Royal Navy Meterorologist and Hydrographic specialist..

Captain Birdseye

Lantern Swinger
Hi all,

I am applying to the RN next year, and I am considering my options. I really want to apply as an Aircraft Handler (NAAH) as I want to work on the RN's new QE class ships and the RN's new F35 fighters. The thing is, I have heard that the promotional aspects are not great...being 30 years old now, I will be 32 upon entry so I want to progress as quick as I can! Coming out with zero qualifications except an HGV licence concerns me as well.

I saw a role that also interested me today in Meteorology (METOC). There isn't alot of information on this though where you go after Raleigh, what the life is like, social life, promotional aspects etc. I read on the RN website that you can achieve A-Levels and a Bsc degree.

Can anyone shed some light on it? :)
 
Last edited:

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Have you looked at AET?

A technical job, no qualifications required, the opportunity to earn qualifications, even up to a degree whilst earning a wage and a 5 month flash to bang (test to entry) assuming there are no delays.

Whatever Fleet Air Arm branch you join, it could be about 5 years or so until F35 squadrons are operationally embarked on a carrier.

Metoc is a small branch, most joining are streamed hydrography & embarked on survey ships.
 

Captain Birdseye

Lantern Swinger
Have you looked at AET?

A technical job, no qualifications required, the opportunity to earn qualifications, even up to a degree whilst earning a wage and a 5 month flash to bang (test to entry) assuming there are no delays.

Whatever Fleet Air Arm branch you join, it could be about 5 years or so until F35 squadrons are operationally embarked on a carrier.

Metoc is a small branch, most joining are streamed hydrography & embarked on survey ships.
I believe that the RN's F35's will be fully operational in 2020, so I've read. F35's will be on the RN's QE class ships from 2018. I have considered a role as an AET, but in all honesty, I am not sure if it is the role for me...I keep swaying from NAAH to AET.

I plan on doing a full term of service and only coming out when the RN wants me out. I don't really fancy being a 3 badge AB as I'll be a 44 year old AB. :( I want to get to at least PO...CPO would be nice but my time is limited, due to my age.

As for being a Meteorologist, it sounds like a good career choice, but I don't know really enough about it. I was just putting the feelers out there.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
AET offers fast track promotion to those who are in the top 5% achievers whilst training and offers technical & transferrable skills. Aircraft Handler doesn't offer that and has a significant wait for entry.

I'd be impressed if the QE is operational with embarked RN/RAF F35s in little over 12 months.
 

Captain Birdseye

Lantern Swinger
AET offers fast track promotion to those who are in the top 5% achievers whilst training and offers technical & transferrable skills. Aircraft Handler doesn't offer that and has a significant wait for entry.

I'd be impressed if the QE is operational with embarked RN/RAF F35s in little over 12 months.
Funny you should mention about the fast track option route, Ninja. I was literally reading about that on an old and bold historic thread. A fast track option sounds very appealing. To be in the top 5%, you would have to shine through phase 2 and shine above all the other AB's on the same course as me.

I am concerned about the promotional aspects of an NA(AH) and the technical side of things if I were to leave before my time is up, apart from an HGV licence, that's about it...not great. At least as an AET, you can get a civvy job from a wide range of employers with the experience and qualifications.

Would you happen to know the current waiting list times for an AET and an Aircraft Handler?

Haha...I was reading about that earlier, I did take it with a pinch of salt but we shall see! From all accounts, the RN are keen on getting aircraft on the QE class flight deck asap.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
As stated, post #2, AET is currently about a five month wait.

If you are looking at NA(AH), it's currently two years test to entry.

Either way, apply now and you can defer entry. If you fail a selection element, there maybe the opportunity to revisit it. For many there are unforeseen delays and it is better to vector those in now. It also means you'll either have a job waiting for you or if it's an outright knockback, you'll not have wasted a year finding out and adjusting your career aspirations.

If you leave it a year to apply, you will not only delay entry by a year, you will delay finding out whether your aspirations are realistic.
 

Captain Birdseye

Lantern Swinger
Ahh my mistake Ninja, I failed to see where you mentioned about the waiting times for an AET. A five month wait isn't too bad at all! For an AET, is there a lot of sea time? I am quite eager for it.

As for an NA(AH), I was expecting approximately around two years.

Good advice, thank you. Unfortunately, I am not currently in a postion to apply right away due to a number of factors but as soon as these are sorted, I will be applying.
 

Captain Birdseye

Lantern Swinger
As stated, post #2, AET is currently about a five month wait.

If you are looking at NA(AH), it's currently two years test to entry.

Either way, apply now and you can defer entry. If you fail a selection element, there maybe the opportunity to revisit it. For many there are unforeseen delays and it is better to vector those in now. It also means you'll either have a job waiting for you or if it's an outright knockback, you'll not have wasted a year finding out and adjusting your career aspirations.

If you leave it a year to apply, you will not only delay entry by a year, you will delay finding out whether your aspirations are realistic.
I phoned my local AFCO just 10 minutes ago. Being as I have taken the RT twice in the past, I was told that I wasn't able to re-take it again. My last RT pass wasn't high enough for AET and as I want to be in the FAA branch, an NA(AH) is the only thing that is open to me.

My RT expires in September 2017 so I don't have a lot of time. I was told that the medical is more stringent and that the current waiting time for an Aircraft Handler is 14 months. I will be re-applying in January as time is seriously against me.
 

slim

War Hero
AET is the better branch, however be aware that to progress to leading hand and above requires an extremely sound knowledge of mathematics.
 
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