1.0     Catering & Hospitality Specialist

  • Specialist Training: is a 13-weeks course at Food Services Wing, DLS CTS (RAF) Worthy Down, where trainees will learn about serving food in a dining room environment, preparing a bar and cellar for service reception work including the development of customer care skills. Trainees will also undertake a 3-day Introduction to Deployed Operations course whilst at CTS, trainees will have commenced a Level 2 NVQ Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) Diploma in Food and Beverage Service which will be completed at their first unit. After completion of the RAF fitness test and the trade specific swim test, individuals will receive their first assignment. Individuals may be eligible for fast-track promotion if they already have catering qualifications and at least one year’s experience in the hospitality industry. After recruit training these individuals will complete the 13 week specialist training to familiarise themselves with military catering. On successful completion of specialist training and on attaining an 80% pass mark throughout the spectrum of testing, individuals will then qualify for immediate promotion to Senior Aircraftman/woman and be allocated to their first assignment. Logistic (Caterers) must have completed 18 months service after completion of Phase 2 Training before being considered for cabin crew duties.
  • First Tour: For a first tour, individuals will be posted to an Officers’ or Sergeants’ Mess within an RAF base. Here they will gain experience in the dining room, bar and reception areas. It is the first experience of life on base and a chance to understand how the RAF community works. After individuals have successfully completed their Trade Ability Test and gained experience within the Mess environment they may be detached overseas for anything from a few weeks to a few months.
  • Ongoing Development: As a career progresses, the RAF will continue to train individuals in new skills, including management and leadership. If individuals are subsequently posted as Cabin Crew, they will be trained in aircraft safety procedures, cabin service and in-flight catering. If individuals wish to become Cabin Crew they will need to pass the RAF Fitness Test and RAF Swim Test to be selected. The RAF Swim test consists of: Swimming 100 Metres; Tread water for two minutes; and Get out of the swimming pool at the deep end, unaided and fully clothed. Individuals will not be employed on these duties during a first tour; need to prove ability on the ground first. Individuals will have the opportunity to complete courses in food hygiene, catering instruction and specialist catering skills. Individuals will also receive regular training in deployed catering skills.
  • Caterers run dining rooms and bars in Officers’ and Sergeants’ Messes. Trained in silver service, they will serve food and drinks to hotel and club standards, making sure that their customers have everything they need. As an RAF Caterer individuals will cover a far larger field of professional experience than their civilian counterparts could ever hope for. Later in a career individuals will also have the opportunity to apply for a Cabin Crew role. The work is very similar to that of a civilian except that, instead of flying a regular route, individuals could be called on to go anywhere in the world, at any time. Individuals might be bringing servicemen and women back to their families, or transporting the Prime Minister, or even helping to look after the Royal Family.
  • Training: If an individual lacks qualifications they can join as an unqualified Caterer and be trained at the RAF’s Catering Training Squadron at Worthy Down in Hampshire. If an individual joins with qualifications, they will start their professional work significantly higher in the RAF’s rank and pay structure.

2.0     Chef

  • Specialist Training: If a trainee is joining with little or no catering experience, they will complete specialist training at the Food Services Wing DLS CTS (RAF) Worthy Down. This 17 week course will give trainees an overview of catering in the RAF and the basic craft skills required of a chef. Trainees will also undertake a 3-day Introduction to Deployed Operations whilst at CTS. During the course trainees will begin a level 2 NVQ Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) Diploma in Professional Cookery (preparation and cookery) which will be completed during the first year on unit, and trainees will be on their way to gaining an Apprenticeship in Hospitality. On successful completion of specialist training trainees will receive their first assignment. Individuals may be eligible for fast-track promotion if they already have acceptable academic catering qualifications and suitable catering experience in the hospitality industry. Before joining, however, qualifications will be scrutinised by the Catering Apprenticeship Team. If an individual has the relevant qualifications and experience and if they achieve a pass rate of 80% or higher on all practical and theory Phase tests during the 17-week specialist training they will qualify for promotion to Senior Aircraftman/woman and will receive their first assignment.
  • First Tour: For a first tour, individuals will be posted to either an Officers’ or Sergeants’ Mess – which serve food of hotel standard – or to a Junior Ranks’ Mess, which offers a wide range of high-quality meals. It will be the first experience of life on base and a chance to understand how the RAF community works.
  • Ongoing Development: As a career progresses, the RAF will continue to train individuals in new skills, including management and leadership. In addition, individuals will have the opportunity to complete further courses in higher culinary skills, food hygiene, and instructor duties. Individuals will also receive regular training in deployed catering and food ordering, accounting and storage.

3.0     Driver

  • Specialist Training: takes place at the Defence School of Transport at Leconfield near Beverley in Yorkshire, which could take up to four months. During this course trainees will be trained to pass their driving test in categories B, C, C+E and D; trainees will also learn additional military driving skills such as Load and Restraint, Off Road Driving and Skid Avoidance and Recovery Techniques as well as the procedures and regulations for carrying dangerous cargo. At the end of the course, trainees will get their first posting. Trainees will also earn a SCOTVEC Vocational Training Certificate for Carrying Dangerous Goods (ADR) and will also be well on the way to achieving an NVQ Level 2 in Driving Goods Vehicles.
  • First Tour: For a first tour, individuals will probably be posted to an RAF base, where they will drive the vehicles for which they hold licences. Tasks could include driving people to and from a local airport or railway station, or driving an RAF ambulance, for example to provide medical safety cover during routine flying operations. Individuals will also have responsibility for some first-line vehicle maintenance – such as checking tyre pressures, oil and fluid levels. Individuals will also be given the opportunity to further advance their accreditation level within the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) scheme.
  • Ongoing Development: As a career progresses, the RAF will continue to train individuals in new skills. During the first year, individuals will train to drive and operate a vast range of specialist vehicles ranging from airfield refuelling tankers to snow clearance equipment.

4.0     Logistics Officer

  • Specialist Training: After Initial Officer Training, trainees will undertake a 21-week specialist training course designed to give them a thorough grounding in logistics. Trainees will study Supply Chain Management, Fuels Management, Catering and Hospitality; Mobility (the function of preparing, deploying,  sustaining and recovering RAF flying squadrons overseas) and Management topics (such  as project management, personnel management, change management and accounting). Trainees could also gain a BSc in Logistics Management (accredited by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT)) by successfully passing the course and completing five assignments. Following successful completion of specialist training, individuals will be posted on their first tour.
  • Ongoing Development: As a Logistics Officer, individuals will have extensive opportunities for further professional and personal development throughout their career. Individuals will receive instruction on command and staff training and will have the opportunity to undertake numerous adventurous training activities such as climbing, skiing and diving. Later on in a career individuals may also have the opportunity to gain a Masters qualification.
  • As a Logistics Officer, individuals will be responsible for providing all the logistics support that is necessary to keep the RAFs aircraft flying. Leading a team of Airmen/Airwomen, individuals will manage the supply chain from beginning to end, including the purchasing and storage of equipment, the use of complex IT management systems and the distribution of equipment by land, sea and air on a global scale. Individuals will also deliver catering and hospitality services to RAF personnel both in the UK and overseas.
  • Required degrees for Logistics Branch sponsorship:
    • Bachelors Degrees, Preference (in no particular order) will be given to degrees in: Information Technology; Business Studies/Administration; Logistics; Supply Chain Management; Transportation Management; Catering and/or Hospitality Management; Purchasing Procurement/Acquisition; Airport and/or Airline Management; Chemistry; or Nutrition. Furthermore, subjects that generate analytical skills, or an understanding of military or government policy, are acceptable. Such subjects include the following, although this list is not exhaustive: Mathematics; Economics; Public Policy and Management; War Studies; International Relations; and Marketing. Additional weight could be given to any degree course that meets the criteria and is also combined with a foreign language such as French, German, Italian or Arabic.
    • Degrees outside the above guidelines should be discussed with the Logistics Branch Sponsor, via an AFCO, to determine their acceptability to the Branch for the purpose of University Bursary awards.
    • Masters Degrees: Where an applicant has not previously been granted a bursary and meets all other criteria for selection to the RAF, one year masters degrees in the subjects outlined above will also be eligible.

5.0     Mover

  • Specialist Training: takes place at RAF Brize Norton and lasts approximately four months. This course will give trainees a basic understanding of their role as a Mover, which includes transport procedures and regulations, aircraft loading and the handling of passengers and cargo. At the end of the course trainees will be on their way to gaining a Diploma at Level 2 in Providing Aviation Operations on the Ground and an Apprenticeship in Movements.
  • First Tour: For a first tour, individuals will be posted to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire where they will load and unload aircraft, complete the related documentation and handle both passengers and cargo. Individuals will also receive structured, on-the-job training and competency checks, which build on the formal training they received during Phase 2 specialist training.
  • Ongoing Development: As a career progresses, the RAF will continue to train individuals in new skills. After further training courses, individuals will qualify to plan aircraft loads, calculate weights and balances and handle dangerous cargo. There are also opportunities for management and leadership training and to complete a range of driving qualifications.
  • Movers plan and execute the movement of personnel and materiel by road, rail, air and sea. The duties of a Mover will include passenger reception, cargo centre operations, aircraft and road load planning, documentation and aircraft loading/unloading. Individuals could be tasked with: Preparing, loading, securing and offloading baggage, cargo and freight from road, rail, air and water transport vehicles; Planning and arranging movements of personnel and equipment by military and commercial means; Liaising with commercial moving and transportation firms, including charter airlines; Preparing, processing, recording and accounting for all transportation documents and forms relating to personnel and equipment movements; Processing passengers for travel at military air terminals and co-ordinating the movement of passengers through commercial terminals; and/or Operating mechanical handling equipment such as forklift trucks and cargo loaders. Movers can be employed in a variety of environments, including offices, warehouses, air terminals and cargo/passenger squadrons. As a Mover, individuals will often work outside as part of a team. The opportunities to travel will be vast, as Movers can be employed wherever UK military forces are operating.

6.0     Supply Storage and Distribution Specialist

  • Specialist Training: takes place at RAF Halton and lasts approximately three months. Trainees will be taught the skills and knowledge they will need to do their job. Trainees will also go on a week-long expedition with their fellow students to help develop their self-confidence, self-discipline, initiative and teamwork. During specialist training trainees will be able to enrol on the TG18 – Logistics (Supplier) Apprenticeship In Warehousing And Storage (Introduced September 2008) – Offered to all new Phase 2 entrants to the Logistics (Supplier) Trade, undertaking the Logistics (Supply) Basic Training (L(S)BT) Course. The Framework comprises:
    • NVQ Level 2 – Warehousing and Storage – is the competence-based element of the Apprenticeship. Knowledge elements of the NVQ have been mapped (accredited) against L(S)BT. The NVQ is set up towards the end of L(S)BT, just before Graduation. The remainder of the NVQ is undertaken and assessed during the learner’s first MOB tour. There are 8 Units (2 mandatory and 6 optional) to undertake.
    • Technical Certificate – Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport – Level 2 Diploma in RAF Supplier Logistics – is the knowledge-based element of the Apprenticeship. This has just been introduced into the Apprenticeship framework by the Sector Skills Council – Skills for Logistics and fully mapped (accredited) against the L(S)BT course.
  • Career Development: As a career progresses, the RAF will continue to train individuals in new skills. Skills that individuals may learn include:
    • Information technology: train to use and maintain logistics IT systems to keep track of RAF resources all around the world.
    • Stock control: acquire the expertise to use the latest logistics techniques to manage aircraft spares and equipment within the supply chain.
    • Fuels and gases: learn to store, move, handle, store and account for fuels and gases. For example, learn how to issue aviation fuel to aircraft, or receive fuel into bulk storage tanks from pipelines, road tankers or even ocean tankers. Also, learn how to handle pollution spillages to avoid environmental damage.
    • Tactical supply duties: learn a wide range of skills, including how to construct and conceal portable fuel installations, and how to refuel helicopters. Be responsible for ensuring the delivery of aviation fuel to front-line battlefield helicopters on operations and exercises worldwide.
    • Explosives: learn the regulations governing documentation, packaging, storage, handling and transportation of explosives.
    • Dangerous goods: learn how to prepare, pack and document hazardous equipment for transport by air, rail, road or sea.
    • Mobility: learn how to help load and stow equipment being moved by RAF transport aircraft, including the Hercules and C-17 Globemaster.
  • Extra qualifications: individuals could also have the opportunity to study, enabling them to join professional organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and the Institute of Petroleum.
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2 thoughts on “RAF Logistics Roles

  1. I work for military have qualifications in catering and hospitality industry, do procurement of food rations for troops also incharge of officers mess so which short courses can I do toenhance myskills

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    1. If you are referring to military courses then go online to the MOD Defence Learning Environment and look at the courses available. If you are referring to civilian courses then any reputable college will be able to help you.

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