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Thinking about joining as ATC. Help?


I like the idea of Air Traffic Control but I heard off somebody in the FAA that most ATCs fulfill other roles such as sea spec. (Someone who transferred from warfare) Is this likely to happen or are there any ATCs can spin me a dit about the job? Thanks in advance

ATCs are Officers, who act nearly always as Air Traffic Controllers. Aircraft Controllers are Ratings, who will on entry spend a year or two as an AWT in order to grow their Ops Room experience before taking their Leading Aircraft Controller's (LAC) course and tactically controlling helicopters.

There was a AC around here, but I haven't seen him for a while.

Edit - therefore, which role are you talking about? As a Warfare Officer I worked closely with the LAC, and he was almost exclusively focussed on Flight stuff. We also had a NA(AC), and she did a bit more "whole ship" stuff, but they need you to understand about where the helicopter/flight fits into the rest of the ship to allow you to provide the right advice.

As for ATCs, they're a bit like Naval Doctors: they do damn near exactly the same job as their civvy equivalents, however they a) understand what we do (to an extent) and b) the RN reserves the right to send them somewhere hot & sandy at short notice!
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AC Rating. So its as if my time as an AB is just gaining experience in order to get promoted to my job? Also, what are deployment times like for ACs? Something that needs to be taken into consideration with a mortgage and husband in Yeovil.
Pretty much. If MLP were around he'd give you a better dit on it all. Deployments on ships are anything up to 9 months these days; you can expect to spend around about 660 days in a 3 year period away from your homeport, which will be either Portsmouth or Plymouth.


A good summary and nearly correct ATG. ATCOs are both Officers and Ratings. Upon selection for Petty Officer, AC ratings have the option (should be compulsory IMO) of undertaking Joint Air Traffic Control Course at Shawbury in order to qualify as an Air Traffic Control Officer and control in a tower. So you have the weird situation of POs and CPOs doing the exact same job as Officers. Those that choose not to attend JATCC will find their career somewhat restricted. IE instructing, FOSTing or doing the chad controlling jobs like Argus.

It's a good career and will only get better with some nice big new carriers and aircraft to play with.

I'm a tad busy at the minute so not on here that often but if I can help or answer any questions I'll do my best.
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