commando aircrewman

johnnerz

Midshipman
Hi there guys, new to the forum today - so hello from me!

I've had a good sift through past and presant posts about Royal Navy aircrewman and read through aircrewman grading and training on the RN website. Currently I'm at University and pursuing to join the Royal Marines as an OR after i graduate, and I've posted here instead of the PRMC forum as I'm sure there is and has been more serving 'crewies on here out of the two who are probably best in-line to discuss this!

Considering a very long term career with the RM, I know that after a couple of years as a GD marine its obligatory to 'specialise' into the corps. Out of all the trades and branches available, this grasps my interest the most.

I know nothing is guaranteed when it comes to transferring and branch changing, but how positive is the oppourtunity of going down this route once I've come through CTC and completed my basics/quals as a GD marine. I've read through some posts that corporals and above is the minimum benchmark for going aircrewman; however I've definitely seen through some Flikr photos of crewies with RM flashes and lance corproal epaulettes on their shoulders. I've also seen a crewie marine manning an M3M aboard a Lynx counter-narcotics patrol. Being keen enough to specialise into this role, would there be any real set-back surrounding this. To add I've also read that the upper age limit for a 'crewie is 26? It doesn't seem too much of an issue, I will be 23 upon graduating yet comparing to RAF WSO's, the upper-age limit for applying is 32, surely this can't be right and is being confused with YO requirements.

Earning my green beret and eventually going aboard the CHF Sea kings or ASW Merlins is hitting two birds with one stone for me!
I've always aspired to be invovled as aircrew and not being eligible for officer to go pilot or observer, this to me is just a good a route.

Thanks guys!
 

Waspie

War Hero
Your correct the AA is for ex serving aircrewmen.

I imagine being a grad from Uni the careers folk may well entice you to the officer route, that way you will be capable of getting to fly the current 'commando' choppers.

Can't speak of the OR method of becoming a Royal Marine aircrewman I went the RN route and we only had one or two marines serving as aircrewmen in my day. The RN path means you have to enlist in any RN trade and then once you have reached able seaman and passed your exams for the leading rate, then, you may request to change to the aircrewman branch. I suspect these days you will have to qualify as a ASW aircrewman and do at least one tour on a ASW squadron before being allowed to transfer to the commando role.

That said, time has moved on, I have been away from the branch for some 20 years now and things have undoubtably changed. Training is no longer at Culdrose for one!

Good luck in your aspirations. Hopefully a serving RN crewman or RM aircrew will comment and pass on up to date pukka gen info!!
 

johnnerz

Midshipman
Cheers Waspie, what did you serve on?

I'd like to know what exactly is involved with an aircrewmans position and what duties he needs to fulfil on and off the aircraft. Regarding an ASW crewman, or 'pinger' as they are called if thats right? Are they involved with operating the aircrafts sonar systems? Or are crewies responsible for everything from hanging out the side to manning the 50.cals. I've aso noticed that only two OCU streams seem to come up which is either CHF Sea King MK4's or ASW Merlins. What about the AsaC Sea Kings, or 'baggers' as they are called, do only officers (observers) serve on these?
 
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johnnerz

Midshipman
I imagine being a grad from Uni the careers folk may well entice you to the officer route, that way you will be capable of getting to fly the current 'commando' choppers.

Its quite a common occurance these days for graduates to go though CTCRM as OR. The UCAS minimum requirement can filter you out very easily from sitting AIB.
 

Waspie

War Hero
I was missile aimer on Wasps, a 'pinger' (passive only - the real way).

Pinger, (Wasps no longer exist) duties. In the air, operate all ASW sensors. You are an integral part of the tactical decision making as your decisions as the ASW operator dictate the prosecution of any targets. You have secondary duties airborne, such as SAR, communications and a such. You will be the on board expert regards you equipment. You will have a better than good knowledge of oceanography, needed to operate your sensors effectively.

On the ground your duties can be varied. Some squadrons allow you to do duty officer even as a rating. You will give sortie briefs and give instruction on your specialist subjects. You will have knowledge of all aircraft systems and their operation. Including Radio, ordinance, mechanical and theory of flight. In my day we also did DR or dead reckoning navigation, I believe this is no longer the case but am prepared to be corrected on that one.

Every six months 'Trappers' or Royal Navy Flying Standard Flight descend on your squadron and test your knowledge, ground and air on all aviation matters. You will find yourself doing quite a few lectures, attending and giving them prior to these visits. They are assessed and ends in copious quantities of ale after in order to allow a liquid 'pat on the back.'

Hope that has gone a small way to helping.
 
3 answers (in order of simpleness)

ASaCs are manned only by Officers. They're all Observers in the back.

The RM you see in the backs of Grey Lynx firing things are from the Maritime Sniper Teams. They are either PW3s or men selected for their natural marksmanship skills. They work for FPGRM, and are a good bunch of blokes. After those tours they will continue either as PWs (as qualified) or head off to another SQ.

Cdo Acmn are not limited to RM; it is simply one of the 2 career streams open to Acmn. Obviously they prefer RM, but the mix is based on the requirement at the front line and those passing course. You need to be recommended for promotion to Cpl RM, have passed Junior Command Course (I think) and meet some other qualification lines. You'll then sit Acmn grading, and move on to the course. I don't know huge amounts about the course (because I've never worked with them, nor have I had a member of my Division go for it), but I think it involved airborne nav, some other stuff (i.e. running the back of the cab) and generally being graded for your "airmanship" skills.

Ground duties I have no idea about.

I would suggest that if your burning desire is to go up-diddly-up then the RAF should be your first port of call; if it's to be cold, wet, tired and have a green beret CTCRM is always looking for recruits.
 

johnnerz

Midshipman
I had a feeling AsaCs were only manned by Observers. The RAF dream was only an option for me if i could go for pilot. Not being selected for a UAS (univeristy air squadron), and friends currently on them not even getting a sniff at OASC and places on IOT themselves because of recruitment/branch pipelines closed to nil and downsising until the forseeable future, means my aspirations lie elsewhere.

RM's has always been a parralel. Just being a crab loadie in comparison seems slightly more stale. I've read The JCC for GD marines are many and after several years of service are open for sprogs to qualify, so aircrewman specialisation wouldn't be yonders away to apply for surely.

cold, wet and tired for a green beret first, with the potential to fly off HMS Ocean down the line, certainly.
 
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timex

Lantern Swinger
I had a feeling AsaCs were only manned by Observers. The RAF dream was only an option for me if i could go for pilot. Not being selected for a UAS (univeristy air squadron), and friends currently on them not even getting a sniff at OASC and places on IOT themselves because of recruitment/branch pipelines closed to nil and downsising until the forseeable future, means my aspirations lie elsewhere.

Not sure what the Crabs are doing recruitment wise at the moment but certainly they are doing very little in the way of ab initio training at shawbury

RM's has always been a parralel. Just being a crab loadie in comparison seems slightly more stale. I've read The JCC for GD marines are many and after several years of service are open for sprogs to qualify, so aircrewman specialisation wouldn't be yonders away to apply for surely.

To get on a JCC you will need to get through CTC, get to a Unit then recieve enough good grades on your 365a (or whatever its called now) which will take about 3 yrs to then get a recommend from your OC to attend the course. Then all you have to do is pass the course. On completion you could wait up to 2 yrs before promotion.

The next stumbling block is being accepted for aircrewman training, ISTR that the majority of Junglie crewmen are now Booties
.

cold, wet and tired for a green beret first, with the potential to fly off HMS Ocean down the line, certainly.

You will soon tire of HMS Ocean but it's not a bad old job...




:-D

Good luck with whatever you do..
 
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