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Ian1976

632 posts

43 months

[news] 
Wednesday 13th April 2011 quote quote all
iOversteer said:
Well I have quite a few questions -

As an engineer, would I be posted where ever I was needed? Yes, to any of the flying stations
After the basic training, do you get a choice to where you will be posted? You get a choice but no guarantee. I've always got my choices so far
Daft but PH question, can you keep a car on base? I am guessing so yes
What would you say is the most exciting role in the RAF? Pilot, not easy and not much recruitment at the moment. Strict age/quals/health criteria etc
You mention that the RAF is no longer a role for life, is that because of the cut backs? You can make it a job for life, if you want to. I'm on for 22 years and I love it
On topic of cut backs, would this effect the engineering role? Yes, to a point. New aircraft are being introduced though, A400, KC10 etc so new people will always be required
When you sign on, what are the options? Airman is 9 years, then opportunity for 12,15,22+ depending on RAF requirements and your promotion. Officer - different depending on your trade/commision
As for traveling, do you just go to bases? Or do you get out and meet people, experience the culture etc? depends on your job and aircraft platform, I've been 'outside the wire' a few times in Afghanistan and Iraq. On dets to non-hostile areas then there plenty of chances to get out and about

I think that will do for now drink

Sherpa

38 posts

59 months

[news] 
Wednesday 13th April 2011 quote quote all
I know it's not exactly what you want to apply for, but I finished basic training for the RAF Regiment in July, been on my Squadron for about 6 months now.

I'm only an airman not an officer, but I went through the recruitment process fairly recently so should be able to help you out a bit with that side of things.

Any questions, just ask.


Taita

5,435 posts

86 months

[news] 
Wednesday 13th April 2011 quote quote all
Sherpa said:
I know it's not exactly what you want to apply for, but I finished basic training for the RAF Regiment in July, been on my Squadron for about 6 months now.

I'm only an airman not an officer, but I went through the recruitment process fairly recently so should be able to help you out a bit with that side of things.

Any questions, just ask.
Genuine question (not meant to inflame) why on Earth did you go Rockapes?

paulrhodes

1,510 posts

105 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
Hi there..

RAF CIS Eng flight SAC Tech here. smile

As you won't have a clue what that means. I'm a techy that works on all comms equipment ground to air and all the radar equipment on an airfield.

Is it a good job? - great!
Is the RAF a good life? - depends
Is it for everyone? - No
Do you get a lot from it quals and experience wise? - Definitely!

At the end of the day, you would be joining a company that puts itself first, all the time, every time. A lot of the time your plans will have to work around the RAF. The disgruntled people are normally the people trying to do the opposite and not 'go with the flow'.

If you can accept the fact that you'll have little choice where you end up (benbecula anyone? lol) and that there is a lot of military bullpoop and hoops, then you'll reap the rewards that keeps a lot of people in the RAF.

If you've read that and turned your nose up then it possibly isn't for you.

This wasn't intended to put you off. Thousands of people love it and would never leave. You need to hear the honest opinion though.

One tip though. If you do decide to join up then get some proper phys in. It'll make your whole basic training experience far more pleasant. It's not Special Forces training certainly but the GDT phase will knacker you out. Running for 30 mins with a respirator on is not much fun. smile(in hindsight it was really)...

As an SAC(T) living in the block, 400 miles from my missus and doing a job I love on a camp I don't I hope I've given a fair description of RAF life.

Feel free to email me if you want any more info.

Dixie68

3,091 posts

70 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
Ooh, my turn now. I'm an ex-Fairy, (Avionics), left in 2006 after 15 years.

iOversteer said:
Well I have quite a few questions -

As an engineer, would I be posted where ever I was needed? Yep, and more than likely in the UK - many of the overseas stations have been closed now, places like Cyprus are still open but you'd be extraordinarily lucky to get anywhere like that
After the basic training, do you get a choice to where you will be posted? You fill in a 'Dream Sheet' saying what areas you'd prefer, what aircraft and what job, (1st Line is Sqn, 2nd Line is Sqn Bay etc). Manning will look at your list, have a laugh and post you where they want to wink
Daft but PH question, can you keep a car on base? I am guessing so Yes
What would you say is the most exciting role in the RAF? For excitement I'd say Gunner in the Regiment - if by excitement you mean being worried that every time you take a step you'll set off an IED etc. As an Engineer you won't get much excitement unless you volunteer for something outside of your trade - I volunteered for Force Protection duties and went outside of the wire during the Bosnia conflict and in Iraq, but not Afghanistan (I'm not that stupid!)
You mention that the RAF is no longer a role for life, is that because of the cut backs? It is, yes. And don't go thinking that this round of cutbacks is a new thing - when I joined up in 1991 people were getting made redundant and it happened again in my 15 years. Because of this promotion tends to slow down to a crawl and pick up again in fits and starts.
On topic of cut backs, would this effect the engineering role? Yes. Like the civilian world the people who make the decisions of who is to go sit in an office, therefore office workers tend to be the last to go. If a Sqn is disbanded that doesn't just mean pilots go, all of the ground support staff do too. They try to redeploy you to another Sqn but somewhere along the line they will be overborne so somebody ends up getting their P45
When you sign on, what are the options? As the other guys said
As for traveling, do you just go to bases? Or do you get out and meet people, experience the culture etc? I was lucky to be posted to a large aircraft Sqn when I left training, (Nimrods - remember them?), and I was sent on detachment just about everywhere; the US, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Holland, South Africa, Brazil, Cyprus and so on. Every detachment like that usually entails a sampling of the 'culture', usually in pint glasses - I was so into immersing myself in the 'culture' that I got busted down from the rank of Corporal once and had to wait a few years to earn it back. Of course there were also the not so nice places like Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and possibly the very worst of all... Belize *shudder*

I think that will do for now drink
I also served in the Army before the RAF and my family has a Royal Navy background so I've got experience/friends etc in all three arms if you're not just set on the RAF.
By the way, there is a forum for serving and ex-RAF personnel where you can get all the up-to-date gen. Google 'e-goat', register (it's free), introduce yourself and ask any question you want. The guys and girls on there are all ranks and all trades so you'll get some good info. The Army forum is called 'ARRSE' (I kid you not), and there is an RN one too but I don't know the name of that one - probably 'Hello Sailor' or something similarly ghey wink

HTH
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Dixie68

3,091 posts

70 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
paulrhodes said:
Hi there..

RAF CIS Eng flight SAC Tech here. smile

As you won't have a clue what that means. I'm a techy that works on all comms equipment ground to air and all the radar equipment on an airfield.
Or as us real techies, (i.e. working on aircraft) call you - photocopier repairman wink

paulrhodes

1,510 posts

105 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
Dixie68 said:
Or as us real techies, (i.e. working on aircraft) call you - photocopier repairman wink
haha cheeky barsteward.. I'm TG3 buddy not 11.. No peanut here smile

V88Dicky

5,064 posts

66 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
Dixie68 said:
I also served in the Army before the RAF and my family has a Royal Navy background so I've got experience/friends etc in all three arms if you're not just set on the RAF.
By the way, there is a forum for serving and ex-RAF personnel where you can get all the up-to-date gen. Google 'e-goat', register (it's free), introduce yourself and ask any question you want. The guys and girls on there are all ranks and all trades so you'll get some good info. The Army forum is called 'ARRSE' (I kid you not), and there is an RN one too but I don't know the name of that one - probably 'Hello Sailor' or something similarly ghey wink

HTH
It's not the RN that won Lesbian, Gay and Trans-Gender Employer of the year!
http://www.raf.mod.uk/community/news/index.cfm?sto...

I kid you not wink

DickSkruttock

2,608 posts

51 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
Lost soul said:
iOversteer said:
After the basic training, do you get a choice to where you will be posted?
Yes love you just decide where you would like to be posted and they sort it all out for you smile
Whilst I agree with your sarcasm hehe I managed to get my first choice from training - RAF Spadeadam, applied for an overseas post and got my first choice - RAF Akrotiri, then got my first choice on posting back to the UK - RAF High Wycombe.

Very lucky smile Could have been Benbecula, Saxa and Falklands.

DAKOTAstorm

197 posts

40 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
I applied for pilot last year, failed my aptitude test by 5 points, I too had a weakness on maths but I constantly studied everything I could for about 8 month previous and found no matter how much you have done, always do more! however the experience of the whole application process left me with an awful lot of very helpful knowledge!

Be confident - But also have the correct knowledge to back up this confidence

Do not be intimidated by others - I thought my qualifications, flight experience and general knowledge of the RAF and forces life was 'weaker' than others, however once at Cranwell for the various tests it becomes clear that none of that is taken into consideration until the final interview, many I was intimidated by I found on the bus home with lower scores than me, which actually made me quite happy!

Do not mess around - I learned they like things done as specified, quickly and neatly, turned up for P2 presentation to find handed in applications thrown on floor because they were scribbled or had left blank spaces

It is competitive selection! - even though you have to be social, always remember the guy your having a laughing with has the potential to take the role you have applied for, so always make sure you are aware of this and help yourself before helping others!

Show commitment - if there is a voluntary course recommended by AFCO, do it and do as much as possible off your own back to show you want it and your willing, station visits, RAF organised air shows and all the others, they may only ever get jotted in the 'other notes' section but believe me if it comes down to a final decision on who gets the job and you have the above and the other guy doesn't....congratulations your in the RAF.

That was long winded but I enjoyed it.....p.s I am strengthening my application and reapplying bandit

iOversteer

Original Poster:

552 posts

64 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
DAKOTAstorm said:
I applied for pilot last year, failed my aptitude test by 5 points, I too had a weakness on maths but I constantly studied everything I could for about 8 month previous and found no matter how much you have done, always do more! however the experience of the whole application process left me with an awful lot of very helpful knowledge!

Be confident - But also have the correct knowledge to back up this confidence

Do not be intimidated by others - I thought my qualifications, flight experience and general knowledge of the RAF and forces life was 'weaker' than others, however once at Cranwell for the various tests it becomes clear that none of that is taken into consideration until the final interview, many I was intimidated by I found on the bus home with lower scores than me, which actually made me quite happy!

Do not mess around - I learned they like things done as specified, quickly and neatly, turned up for P2 presentation to find handed in applications thrown on floor because they were scribbled or had left blank spaces

It is competitive selection! - even though you have to be social, always remember the guy your having a laughing with has the potential to take the role you have applied for, so always make sure you are aware of this and help yourself before helping others!

Show commitment - if there is a voluntary course recommended by AFCO, do it and do as much as possible off your own back to show you want it and your willing, station visits, RAF organised air shows and all the others, they may only ever get jotted in the 'other notes' section but believe me if it comes down to a final decision on who gets the job and you have the above and the other guy doesn't....congratulations your in the RAF.

That was long winded but I enjoyed it.....p.s I am strengthening my application and reapplying bandit
From what everyone including you have said, the RAF sounds like it would be good for me. I am a very driven person, and I absolutely love learning. Can you do courses in other things? For example, photography? Whilst training to become an engineer.

So, how long is the process before you get accepted in the RAF? Also before being accepted fully in the RAF, do you get paid? The reason I ask, is well we all have to pay the bills.

Thanks again for all the great advice guys, much appreciated
Vince

Taffer

1,853 posts

80 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
iOversteer said:
From what everyone including you have said, the RAF sounds like it would be good for me. I am a very driven person, and I absolutely love learning. Can you do courses in other things? For example, photography? Whilst training to become an engineer.

So, how long is the process before you get accepted in the RAF? Also before being accepted fully in the RAF, do you get paid? The reason I ask, is well we all have to pay the bills.
The Forces are just like any other job - you get paid the day you start working/training with them - it's up to you to make ends meet until you start with them.

Every year you're in you get Educational Learning Credits, which can be used for further learning in your own time, and there are short courses available that you can go on if they are relevant to your trade or next deployment. If you're training as an engineer, you won't be doing photography, unless you join a club in your spare time.

iOversteer

Original Poster:

552 posts

64 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
paulrhodes said:
Hi there..

RAF CIS Eng flight SAC Tech here. smile

As you won't have a clue what that means. I'm a techy that works on all comms equipment ground to air and all the radar equipment on an airfield.

Is it a good job? - great!
Is the RAF a good life? - depends
Is it for everyone? - No
Do you get a lot from it quals and experience wise? - Definitely!

At the end of the day, you would be joining a company that puts itself first, all the time, every time. A lot of the time your plans will have to work around the RAF. The disgruntled people are normally the people trying to do the opposite and not 'go with the flow'.

If you can accept the fact that you'll have little choice where you end up (benbecula anyone? lol) and that there is a lot of military bullpoop and hoops, then you'll reap the rewards that keeps a lot of people in the RAF.

If you've read that and turned your nose up then it possibly isn't for you.

This wasn't intended to put you off. Thousands of people love it and would never leave. You need to hear the honest opinion though.

One tip though. If you do decide to join up then get some proper phys in. It'll make your whole basic training experience far more pleasant. It's not Special Forces training certainly but the GDT phase will knacker you out. Running for 30 mins with a respirator on is not much fun. smile(in hindsight it was really)...

As an SAC(T) living in the block, 400 miles from my missus and doing a job I love on a camp I don't I hope I've given a fair description of RAF life.

Feel free to email me if you want any more info.
To become an engineer, is it the same process as being at college? Whereby you study for 2 years and then you gain a qualification? Do you also get hands on experience? For me personally I thrive in that sort of environment.

In terms of fitness, I am pretty fit. I do quite a lot of running, road cycling, swimming etc. So I hopefully will be ok there. But running with a respirator doesn't sound fun.

After the basic training, would I get posted in a war zone straight away?

I understand that there will be aspects of the RAF which I won't like, but you get that with any job. One thing I will have to practice is making sure everything is left tidy.

Thanks again,
Vin

Ian1976

632 posts

43 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
iOversteer said:
To become an engineer, is it the same process as being at college? Whereby you study for 2 years and then you gain a qualification? Do you also get hands on experience? For me personally I thrive in that sort of environment. For aircraft tech you do 6 months training then are posted to a flying station, returning to Cosford for further training after 18 months(ish) Approx 3/4 years after joining you'll be fully qualified and let loose with more in-depth jobs

In terms of fitness, I am pretty fit. I do quite a lot of running, road cycling, swimming etc. So I hopefully will be ok there. But running with a respirator doesn't sound fun. You dont much running in a respirator! Ours was about 15 minutes, everyone is doing it though - it will be fun when you look back on it. As long as you have basic fitness (running) you will be perfectly fine. Its not the Army

After the basic training, would I get posted in a war zone straight away? Seriously?! No of course you wont. As above, you aren't joining the army

I understand that there will be aspects of the RAF which I won't like, but you get that with any job. One thing I will have to practice is making sure everything is left tidy. Piece of cake, none likes to live a dump do they? Inspections are easy to pass if you have basic hygeine!

Thanks again,
Vin
Next port of call should be your local AFCO to start the ball rolling......

Sherpa

38 posts

59 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
Taita said:
Genuine question (not meant to inflame) why on Earth did you go Rockapes?
I understand the curiosity.

We're a well trained, and well funded bunch, that do an interesting job (a lot of the time) and we get treated better than the Army on the whole.

I passed my Airman Selection Tests for every trade and have 3 A-levels, so I'm not the rest of the RAF's view of the typical Rockape.

Also, why not?

iOversteer

Original Poster:

552 posts

64 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
Sherpa said:
I understand the curiosity.

We're a well trained, and well funded bunch, that do an interesting job (a lot of the time) and we get treated better than the Army on the whole.

I passed my Airman Selection Tests for every trade and have 3 A-levels, so I'm not the rest of the RAF's view of the typical Rockape.

Also, why not?
Rockape? What the monkeys wink is that?

Taita

5,435 posts

86 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
Sherpa said:
I understand the curiosity.

We're a well trained, and well funded bunch, that do an interesting job (a lot of the time) and we get treated better than the Army on the whole.

I passed my Airman Selection Tests for every trade and have 3 A-levels, so I'm not the rest of the RAF's view of the typical Rockape.

Also, why not?
Why not just go Army Infantry? Just as good training in a bigger variety of roles.

with quals like that you could be flying!

Dixie68

3,091 posts

70 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th April 2011 quote quote all
Taita said:
Sherpa said:
I understand the curiosity.

We're a well trained, and well funded bunch, that do an interesting job (a lot of the time) and we get treated better than the Army on the whole.

I passed my Airman Selection Tests for every trade and have 3 A-levels, so I'm not the rest of the RAF's view of the typical Rockape.

Also, why not?
Why not just go Army Infantry? Just as good training in a bigger variety of roles.

with quals like that you could be flying!
I understand the queries as to why someone would join as a Rock, but I have several mates in the regiment who would normally be seen as being over-qualified, including one who was a very successful Estate Agent before he binned that and joined as a Gunner. All p*ss-taking aside, (and there is a lot in the RAF aimed at Rocks wink ), and having myself served in the Army before the RAF, I see the Rocks as being 'more' than an infantryman. They just seem to do more of a wide range of tasks - another (now ex-Rock) was at different times standard infantry, Rapier missile qualified, para-qualified, medic-qualified, an unarmed combat instructor, LRRPs-qualified, mountain rescue and probably loads more that I've forgotten. While an Army infantryman could probably do those quals too it seems to be a lot easier for a Rock to do them.
Obviously those Rocks that instruct on CCS courses etc are all throbbers though smile

OP - Rockapes because (quoted from Wiki):
Wiki said:
Origin of the "Rock Ape" nickname

In the past the nickname "Rock Ape" has been attributed to their traditional role guarding areas of Gibraltar, but this is not so. The term came into use after an accident in the Western Aden Protectorate in November 1952. Two Regiment officers serving with the APL at Dhala decided to amuse themselves by going out to shoot some of the hamadryas baboons (locally referred to as "rock apes"). The officers drew rifles and split up to hunt the apes, yet in the semi-darkness one of the officers fired at a moving object in the distance. When he reached the target he discovered he had shot the other officer. After emergency treatment Flight Lieutenant Percy Henry Mason survived to return to service a few months later. When asked why he had fired at his friend by a board of inquiry the officer replied that his target had "looked just like a rock ape" in the half light. The remark soon reverberated around the RAF and it was not long before the term was in general use.
Although I thought it was the Gibraltar thing.

One is a smelly, theiving, tick-ridden, ugly fker - the other is a monkey biggrin

Sherpa

38 posts

59 months

[news] 
Friday 15th April 2011 quote quote all
Taita said:
Why not just go Army Infantry? Just as good training in a bigger variety of roles.

with quals like that you could be flying!
There's an Army unit where I'm based, and they seem to get it a lot worse than we do. In terms of living standards and how they're treated. Fair enough they aren't infantry, but from what I've seen it representative of the wider Army.

And who wants to fly? That lifestyle, that salary and all those women throwing themselves at you? You'd have to be mental wink

ben_h100

1,101 posts

62 months

[news] 
Friday 15th April 2011 quote quote all
RAF CIS Tech (TG4) SAC here...

Been in almost 6 years, and although there are bad sides to the job (as with every job), there are opportunities to do things your average Joe never will.

We are going through a rough patch at the minute what with redundancies etc, but things will soon pick up.

PM me with any qs and I will answer them honestly. Sorry for the short reply, but it is nice and sunny here and I want to get down to the beach (based in Cyprus wink)!

Get down to the the AFCO! smile
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