RAF transfer to the FAA

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by blahblahblah, Jan 22, 2009.

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  1. Hi,

    I'm currently in the RAF (insert joke here) and have about 11 years experience as an aircraft tech (mech not avionics)...

    A good friend of mine is going through the process of transferring into the FAA and I've bumped into a couple more guys who are trying to do the same. The main motivation behind this is career prospects - the chance to actually get to a decent rank within a 22 year career. Promotion in the RAF to CPL (L/H) is painfully slow due to redundancies, civilian contracts replacing service personnel at depth (all of Typhoon second line is civilian), and the general out of date and inefficient rank structure.

    Faced with the choice of staying in the RAF and fighting for the few promotions to CPL that exist (this year there's only 41 promotions SAC/JT to CPL across the whole RAF (mechs)) or transferring to the FAA where there's actually the potential for hard workers to move up - and get academic rewards from training - I think I know where the smart money is...

    Just curious if anyone works with or has encountered AET's who were originally RAF? Obvious banter aside, did they manage to assimilate into the navy way of life?

    Just curious as I'm due to leave the RAF in a year, at the 12 year point with a half pension, but I actually quite like being in HM Forces - despite the sh*te it's actually not all bad. I just wish I had a career ladder to climb. The fast track AET scheme seems to offer this (opinions?) and by transferring it might give me the opportunity to finish up a full career in the forces...

    Any thoughts?
  2. As a fully pledged AET (AB), you're trained on an apprenticeship NVQ to level 2, compared to an SAC Level 3; so you'd more than likely (though things are never as simple as they appear on papaer) be able to transfer over to the FAA and simply get your QM on a new airframe.

    Then get on the signal after completing your peeps and be down at Sultan within a year or two for your Killicks if you're well-behaved - which could then see you (if you prove capable) picked up and fast-tracked to PO (Sgt) within two years again. Killicks course, for M-trades, is less than a year and if your'e fast-tracked the pipeline takes into consideration your draft time. I know of one PO here just now who is ex-RAF, served around the same amount of time as you, and is at Deadalus with his two hooks as an Av, having been a darker shade of blue for three and a half - and he's just finishing up his FdEng and off soon.

    A lot of the FAA is civvie too, though, so don't jump in with the illusion you won't be changing components for new ones just because you're walking in a straight line!

    Have encountered plenty of folk moving over to the Navy (never hear much of Navy moving to the RAF or Army, funny that...), though mostly they tend to come from the Army. Talking of the PO mentioned, he's fine with Navy life (though he is only just slightly odd 8O ).

    The fast-track lark is all very well, and just about everyone who winds up at Sultan is under the illusion they're going to get it - unfortunately, most don't (mainly due to Emma's). If it's something you're keen on, I'd recommend it (though, I'm obviously biased, with going through with it) - it's not the old Tiff's course, but it's still pretty good, and the prospects are pretty decent if you keep your head down and work hard.

    One last thing: Navy life isn't RAF life - make sure you look into the way of life and (heaven forbid) the possibility of going to sea - don't simply blind yourself by the whole fast-track or die thing, and forget that you'd be entering a completely different service where things are clearly done slightly different.

    Hope this helps,

  3. Thanks for taking the time to reply...

    I need to get into contact with the recruiters etc to find out what offer I could get i.e. entry point / rank etc. The deal my friend is getting is - RAF Cpl (17 years in) straight in as a PO after doing the SRCC (is that the right name). He's working on Merlins at the moment so perhaps the didn't feel it was worthwhile having him waste time at Sultan when it's best having him spend his last 4/5 years productively at Culdrose.

    In an ideal world I'd go in at the killick level given that I'm pretty much overdue my RAF cpl. Like I said, I need the official line but it's what has been suggested. If I was offered transfer across to Killick on fast track I'd rip their hands off!

    Yeah, I've pretty much accepted that contractorization is MOD wide. Shame but that's life in the 21st century thread bare forces. I've never heard of Navy transferring to RAF either. Lots of army yes, Navy no. Perhaps just not in my trade. I've met plenty of people who dislike being in the Navy so I'm not naive enough to believe it's because the Navy is perfect. More a reflection on what I've mentioned so far - the RAF has little to offer career-wise.

    Jesus, is it compulsory to go to Emma's? If so, the deal is off! Out of interest, what is the % rate for getting fasttracked? Is it only in exceptional circumstances?

    As for the Navy way of life thing, sure it's different but so was the change from civvie to RAF and I don't think it'll be as big a step as that. Also, I generally don't buy into the my service/your service cr*p. I like the way the Navy do somethings, somethings the AAC do it right, sometimes the RAF. I don't believe for a second the colour overalls you wear has a bearing on how good an aircraft techie you are. We all do the same job - we just call things by different names. And in this day and age, like it or not, I could be on a flight deck working on a harrier in the RAF. Just like a Navy AET could be stood on the line at RAF Benson fixing a Merlin. And the going to sea thing doesn't bother me at all, in fact it's something I'd really like to do. I honestly can't see why the majority of people in the RAF are so anti it.
  4. You will of course have to get used to being in an actual uniformed fighting force in the event that you do indeed join the Senior Service. Transition from Civvy to the mIlitary can be quite daunting but I'm sure you'll be fine...... 8O :D
  5. I think I'd need to prepare myself for the endless banter I'd receive that's for sure! I would bite back but I have the feeling I'm slightly out numbered!
  6. I bumped into my old archeaology tutor, spoke about my plans etc. She said "I think you should join the RAF, it's the senior service after all". :roll:
  7. Obviously she doesn't know her history Tim.
  8. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Pleasing to see our academic elite have a sense of humour.

    Doubtless she worked on the underwater excavations of one of Henry VIII's aircraft too.
  9. Crabs never did like it onboard a Flat Top :roll: :roll: bit of a culture shock, cramped mess decks/chefs food/fisheads/sea sickness, and cabs landing on, and chockheads chains keeping you awake at night. But when you become a woo. youll love it :wink: :wink: Best of luck in the FAA 8) Ps Now carriers with wires/cats thats living :wink: if they ever come back
  10. Scouse they still don't mate, forever worming out of the ship trips and stitching us up.
  11. Ah yes, in which case it could well be that you'd jump in as killick - but that's purely a summation, and the word would indeed have to come from the recruiters. The SRCC, yeah, that's only 3 or 4 weeks of command type stuff, so makes sense.

    As for the fat-track, you can only get it while on course at Sultan - either for fast-track to LH or from LH to PO (unless you manage to get some sort of deal), for those who miss out while at sultan the first time. Most people who get to Sultan don't realise that in order to hit PO in the timeframe in all the fliers is if you get fast-track to LH and to PO.

    The fast-tracking is worthwhile for those career-minded, but it's fair to say it's certainly a kick in the balls - you'll spend a lot of time writing journals (both at Sultan and on squadron) while your mates are down the bar...

    Pretty much - Wednesday night, 15 quid all you can drink, plenty of fanny (well, maybe at one time they were), it's a matelot's heaven - and you can't call yourself a matelot unless you've been!)

    In which case you've got nothing stopping you - there are plenty of 'tards that buy into the my service/ your service crap, I'm not one - for exactly the same reasons you've said, and that I've got mates in all three who I know are not idiots, purely because they dress different.

    Personally dude, I'd say go find out what you can from the recruiters and take it from there - otherwise you'll never know. My reason for joining (other than the fast-track scheme, which I'll be honest - isn't easy to get, it takes commitment) is exactly the Navy life, it's not the same as the RAF or the Army. From my limited (very limited) experience, the RAF and Army are too far up their own arses and interested in looking good and trying to recruit people to give a shit about their lads, whereas the Navy looks after their lads and are not so self-obsorbed (though, ofcourse there are exceptions - and life isn;t always rosey - as you've said you're not naive enough to think anyway).

  12. No Golf courses at sea… :wink:
  13. Driving ranges are good though. Down side - you don't get your balls back!!!!! :lol:
  14. well okay then if the Crabs are going to sea Apologise to ROMFT :wink: http://usera.ImageCave.com/scouse/53756116nb4(1).png.jpg
  15. We used drive a few golf balls off the arse end a number of times on the Anglesey :D
  16. It is strange reading about the advantages of moving from RAF to FAA, thesame was said by my father nearly 60 years ago!

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