Aircrewman Quezzie

Taffd

Lantern Swinger
#1
G'day All,

With Aircrewman being a tri-service thing, does anybody have any insight into the relative merits of Bbootie v Crab?

Ta
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#2
The only obvious thing that springs to mind is the fact RAF get promoted to SNCO upon qualification.

I'm guessing, but with the supposed phasing-out of the military SAR role, together with the eventual phasing-out of the SeaKing and CHF getting the RAF Merlin HC 3s, I'd imagine the RAF Aircrewman will be reducing numbers.

Happy to be corrected but I'm also guessing RN/RM Aircrewmen may think the grass is greener.

@Merlin Crewie can hopefully give a better informed view.
 

Taffd

Lantern Swinger
#3
The only obvious thing that springs to mind is the fact RAF get promoted to SNCO upon qualification.

I'm guessing, but with the supposed phasing-out of the military SAR role, together with the eventual phasing-out of the SeaKing and CHF getting the RAF Merlin HC 3s, I'd imagine the RAF Aircrewman will be reducing numbers.

Happy to be corrected but I'm also guessing RN/RM Aircrewmen may think the grass is greener.

@Merlin Crewie can hopefully give a better informed view.
Haven't had conversation yet but greener regards coin seems to be a present thought. My thoughts lay in a different ethos and the possibility of maybe being a glorified stewardess.
 
#8
Taffd,

The RAF do not recruit Crewmen per se. You would join as a Weapons Systems Operator (WSOp), conduct basic recruit training at RAF Halton before Non-Commissioned Aircrew (NCA) training at RAF College Cranwell. The latter is an extremely demanding course but culminates in the award of acting Sgt rank.

You would then stay on at Cranwell to conduct initial aircrew training prior to 'streaming' to one of the following WSOp specialisations:

WSOp(Crewman). Used on RAF Support Helicopters (Chinook, Puma HC2 and Griffin), C-17, A400M, C-130J and Voyager load management and, in the case of RW, gunnery. Plenty of requirement for both rotary and fixed wing guys given the expansion of our Chinook fleet which will largely offset the transfer of Merlin to the RN. Known as Loadmasters in old money.

WSOp(Electronic Warfare (EW)). Used on the RAF ISR fleet to operate a variety of sensors and weapons systems. WSOp(EW) primarily serve on E-3D AWACS, Sentinel, Shadow, RC-135 RIVET JOINT (RJ) and MQ-9 Reaper. The likely procurement of a new Multi-Mission Aircraft (MMA) to fill the MPA gap and probably replace Sentinel will see a significant increase in demand for WSOp(EW). Quite a few are therefore already on our MPA 'Seedcorn' Programme (see below).

WSOp(Acoustics (Ac)). Formerly employed almost exclusively on our Nimrod MR2 and MRA4 to deploy, operate and analyse acoustic data from air dropped sonobuouys, the loss of MPA has seen this specialisation in limbo. Many have crosstrained onto WSOp(EW), notably on the E-3D. Others are currently serving as our MPA 'Seedcorn' with the USN (P-3C, P-8, MQ-4C, RQ-21 and a number of ground jobs), RAAF (AP-3C), RNZAF (P-3K2) and RCAF (CP-140). Assuming we regenerate an MPA capability in the near future, there will also be a significant increase in demand with a strong liklihood of some service in the US if we buy P-8.

WSOp (Linguist (L)). Language specialists recruited seperately to other WSOp specialisations for employment on our RC-135 RJ.

Compared to the RN, the above aircraft list is obviously considerably more varied. However, if you want to sit in the back of a helicopter, your chances of doing so are proportionately higher in the RN for obvious reasons. As mentioned, other than WSOp(L), transfer between WSOp specialisations is possible and there are also good opportunities to be commissioned as a Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) which broadly equates to the RN Observer role. A disproportionate number of WSOps also transfer to pilot (or I expect in due course RPAS Pilot) although I will stress that this is in competition with direct entrants from civvy street.

In summary, if you want variety of flying opportunities, join the RAF. If you want to fly in helicopters, go RN.

Best of British!

Regards,
MM
 
Last edited:

Taffd

Lantern Swinger
#9
Taffd,

The RAF do not recruit Crewmen per se. You would join as a Weapons Systems Operator (WSOp), conduct basic recruit training at RAF Halton before Non-Commissioned Aircrew (NCA) training at RAF College Cranwell. The latter is an extremely demanding course but culminates in the award of acting Sgt rank.

You would then stay on at Cranwell to conduct initial aircrew training prior to 'streaming' to one of the following WSOp specialisations:

WSOp(Crewman). Used on RAF Support Helicopters (Chinook, Puma HC2 and Griffin), C-17, A400M, C-130J and Voyager load management and, in the case of RW, gunnery. Plenty of requirement for both rotary and fixed wing guys given the expansion of our Chinook fleet which will largely offset the transfer of Merlin to the RN. Known as Loadmasters in old money.

WSOp(Electronic Warfare (EW)). Used on the RAF ISR fleet to operate a variety of sensors and weapons systems. WSOp(EW) primarily serve on E-3D AWACS, Sentinel, Shadow, RC-135 RIVET JOINT (RJ) and MQ-9 Reaper. The likely procurement of a new Multi-Mission Aircraft (MMA) to fill the MPA gap and probably replace Sentinel will see a significant increase in demand for WSOp(EW). Quite a few are therefore already on our MPA 'Seedcorn' Programme (see below).

WSOp(Acoustics (Ac)). Formerly employed almost exclusively on our Nimrod MR2 and MRA4 to deploy, operate and analyse acoustic data from air dropped sonobuouys, the loss of MPA has seen this specialisation in limbo. Many have crosstrained onto WSOp(EW), notably on the E-3D. Others are currently serving as our MPA 'Seedcorn' with the USN (P-3C, P-8, MQ-4C, RQ-21 and a number of ground jobs), RAAF (AP-3C), RNZAF (P-3K2) and RCAF (CP-140). Assuming we regenerate an MPA capability in the near future, there will also be a significant increase in demand with a strong liklihood of some service in the US if we buy P-8.

WSOp (Linguist (L)). Language specialists recruited seperately to other WSOp specialisations for employment on our RC-135 RJ.

Compared to the RN, the above aircraft list is obviously considerably more varied. However, if you want to sit in the back of a helicopter, your chances of doing so are proportionately higher in the RN for obvious reasons. As mentioned, other than WSOp(L), transfer between WSOp specialisations is possible and there are also good opportunities to be commissioned as a Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) which broadly equates to the RN Observer role. A disproportionate number of WSOps also transfer to pilot (or I expect in due course RPAS Pilot) although I will stress that this is in competition with direct entrants from civvy street.

In summary, if you want variety of flying opportunities, join the RAF. If you want to fly in helicopters, go RN.

Best of British!

Regards,
MM
Many thanks for that, and to all who've answered.

Quezzie now resolved.
 
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