1.0     RAF Leadership Centre

The role of the RAF Leadership Centre, located at RAF Cranwell, is to improve leadership throughout the RAF by ensuring that the delivery of Air Power is conducted more efficiently and effectively. It formulates leadership policy and strategy and conducts research into leadership issues. Using through life learning and existing and emerging training courses such as the Airmen’s Command Squadron and intermediate level Command and Staff training allied to work-based interventions with Force Development Squadron activity. As such the RAF Leadership Centre:

  • Provides practical support to training agencies and RAF personnel;
  • Sponsors education in leadership through its Masters Programme and other courses;
  • Projects and pursues contacts with other organisations to search for leadership improvements to capture best practice; and
  • Administers the RAF Mentoring Scheme open to all RAF personnel.

2.0     Air Warfare Training Management Team

The role of the Air Warfare Training Management Team (AWTMT), located at RAF Cranwell, is to develop Air-Minded personnel to effectively operate in, and contribute to, the joint and coalition expeditionary environment. It was set up to manage the through-life development of air power knowledge which also helps to promote the ‘warfighter first’ philosophy for all RAF personnel. Recent outputs (2013-2014) for AWTMT included:

  • A coherent through-life learning programme in air power knowledge and air warfare skills was introduced for officers up to the rank of Wing Commander.
  • A 2-week Basic Air Warfare Course (BAWC) was incorporated into the new Initial Officer Training Course.
  • Air power uplifts during Phase 2, specialist training, and intermediate level Command and Staff Training were being co-ordinated within the AWT Programme.
  • A mandatory 4-week Higher Air Warfare Course (HAWC) for officers promoted to Wing Commander.
  • The AWT Programme now includes air power education and training conducted as part of Force Development activity.
  • A coherent through-life learning programme in air power knowledge and air warfare skills was introduced for Senior NCOs and other ranks.

The AWTMT was responsible for a series of innovative blended learning (or e-learning) Air Power Study Packs (APSPs) that provide core learning material for the majority of RAF personnel. These are available via the Defence Learning Portal (DLP), or exceptionally, via standalone CD. Designed to be studied progressively with an online assessment at the end of each study pack, the APSPs are summarised as follows:

  • APSP1, ‘The Development of Air Power’: is historical in nature outlining the development of air power alongside the evolution of the RAF. Based on the lectures delivered on the early Operational Studies (OS) syllabus during Initial Officer Training (IOT), it centres on a timeline approach which progressively introduces air power concepts through consideration of the RAF contribution to operations since its formation.
  • APSP2, ‘Air Power Fundamentals’: introduces some of the key aspects of UK defence policy whilst also considering what makes air power unique. At a very high level, it also considers joint and coalition operations and introduces the RAF air power contribution to the Core Air and Space Roles (CASPRs). Source material is drawn from the later OS lectures and is introduced through a very simple conflict scenario.
  • APSP3, ‘The Application of Air Power’: will reinforce the concepts introduced in APSP2, specifically the CASPRs, where topics such as Rapid Global Mobility (RGM) are considered in detail. Further aspects of operating in a joint and multinational environment will be explored, together with the introduction of some of the more specialist topics such as the Estimate Process, Space and the impact of UAVs. Drawing on the lectures delivered to IOT students on the BAWC, completion of APSP3 will provide a good base level understanding of air power and air warfare.

Within the TLTE HQ [WHO], the main effort of the AWTMT is to promote operational effectiveness through the enhanced understanding of air power and air warfare issues by all RAF personnel.

3.0     Force Development Support Group

The Force Development Support Group (FDSG) is formed under OC RAF Leadership Centre at RAF Cranwell. The aim of the Group is to provide a single point-of-focus for Force Development Squadrons (FDS), FD Training Squadrons and FD Training Centres in all matters relating to FD. The role of FDSG is to:

  • Interpret for FD use the policy determined by FD Domain Sponsors (DS).
  • Coordinate the FD work of the DS, exploit synergy between them and obtain and interpret FD-relevant operational feedback.
  • Provide a consultative service to FD deliverers and give guidance on FD programme content.
  • Provide external validation of FD training.
  • Develop and maintain a process for recording and tracking FD-acquired competencies.
  • Ensure training is provided for non-RAF TLB areas.
  • Develop a process that will create and maintain a formally-recognised FD Training Instructor cadre.

In the future, the FDSG intends to provide some form of FD training to the cadet organisations, the University Air Squadrons (UASs) and the Reserves. The FDSG is responsible for Leaflets 2410 and 2415 (The Conduct of FD Activities on Stations, and the Purpose and Organisation of Staff Rides respectively), the approval of staff rides funding and the FD Activity budget.

4.0     Central Flying School

The Central Flying School Headquarters (CFS HQ) is based at RAF College, Cranwell under the command of the Commandant CFS. The Commandant is responsible, through their staff, for maintaining the aim of the CFS which is to develop and maintain the highest possible standards of pure flying and flying instruction on both fixed and rotary wing aircraft throughout the RAF. The HQ is the home of the Queen’s Colour which was presented to the CFS by Her Majesty, The Queen in 1969.

4.1     The CFS Examining Wing

Although based within the CFS HQ at RAFC Cranwell, the CFS Examining Wing is a diverse unit responsible for examining all aspects of flying and flying instruction. The Basic Squadron is based at RAF Cranwell and oversees examinations on the Bulldog and Firefly aircraft. Although the Advanced Squadron is based at RAF Cranwell for examining on the Dominie it also has examiners at RAF Valley on the Hawk aircraft and at RAF Linton–on-Ouse on the Tucano aircraft. The Glider Examining Squadron is based at RAF Syerston and the CFS Helicopter Examining Squadron is based at RAF Shawbury.

The Rear Crew Examining Squadron is established within the Navigator and Airmen Aircrew School at RAF Cranwell and is tasked with examining the rear crew staff at RAF Cranwell and at the flying training schools.

4.2     The RAF Aerobatic Team

The RAF Aerobatic Team (RAFAT), The Red Arrows, is based at RAF Scampton. It flies the Hawk aircraft and in an average year undertakes over 80 public displays both at home and abroad.

4.3     The CFS Tutor Squadron

The CFS Tutor Squadron is based at RAFC Cranwell and is responsible for:

  • Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and pilot/navigator instructor training on the Bulldog.
  • Refresher flying for QFIs.
  • The first stage of ab-initio navigator training.
  • UK familiarisation course for foreign and Commonwealth (F & C) pilots.
  • RAFAT support.
  • Multi-engine lead-in course for Jetstream QFIs.

4.4     The CFS Tucano Squadron

Based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, the CFS Tucano Squadron is responsible for:

  • Training Tucano QFIs.
  • Refresher training for pilots returning to flying duties from ground appointments and for pilots returning to fast jet operational conversion units.
  • UK orientation course for F & C pilots and navigators.
  • Second stage ab-initio navigator training.

4.5     The CFS Hawk Squadron

The CFS Hawk Squadron, alternatively known as No 19(F) Squadron, is based at RAF Valley and is responsible for:

  • All Hawk instructor training and standardisation.
  • Refresher training and exchange officer courses.
  • Basic Qualified Weapons Instructor and Qualified Tactics Instructor courses.
  • Conversion to the Hawk.
  • Initial part of the fast-jet QPNI course.
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