Qatar. Opportunities exist to undertake many other shorter detachments, usually lasting a few weeks, to various locations around the world. Previous examples of these detachments have included RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, Lithuania, Gibraltar, Canada, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and many more.
  • SABM Outline (Correct: 2009)

2.0     Aerospace Systems Operator

  • Specialist Training: lasts 18-weeks and is delivered at the SABM. Here trainees will learn about:
    • The interpretation and operation of complex sensor systems;
    • Data Links and communication networks;
    • How they work and how the RAF uses them to communicate with aircraft, ships and ground stations;
    • Space Surveillance;
    • Maritime operations;
    • Meteorology;
    • A foundation in air battle management; and
    • The capabilities of aircraft currently operated by the RAF and its allies.
  • Trainees will also be trained to operate alongside Weapon Controllers and Surveillance Officers from the Air Battlespace Management (ABM) Branch. During this course trainees will be given the opportunity to undertake a Functional Skills qualification in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at level 2 and an Information Technology Qualification (ITQ) level 3 Diploma. Trainees will then get their first posting.
  • Ongoing development: As an individual’s skills, experience and time in service grow, they could progress to become an Aerospace Systems Manager, working in the management of personnel, systems and information.
  • Aerospace Systems Operator FAQ
  • Aerospace Systems Operator Course

3.0     Air Cartographer

  • Specialist Training: training is delivered at the School of Air Cartography (SOAC), No. 1 AIDU, RAF Northolt, which lasts about three months. This course is designed to give trainees a basic understanding of their role and includes specific elements of training designed to prepare traineesfor their first tour. The training will also provide trainees with the opportunity to gain a DefAB Level 4 Diploma in Aeronautical Cartography (QCF), and Key Skills in all six units.

4.0     Air Traffic Control Officer

  • Specialist Training: After Initial Officer Training, trainees will complete specialist Air Traffic Control training which includes:
    • Aerodrome control;
    • Radar approach and directing;
    • Precision approach radar;
    • Navigation;
    • Meteorology; and
    • Airspace management.
  • Ongoing Development: trainees will conduct additional training to develop their professional skills during each tour of duty and complete a further 6-week course in Area Radar Control before working at a joint Air Traffic Control Centre. trainees will also have the opportunity to undertake additional leadership and management training.

5.0     Air Traffic Controller

  • Following Recruit Training, trainees will complete the Non-Commissioned Aircrew (NCA) Initial Training Course at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. The 10-week course is designed to develop leadership and management skills and includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.
  • Specialist Training: After NCA training, trainees will complete specialist Air Traffic Control training at RAF Shawbury, Shropshire, which includes:
    • Aerodrome control;
    • Radar approach and directing;
    • Precision approach radar;
    • Navigation;
    • Meteorology; and
    • Airspace management.
  • First Tour: During the first tour trainees will find themselves working at either an Air Traffic Control Tower on an RAF base or at an Air Traffic Control Centre, working alongside their civilian counterparts.
  • Ongoing Development: trainees will conduct additional training to develop their professional skills during each tour of duty and complete a further 6-week course in Area Radar Control before working at a joint Air Traffic Control Centre. Trainees will also have the opportunity to undertake additional leadership and management training.

6.0     Flight Operations Assistant

  • Specialist Training: is delivered at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire, which lasts up to 12 weeks. Trainees will be taught the basic theory and regulations of flight operations and air traffic control, the course also covers aircraft and airfield operations, meteorology and navigation. By the end of the training course, trainees will have an understanding of the job of the Flight Operations Assistant, and they will have practised carrying out their role using flight operations simulators. At the end of the course, trainees will get their first assignment.
  • First Tour: During the first tour trainees may be employed within either air traffic control or the operations room of an airbase in the UK, where they will help provide accurate and up-to-date flight information. It’s also a chance for trainees to gain a practical understanding of aircraft operations.
  • Ongoing Development: As a career progresses, the RAF will continue to train individuals in new skills. Trainees will have the opportunity to complete a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Providing Aviation Operations on the Ground.

7.0     Flight Operations Officer

  • Specialist Training: After Initial Officer Training, trainees will complete a three month specialist Flight Operations training course which includes theoretical and practical training in:
    • Airmanship;
    • Flight planning;
    • Flight security;
    • Navigation;
    • Meteorology; and
    • Airspace management.
  • Ongoing Development: As a Flight Operations Officer trainees will have the opportunity for further professional training and development throughout their career as well as the chance to undertake additional leadership and management training.

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