The New Basic Observer Course?

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by Chrismith92, Jan 22, 2010.

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  1. Just read an article from september of last year that talked about a contract to base some of the BOC at RAF Barkston Heath among other places as well as at RNAS Culdrose. I wondered if anyone has any more information on that (I'm joining dartmouth as an Observer in September).
    Thanks, Chris
  2. Hi Chris,

    I believe that Basic Observer Course (BOC) is being completely revamped to coincide with a new system of flying training throughout the military (MFTS). This will involve getting rid of the Jetstream and baby Observers doing some or all of the course at RAF Barkston Heath on the Grob Tutor (navigation and general air experience) and possibly on the King Air 350 at RAF Cranwell/RNAS Culdrose (tbc I believe).
    The new course will probably save cash as Tutors are cheap to run. The rest of the course should provide better training for the sorts of jobs that Observers do now frontline (i.e. good radars, system management etc.). This compares to the current BOC which has a large emphasis on navigation and radar in an out-of-date aircraft with an equally out-of-date nav fit. Old BOC was good for producing Lynx Mk3 Observers who need these skills but newer aircraft are very different to operate.
    If this training moves up to Lincolnshire as I've suggested here it will be a major departure for the Observer community which has always been very Single Service orientated. This is compared to Pilot training which has been Joint for many years.
    I see this as mainly a good thing really, the baby Observers will be in the same place as baby Pilots (again), and will get better understanding of general flying in a tutor than in the back of a Jetstream looking at TANS (doppler nav system) and a stopwatch.
    The flipside is that they'll be away from Culdrose where the atmosphere in the bar is good and the base is very Observer-heavy, due to all the bag and Merlin bods.
    Also you have to live on a crab base and share it with the Army. This in itself gives you a better understanding of the other Services and how to work with them (which you will inevitably do on most exercises and all ops in the FAA).
    Arguably it would be better to do all this on an RN air station, and the crabs seem to want to get control of everything that flies at the moment, even if they don't want to fly it.
    I hope that fills in some gaps, good luck with BRNC, grading and the rest of flying training. Hopefully I'll see you in the fleet/bar/air at some point.
  3. Thanks a lot, pretty much answers everyting that I wanted to know!!!! Is this all likely to be in affect by the time i've got through 35weeks at BRNC?
    Again thanks a lot, it's been a while since my AIB so i've fallen a little out of the loop and that artice made me jump a bit, I forsee a renewed subscription to the ole Navy News.

    Thanks, Chris
  4. This article suggests that BOC will change in 2011, but at least some of the training will be at CU:

    "Featuring Rockwell Collins' Proline21 integrated avionics suite and already carrying UK markings, the new aircraft will replace the RN's remaining nine British Aerospace Jetstream T2 trainers in delivering ab initio rear crew training services from RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall from 2011."

    More here:

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