There are now only two engineering trades in the FAA, Mechanical and Avionics (M and Av). You'll find that the RAF and Army, if not already, will soon be the same in this new 'purple' world.
Arming is usually carried out by Av's, trying to get an 'M' (grubber) anywhere near anything that gives fizz or bang is nigh on impossible.
Apart from engineers, you have Aircraft Handlers (Chockheads), Phot Ratings, Survival Equipment Ratings, Air Traffic Controllers, Fighter Controllers and Met Ratings. I apologise if I've missed any but my head is hurting.
Greenies and bombheads were amalgamated years back, however ( against our better judgement) the pinkies and greenies are being amalgamated to come in line with the Army. Therefore we will now have just AV (L and R) and M (Mechanical). :cry:
It's a bit harder for the RAF to stomach, they used to have a trade for everything (even tea boy I think!).
Yeah, the RAF have single trades for Airframe, Electric, Avionics, Propulsion and Weapons but that's all changing and will be like the Navy of old with the amalgamation of Airframe and Propulsion, Electrical and Avionics and Weapons and Safety Equipment...........don't know how the hierarchy arrived at the last one but still!!
Yes, it's a sideways entry branch - at least it was when I last looked. I was once told that the reason is because it's such a tough course, when people fail they can return to their original branch rather than leave the RN in a sulk.
As an aside, as I'm a bit out of it, did all the Ls and Rs have to cross train to be Av, or are there lots of legacy AEMs out there under the old trade groups?
Direct Entry Aircrewman and Aircraft Controller is sat just over the horizon. Awaiting the bean counters to give the final thumbs up! They will join up together at Raleigh and go their seperate ways for Phase 2 training.
When I joined 809 squadron in 1965 we had a killick by name of Pop McNeil. He was a leading airman pilots mate and the last of his trade left in the navy. Pilots mates were qualified to work on aircraft in any trade required. Looks like the FAA has almost completed the circle
As one of the the chiefys in charge of the Av cross-training down south, I can tell you that there is a lot of disgruntled wafus out there now. we are taking very experienced bombheads and making them eligible for compass swinging or complicated radar faults. I have heard from the fleet of a bombhead using his cocking hammer on the delicates yet but its only time. Of course the reverse is also true with radio men playing crib on top opf a 1000lber (well you get my drift).
It is going to be just like the old days when we had the first triple trade AEMs - I remember as a new PO going down the line and not stopping till I found an old style grubber lad. in time this will change as we get avionic trade sups stright from the box but until them ummmmmmmnn.
anyway enough for my first post
b]REMEMBER - I'D RATHER HAVE A SISTER IN A WHOREHOUSE THAN A BROTHER ON 800 SQUADRON[/b][/size][/size]
The phrase jack of all trades master of none comes to mind. The same thing happenned in the mid 70s when the powers that be decided to amalgamate the electrical and Ordnance branches in the fleet air arm. So lots of cross training, but the guys in drafting certainly seemed to know a thing or two. 809 Buccaneer squadron armourers were all ex Os and the greenies were all ex Ls.
To a non aviator all Lynx helicopters seem identical. Any naval pilot/observer will be quick to inform you that they are completely different animals. Weapons systems, avionics and radio radar systems are far more complex than the army equivalent. That was in my time and I left in 1985. 21 years later the avionics etcetera must be far more sophisticated.
there is a good chance that on the new joint strike fighter that the trades will become even more blurred. as an example the grubbers will now be responsible for all the pylons(9 of them) that hang off the wing and fuselage. one good side effect is that grubbers can now take of plugs legally rather than try and prise a greenie from the uckers/crib table
Thank goodness I am no longer serving. I was a POAEM(R) and I like to think a pretty good one. When I was drafted to a Lynx small ships flight things changed. Every member of the maintenance flight suddenly became responsible for several different jobs besides the one they had been trained for. As the R1 mine were SE supervisor, Flight Stores and Weapons loading supervisor. I did these extra tasks to the best of my ability but never really felt 100% comfortable and at times doubted my ability especially with the SE supervision. We had regular checks and all work was found to have been carried out to the correct standards, there were always doubts. I questioned the fact that after only a few weeks training I was qualified to do the same job as a leading rate or Petty officer in the SE branch. It had taken these guys years of training to achieve this. Stores & weapons loading supervision I had no problems with, after all aircrew lives were not so much at risk with these activities.
Though I enjoyed the close companionship of the flight I was pleased when my time was completed.
Time to keep the specialisations not lose them
My lad joined up as a Grubber, qualified as a AM. But when he joined his first ship, Jupiter with the Lynx flight. He had to cross train as an armourer, and Survival Equipment. What with Ships duties, you can imagine how many spare hours there were left for him in a day????
Navy lost a good lad again, after 5 years mind.
BACK TO THE ORIGINAL THREAD; If you can be patient enough for the wait, Once out of training, there aren't many Chockheads (Aircraft Handlers) who want to leave the mob early or who don't love their job.