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AIR & SPACE OPERATIONS
SPECIALIST
CURRENTLY RECRUITING
Gaming & computers Analysis & maths Travelling the world
PAY DURING FIRST SIX MONTHS
£18,600+
+ Benefits
PAY AFTER COMPLETION OF BASIC TRAINING + SIX MONTHS SERVICE
£23,400+
+ Benefits

As an RAF Air & Space Operations Specialist you will support aircrew, Air Operations Controllers and Air Operations (Systems) Officers to facilitate the successful planning and execution of flights and missions, both in the UK and on worldwide operations.

 

Already applied? See what the next steps are >

What will you do?

Air & Space Operations Specialists (ASOS) work across 3 Employment Pillars; Air Operations Support, Air Operations Systems and Space Operations providing specialist skills across a variety of Employment Areas. Typical responsibilities include:

 

  • The coordination of airspace for military and civilian aircraft
  • Monitoring and identifying all aircraft within UK airspace including assisting in the scrambling of Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon jets
  • Keeping watch for foreign missile launches and monitoring foreign surveillance satellites
  • Management of aircraft mission planning systems and aeronautical data
Currently recruiting
Gaming & computers Analysis & maths Travelling the world
DAY RATES START AT:
£46.91
+ BENEFITS

Already applied? See what the next steps are >

What will you do as a Reserve?

Air & Space Operations Specialists (Flight Operations) provide direct support to aircrew, Operations Managers and air traffic control in a variety of roles. In support of aircrew, you could be employed in a squadron operations room, responsible for maintaining aeronautical information, operating the mission support IT used by aircrew, managing airspace bookings; all of which are critical to the safe and expeditious conduct of the mission.

You could also be required to operate ground to air radio equipment and provide specialist knowledge and advice during the mission planning stages of flights.

Alternatively you could be employed in station operations and flight planning.

Minimum Education Requirements
  • As a minimum, you will need GCSEs at Grade C/4 or Scottish National 5 at Grade C in English and Mathematics. 
Requirements
  • Be aged 16 – 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday)
  • Be a UK citizen or have dual UK/other nationality.
  • Commit minimum 3 years post Phase Two Training
  • Meet the health and fitness criteria
  • Pass the Defence Aptitude Assessment
  • Pass a Fitness test - Detail below

 

View all entry requirements >

Minimum Education Requirements
  • Have GCSEs at Grade C/4 or Scottish National 5 at Grade C in English Language and Mathematics.
Requirements
  • Be aged 18-54 Applicants must apply no later than age 54 and 9 months in order to attest before 55th birthday
  • Ex-Regulars and specialist entrants may be considered on a case by case basis
  • Be a UK citizen or have dual UK/other nationality
  • Commit 27 days per year
  • Pass the Defence Aptitude Assessment
  • Pass a General Fitness Test

 

View all entry requirements >

Reserve role locations
Reserve roles exist in specific reserve squadrons, which in turn are located at specific RAF bases. As you will not be resident at those bases (except on multi-day operations or exercises), geographic proximity to where you live is important. These are the bases where this role is active:
502 Sqn, JHFS Aldergrove, Co Antrim
600 Sqn, RAF Northolt, Middlesex
602 Sqn, Glasgow, Scotland
606 Sqn, RAF Benson, Oxon
611 Sqn, RAF Woodvale, Merseyside
CAREER, TRAINING
& EDUCATION
At any level or position your personal success is vital to make us succeed too. We are dedicated to your future, as it is essential to ours. You will receive basic and specialist training in your field and we even provide the option to pay for your education. The experience you gain with the RAF will equip you to work at the top of your field, both in the UK and overseas.
01
Phase one training
Basic Recruit training
white stopwatch icon for duration 10 weeks
white map-pin icon for location RAF Halton
Your career will start with the Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire.
02
Phase two training
Specialist training
white stopwatch icon for duration 10 weeks
white map-pin icon for location RAF Shawbury
The next step is the Air & Space Operations Specialist Course (ASOSC) at RAF Shawbury.
03
First tour
Specialist training
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
This is likely to be in the core roles of airspace monitoring at the Control and Reporting Centre or Mobile Radar Unit, Air Traffic Control, Station Operations or Area Radar.
04
Your career prospects
Ongoing development
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
After completing your first year of service, you will be eligible for promotion to Air Specialist (Class 1) provided you pass specialisation training and Profession Workplace Assessment.
05
Continued development
Ongoing training
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
You will undertake annual Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to ensure you build on your specialisation and Service knowledge.
06
Transferable skills
Ongoing training
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
Service as an Air & Space Operations Specialist (ASOS) will develop your resilience and personal skills such as problem solving, team work and communication.
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CAREER, TRAINING
& EDUCATION
As a reserve member of the RAF you are a valued and important member of the force. Your personal success is vital to make us succeed too and we believe training is an essential foundation to this. You will receive basic training, and specialist training in your field to prepare you for your role with us.
01
Phase one training
Basic Recruit training
white stopwatch icon for duration 23 days (split)
white map-pin icon for location RAF Halton
Your first steps with us will be your Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC).
02
Phase two training
Specialist training
white stopwatch icon for duration 3 weeks (split)
white map-pin icon for location RAF Shawbury
Your specialist training is split into two phases. Part 1 is a theory phase and part 2 is a practical phase.
03
Commitment
Your commitment to us
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
We ask that you commit to a minimum of 27 days each year with us. This will mean you can get the most out of your role as a Reserve, progress and provide value to us.
04
Ongoing development
Further development
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
You will have valuable personal development opportunities together with the chance to work around the world, gaining unique experiences in the process.
05
Transferable skills
Skills
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
Much of our in-house training is accredited or recognised by external awarding bodies.
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WHY JOIN
THE RAF?

Thanks to subsidised food, travel, accommodation and free gym you get more money in your pocket.

bar chart depicting difference in benefits value and salary vs civilian recruiter
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
WHY JOIN
THE RESERVES?

The skills you acquire as a Reserve won’t just prepare you for the RAF, they will enhance your work and civilian life.

 

You might be called up to assist with our operations worldwide for up to six months, during which you may be able to claim a pay award to cover your and your employer’s costs.

Benefits icon for Training
Training
Benefits icon for Free gym
Free gym
Benefits icon for Subsidised food
Subsidised food
Benefits icon for Paid pension
Paid pension
Benefits icon for Paid holiday
Paid holiday
COMMITMENT AND LOCATION

You will have to commit to 27 days per year for 12 years minimum. Each year includes a 15-day block for general RAF training, and 12 separate days for extra training or exercises.

 

You might be deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.

Female and male Cyberspace Communication specialists inspecting network traffic
WHAT HAPPENS
AFTER APPLYING
Joining the RAF takes several steps. Below is an overview of the process. The purpose of this process is for us to gauge whether you’re the right person for the RAF and for you to show us all of your skills and experiences that have made you who you are.
1
Aptitude test
2
Selection Interviews
3
Health Assessment
4
Fitness Test
5
Acceptance
6
Training
1
Aptitude test
Stage 1 of 6

The aptitude test has been designed to ensure you’re a good fit for the role you’re applying for. You’ll answer seven multiple choice sections which each focus on a different skill:

  • Verbal reasoning – use and interpretation of written information
  • Numerical reasoning – ability with basic fractions, decimals and formulae
  • Work rate – speed and accuracy of tasks
  • Spatial reasoning – how shapes and objects work
  • Electrical comprehension – working with electrical concepts
  • Mechanical comprehension – grasp of mechanical concepts
  • Memory – ability to remember information accurately

You can try the online practice test here.

2
Selection Interviews
Stage 2 of 6

Here’s where we get to know you a little better. You’ll get to showcase your skills and experience, and we’ll answer any questions you have about joining us. Your interview will take place at a local AFCO and cover the following topics:

  • Family life
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Special interests or hobbies
  • Interest in the RAF
  • Training
  • The role you’ve applied for
  • The RAF

You’ll be asked a series of standard questions, and you’ll be able to ask your own questions during the debrief afterwards.

Some roles require a second interview and/ or test to determine your suitability. These are normally conducted over a 1-3 day period at an RAF base where you’ll be able to see, and experience, the kind of environment you’ll be working in. Details about which interviews are relevant for you will be provided during the application process.

 

3
Health Assessment
Stage 3 of 6

You’re legally required to meet certain medical standards, and must pass an occupational health assessment to show you’re fit for military duty. As part of this assessment we will check your overall health, focusing on areas like hearing, eyesight and body mass index.

 

We’ll also investigate any past illnesses and screen for health issues that may prevent you from carrying out your role. Please refer to entry requirements below for more information about the health standards you’ll need to meet.

4
Fitness Test
Stage 4 of 6

A good level of fitness is critical to joining the RAF, it’s also something that must be maintained throughout your career. You’ll need to complete a Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFC). This will take place at a local gym, and includes a 2.4km run, push up test and a sit-up test.

 

The performance level you’ll need to meet differs by age and gender. Please refer to the entry requirements below for more information about the health standards you’ll need to meet. You can also find help, and a training plan, to assist you in your preparation here.

5
Acceptance
Stage 5 of 6

Once you’ve successfully completed each phase of the application process you’ll be invited to a provisional offer of service interview at your nearest AFCO.

 

This is to ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of service in the RAF, are fully committed to joining, and prepared to commence training.

6
Training
Stage 6 of 6

Basic Recruit Training


This takes place over 10 weeks at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. It will make you fitter and more confident. It will challenge you mentally and physically, and it will prepare you for your career with us. There are 6 phases:

 

  • Arrival - You’ll be sworn into the RAF and be given a service number
  • General Service training - You’ll learn about marching, drills, core values and our code of conduct
  • Initial Force Protection training - Fighting and survival in a military environment
  • Exercise Blue Warrior - 4 days in the field with real battle conditions
  • Force development training - Apply your skills in new environments with adventurous training activities
  • Graduation - Learn about what’s required in your first post and display your new skills.


What next?
Now you’re a fully-fledged member of the RAF you can receive role specific training.

ENTRY
REQUIREMENTS

You must be aged 16 – 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday)

Applicants must also read all of the sections below and make sure they meet all entry requirements before submitting an application. 

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

Have these minimum grades:

  GCSE pre-2017 GCSE 2017 and after Scottish national 5
Mathematics C Grade 4 C
English Language C Grade 4 C

You can see what the RAF accepts in lieu of GCSEs & A Levels here.

NATIONALITY & RESIDENCY

You must be a UK citizen or have dual UK/other nationality.

Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 5 years immediately preceding your application. However, candidates with a minimum of 3 years will be considered.

FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

You must be physically fit to complete both initial and specialist training, and to do your role effectively. To check your fitness levels, we put every candidate through at least two separate fitness tests as part of the application process.

The first of these is the Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT) which takes place at a fitness centre local to you. This consists of the following:

  • 2.4km (1.5m) run on a treadmill (set to zero incline)
  • Achieve the required number of press-ups - within 60 seconds
  • Achieve the required number of sit-ups - within 60 seconds

The second fitness test will take place at RAF Halton as part of your three-day Pre-Recruit Familiarization Visit (PRFV). This consists of the following:

  • Achieving the required score on the Multi-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT or Bleep test)
  • Achieve the required number of press-ups - within 60 seconds
  • Achieve the required number of sit-ups - within 60 seconds

How fit you need to be to pass these tests can vary depending on role, age and gender. The requirements are listed on the charts below (Men and Women).

MEN - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 11.39 9.03 20 35
17-29 11.11 9.10 20 35
30-34 11.36 9.04 19 32
35-39 12 8.09 18 29
40-44 12.26 8.03 17 26
45-47 12.54 7.07 16 23

 

WOMEN - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 13.54 6.07 10 32
17-29 13.23 7.02 10 32
30-34 13.47 6.08 9 29
35-39 14.13 6.04 8 26
40-44 14.48 5.08 7 23
45-47 15.19 5.04 6 20

You can see the protocols for Press Ups & Sit Ups here:

PJFT/PRFV Protocols

You can download an MP3 file of the Multi-Stage Fitness Test below, listen to the introduction file first:

RAF MSFT: Intro

RAF MSFT: Bleep Test

You can see a video demonstration of the PRFV Fitness Test here:

RAF PRFV Fitness Test

A 12-week fitness plan with detailed information to help you get ready for all of the fitness tests can be downloaded here.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

Candidates joining the RAF must be medically fully fit, both physically and psychologically, to meet the challenges of military service, during which they will be expected to deploy, potentially at short notice, to locations world-wide that are remote from established medical care. 

 

Certain medical conditions could preclude entry to the RAF. Further details can be found in this document. 

Before your application, please note that Body Mass Index Requirements are as follows: 

Age Male and female minimum Male and female maximum Male maximum with additional assessment Female maximum with additional assessment
18 + 18 30 32 32
16 to < 18 17 27 27 27

Calculate your BMI here 

 

Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew. 
 
If you are unsure about any health criteria, please continue your application and your eligibility will be assessed at the medical examination stage.  

 

During your application, the Medical Risk Assessment that all candidates undergo is there to make sure that you are healthy enough for the intense training required by the RAF. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information. 

BACKGROUND CHECKS

YOU MUST:

  • Declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
  • Check if you qualify under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 through this summary
  • Have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance
DISQUALIFYING FACTORS

YOU CAN'T APPLY FOR THE RAF IF YOU:

  • Have been or are a member of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence
  • Are waiting to appear in court, or have unspent convictions. You may also have to declare spent convictions for certain roles
  • Misuse drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits
  • Have tattoos, brands or bead implants that are obscene or offensive. 
    Any permanent or temporary tattoos, whether ordinarily visible or not, must not be obscene or offensive (eg, racist, anti-religion or belief, crude, overtly sexist, homophobic, drug related or of an extreme political nature). Tattoos may be worn on the side and back of the neck but tattoos on the back of the neck must not extend above the natural hairline (scalp tattoos are not permitted). 
  • Have body piercing which causes holes that do not close up
  • Declare yourself to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt

Beard Policy: A revised facial hair policy has been agreed by the Air Force Board which will allow serving personnel to wear a smart, neatly-trimmed, full-set beard whilst maintaining high standards of appearance. The length of acceptable beards is between Grade 1 (2.5mm) and Grade 8 (25.5mm). The wearing of beards during Phase 1 and Phase 2 training is currently under consideration and details will be advised when available

Must be aged 18-54. Applicants must apply no later than age 54 and 9 months in order to attest before 55th birthday. Ex-Regulars and specialist entrants may be considered on a case by case basis.

Applicants must also read all of the sections below and make sure they meet all entry requirements before submitting an application. 

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

Have these minimum grades:

  GCSE GCSE 2017 SNE
Mathematics C Grade 4 Grade 5
English Language C Grade 4 Grade 5

You can see what the RAF accepts in lieu of GCSEs & A Levels here.

NATIONALITY & RESIDENCY

You must be a UK citizen or have dual UK/other nationality.

Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 5 years immediately preceding your application. However, candidates with a minimum of 3 years may be considered.

FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

You must be physically fit to complete both initial and specialist training, and to do your role effectively. To check your fitness levels, we put every candidate through at least two separate fitness tests as part of the application process.

The first of these is the Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT) which takes place at a fitness centre local to you. This consists of the following:

  • 2.4km (1.5m) run on a treadmill (set to zero incline)
  • Achieve the required number of press-ups - within 60 seconds
  • Achieve the required number of sit-ups - within 60 seconds

How fit you need to be to pass the test can vary depending on role, age and gender. The requirements are listed on the charts below (Men and Women).

MALES
Age Limits 2.4 Km Run (Minutes) Multi-Stage Fitness Test (Level) Press-ups (Number) Sit-ups (Number)
15-16 11.39 9.03 20 35
17-29 11.11 9.10 20 35
30-34 11.36 9.04 19 32
35-39 12.00 8.09 18 29
40-44 12.26 8.03 17 26
45-49 12.54 7.07 16 23
50-54 13.27 7.01 15 20
FEMALES
Age Limits 2.4 Km Run(Minutes) Multi-Stage Fitness Test (Level) Press-ups (Number) Sit-ups (Number)
15-16 13.54 6.07 10 32
17-29 13.23 7.02 10 32
30-34 13.47 6.08 9 29
35-39 14.13 6.04 8 26
40-44 14.48 5.08 7 23
45-49 15.19 5.04 6 20
50-54 15.53 4.09 5 17

You can see the protocols for Press Ups & Sit Ups here:

PJFT/PRTC Protocols

A 12-week fitness plan with detailed information to help you get ready for all of the fitness tests can be downloaded here.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

Candidates joining the RAF must be medically fully fit, both physically and psychologically, to meet the challenges of military service, during which they will be expected to deploy, potentially at short notice, to locations world-wide that are remote from established medical care. 

 

Certain medical conditions could preclude entry to the RAF. Further details can be found in this document. 

Before your application, please note that Body Mass Index Requirements are as follows: 

Age Male and female minimum Male and female maximum Male maximum with additional assessment Female maximum with additional assessment
18 + 18 30 32 32
16 to < 18 17 27 27 27

Calculate your BMI here 

 

Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew. 
 
If you are unsure about any health criteria, please continue your application and your eligibility will be assessed at the medical examination stage.  

 

During your application, the Medical Risk Assessment that all candidates undergo is there to make sure that you are healthy enough for the intense training required by the RAF. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information. 

BACKGROUND CHECKS

YOU MUST:

  • Declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
  • Check if you qualify under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 through this summary
  • Have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance
DISQUALIFYING FACTORS

YOU CAN'T APPLY FOR THE RAF IF YOU:

  • Have been or are member of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence
  • Are waiting to appear in court, or have unspent convictions. You may also have to declare spent convictions for certain roles
  • Misuse drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits
  • Have tattoos, brands or bead implants that are obscene or offensive. 
    Any permanent or temporary tattoos, whether ordinarily visible or not, must not be obscene or offensive (eg, racist, anti-religion or belief, crude, overtly sexist, homophobic, drug related or of an extreme political nature). Tattoos may be worn on the side and back of the neck but tattoos on the back of the neck must not extend above the natural hairline (scalp tattoos are not permitted). 
  • Have body piercing which causes holes that do not close up
  • Declare yourself to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt

Beard Policy: A revised facial hair policy has been agreed by the Air Force Board which will allow serving personnel to wear a smart, neatly-trimmed, full-set beard whilst maintaining high standards of appearance. The length of acceptable beards is between Grade 1 (2.5mm) and Grade 8 (25.5mm). The wearing of beards during Phase 1 and Phase 2 training is currently under consideration and details will be advised when available

If you don’t have any of the above, you might still be able to apply. For more information please contact us.

APPLY
NOW
Got what it takes? Start your application here.
RAF Flight Operations Specialist in control tower with headset
APPLY
NOW
Got what it takes? Start your application here.
RAF Flight Operations Specialist in control tower with headset