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AIR & SPACE
OPERATIONS
Air and Space Operations are behind all our aircraft in the sky and protect our interests in outer space. As part of the team you’ll be working with some of the most advanced aerospace technology on the planet and facilitate the successful planning and execution of missions.
WHAT IS AIR & SPACE
OPERATIONS?

As part of Air & Space Operations you’ll monitor skies across the globe providing intel to the government and our allies. Working collaboratively with local and international teams you’ll help to guide air traffic.

 

You could also be trained to intercept hostile aircraft by directing supersonic jet fighters or working with civilian air traffic control to keep flight paths safe. You could be focused on defence in outer space too, monitoring asteroids, debris and solar flares and protecting our assets out there.

OFFICER
ROLES
You’ll be a leader with serious responsibilities such as ordering fast jets to intercept suspect aircraft, or giving specialist battlespace management around the world.
AVIATOR
ROLES
You could be working alongside civilian controllers ensuring military aircraft operate safely or be deployed on operations to set up temporary airfields.
LEARN ABOUT AIR &
SPACE OPERATIONS

You will be our eyes, on the lookout for potentially hostile aircraft.

You could be employed in a squadron operations room where you’ll be responsible for the maintenance of aeronautical information and operating mission support IT. Alternatively you could be employed in an air traffic control tower managing IT systems with real-time flight information and operating radio equipment in support of the controllers.

There are opportunities to go overseas for a number of months, or as a full posting, to certain locations on a detachment. Your duties will be similar to those at your home station but will be more demanding with opportunities to work with other trades, services and nations in an operational environment.

AREAS AIR & SPACE
OPERATIONS COVERS
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Air & Space Operations in action
Monitoring risk, making difficult decisions, and knowing how to react; have you got what it takes to protect our skies?
Get paid to train, travel the world and make friends for life

Life in the RAF is more than just a job, it’s a vocation and a lifestyle, it’s who you are. We take care of you when you’re off the clock too. We offer a highly competitive benefits package and there are sporting opportunities and facilities available to everyone. Balance is key. So whilst travelling the world, making new friends and expanding your horizons all come included, we understand the importance of staying connected to friends and family back home too.

Air and Space Operations Systems Officer managing controllers at temporary ATC
WHY JOIN
THE RAF?

With benefits like subsidised food, travel, accommodation and free gym facilities, at the end of the month you’ll have more money in your pocket saved on these essentials.

Benefits icon for Rent from £75p/m
Rent from £75p/m
Benefits icon for Free gym
Free gym
Benefits icon for Subsidised food
Subsidised food
Benefits icon for Health care
Health care
Benefits icon for World travel
World travel
Benefits icon for Training
Training
AIR AND SPACE
OPERATIONS FAQS
What qualifications do I need for an Air & Space Operations role?

To apply for an Air Operations Officer (Control or Systems) role you need to:

  • Be aged 17 ½  - 47 (38 for Control).
  • Have 2 A-levels/3 Highers at Grade C or above.
  • Have 5 GCSEs at Grade C/4-5 or above ; or SCE equivalent grade 5 or above, including English Language and Maths.
  • Or hold a UK Degree at Grade 2:2 or above.
  • Be a UK or UK/Dual National and have resided in the UK for the last 5 Years.

To apply for Air Traffic & Weapons Controller you need to:

  • Be aged 17 ½ - 38.
  • Have 5 GCSEs at Grade C/4-5 or above ; or SCE equivalent grade 5 or above, including English Language and Maths.
  • Be a UK or UK/Dual National and have resided in the UK for the last 5 Years.

To apply for Air & Space Operations Specialist you need to:

  • Be aged 16-47.
  • Have 2 GCSEs at Grade C/4-5 or above ; or SCE equivalent grade 5 or above, in English Language and Maths.
  • Be a UK or UK/Dual National and have resided in the UK for the last 5 Years.
Do Air Operations & Space Operations Personnel have to be fit?
  • Yes, every person in the RAF is required to maintain a level of fitness in order to do their role well. For example, if you are working on one of our deployable units, such as No.1 Air Control Centre, Tactical Air Traffic Control or 49 Battery, you may be required to deploy anywhere in the World and set up mobile command and control units or temporary landing zones in austere environments.
  • If you are joining as an Air Traffic & Weapons Controller you will undertake the Direct Entrant Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (DE SNCO) Course. This course is both physically and mentally demanding. The fitter you are before you start, the greater your mental capacity will be during the numerous exercises you will undertake.
  • Fitness is a key part of RAF life – with all the clubs and sports you can get involved with on a wide variety of levels, from occasional fun to Olympic competition.
How long is the application process?
  • As an Air Operations Officer or Air Operations (Control) Sergeant, we aim to have all applications successfully completed within 6 months.
  • For serving personnel applying for Air Traffic & Weapons Controller, you are able to apply internally through the Air Operations Specialist Recruitment Team, which offers a reduced processing time.
  • As an Air & Space Operations Specialist, we aim to have all applications successfully completed within 3 months.
  • This is subject to the availability of your specialist training courses, but be assured that we will aim to work around your specific needs.
Am I able to visit an RAF Station to see what the role and training entails?
  • Realistic Job Preview visits will be offered to you at a certain point in your application for Air Operations (Control) Officer, Air Traffic & Weapons Controller and Air & Space Operations Specialist.
  • Visits to an RAF Station for Air & Space Operations Specialist candidates can be arranged by the Air Operations Specialist Recruitment Team through your Armed Forces Careers Office staff.
Where will I be based?
  • We have Air & Space Operations personnel at every major and minor RAF airfield and weapons training range in the UK. In addition to this, depending upon role, we have specialist units dedicated to Air Traffic Control (RAFU Swanwick – working alongside civilian controllers), Surveillance and Weapons Control (RAF Boulmer), Space Operations (RAF Fylingdales) and Joint RAF/Army units (49 Battery), plus many other opportunities.
  • We also have a number of Air & Space Operations personnel working overseas, including across Europe and the USA.