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RAF Regiment Gunner

currently open

The facts

Job description

You’ll use the latest weapons, infantry tactics and surveillance to protect the RAF’s aircraft, people and bases.

Category

Regiment

Pay after training

£17,485

Joining age

16 - 35

Similar civilian jobs

  • Parachuting instructor
  • Outward bound instructor
  • Security guard

Usual service

9 years

Nationality

Citizen of the UK or the Republic of Ireland, or a Commonwealth citizen since birth

Open to

male

Qualifications you need

None

Qualifications you can gain

Apprenticeship, including Intermediate Apprenticeship in HM Forces

Residency

Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the five years immediately preceding your application.

All candidates must meet a minimum weight of 60 kg.

The type of person we are looking for will enjoy sporting activity, the outdoors and being challenged physically.  We are looking for fit, determined and robust young men to join a fighting organisation that operates in all environments, in all weather conditions and at all times.

To be eligible for selection for a career in the RAF Regiment there are a number of minimum criteria that you must meet.

The job

Please note as of 13/01/2012 you will need to have a minimum weight of 60Kg to be able to apply.

Join the RAF as a Gunner and you’ll be joining a specialist infantry unit, trained and equipped to defend the RAF’s aircraft, people and bases.

Since its formation in 1942, the RAF Regiment and its ‘Gunners’ – as they are known – have seen action around the world, including most recently Sierra Leone, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.

As a Gunner, you’ll receive specialist training in infantry tactics and weapons, from pistols, rifles and light machine guns, to mortars, anti-tank missiles and heavy machine guns.

As the RAF Regiment needs to operate 24 hours a day in any weather, you’ll become skilled in the use of the latest night-vision aids and other surveillance equipment.

Gunners need to be able to drive a variety of vehicles, quad bikes and motorbikes – so if you don’t have a driving licence you’ll earn one in training.

Please note: You can apply to be an RAF Regiment Gunner when you reach 15 years and 9 months of age. Applicants will then be eligible to undertake the Potential Gunners Selection Course (PGSC) from age 16.

RAF Regiment training is tough. We’ll build up your fitness and teach you essential skills such as shooting and how to live and fight in the field. Later, you’ll learn to use more advanced weapons and tactics.

You’ll also do your driving test if you don’t already have a licence and you’ll be awarded an NVQ.

To prepare you for combat operations our training will take you all around the world on exercises to places like Belize, Canada and Cyprus.

As a Gunner, you could specialise in some of the RAF Regiment’s other roles:

  • Become a paratrooper serving on 2 Squadron RAF Regiment or other parachute-capable units.
  • Serve on the Queen’s Colour Squadron, carrying out ceremonial duties including guarding Buckingham Palace, as well as your normal operational role.
  • Become a sniper – an expert in camouflage and marksmanship.
  • Be part of a unit specialising in detecting and protecting against chemical or biological attack.
  • Train as a member of a Forward Air Control team, calling in strike aircraft and helicopters in support of ground troops.
  • Work in support of Special Forces operations.
  • Work as part of a small team to recover downed aircrew or other key personnel.

For more information about the RAF Regiment, go to www.raf.mod.uk/rafregiment.

I do this job

RAF Regiment Gunner

Gavin Honeychurch
RAF Regiment Gunner

‘The RAF Regiment is like no other trade in the RAF, there’s a pride and competitiveness that’s a part of everything we do.’

My role

‘The RAF Regiment is responsible for the force protection of RAF air assets; this means the planes, the personnel and the air base itself.

‘Right now I’m working on the RAF Regiment Presentation Team where we travel to schools raising awareness about the RAF Regiment. We bring along adventure kit like a climbing wall and military training simulator – it’s basically a rifle range in an articulated vehicle.’

My day

‘If I'm not out at a presentation, I’ll usually start with sorting out the adventure kit from the previous day, checking the harnesses and helmets, that sort of thing. I also send information about any leads onto the AFCO [Armed Forces Careers Office]. The kids we chat to can be anything from eight years old right up to college students, so there’s quite a bit of potential for attracting new recruits.

‘In the afternoon I’ll go for a run and then hit the gym afterwards. If there’s a few of us we’ll book the AstroTurf for a game of five-a-side; it usually gets quite competitive!’

My experiences

‘The Gunner training course was really challenging; I knew it was going to be quite arduous, but it was absolutely mind blowing. It’s a progressive training programme, but it’s daunting to think “my god, I’m going to have to do a 10 mile run at some stage, with weights and all sorts!”

‘I enjoyed my deployment in Kuwait. We patrolled the border between Kuwait and Iraq making sure both stayed on their own side. It felt good because you’re putting your skills to the test. The one thing training doesn’t prepare you for though is the heat! You don’t really notice it until you get off the plane, you step out and it’s like “my god, that’s hot, that!’’’

My life

‘The friendships here are like nothing I ever felt on civvy street. You work together, you fight together, you go on Ops together. We’re responsible for each other’s lives, so you bond in a really strong way.

‘I’ve been to Wales a few times to do adventurous training, also Germany and America. I’ve tried parachuting, hill walking, canoeing and sailing. My last trip was to the south of France where I did a bit of wakeboarding.’

Training

Initial Training

Like everyone in the RAF, you will start your career with a period of training.

The initial training for RAF Regiment Gunners is a course lasting 32 weeks held at RAF Honington in Suffolk, the home of the Regiment and a place to which you will return with fond memories over the course of your career.

You will be taught how to handle and fire weapons in a professional manner and learn how to survive to fight in all environmental conditions.

The course includes navigation, infantry tactics, fieldcraft and lots of physical training.  You will make friends for life and will get to know some of them better than you know your own family.

RAF Regiment training is a real test of character, determination and your will to succeed.  By the end of the course, you will be at peak physical fitness and have learned to operate effectively regardless of the environment you are in.

The training needs to be hard to give you the confidence to overcome any situation that you may encounter whilst on operations. You will also complete your apprenticeship, including an NVQ Level 2 in Policing and Security Services as well as Key Skills.

Once you have completed initial training, which can include learning to drive, you will receive your first posting.

Combat training

RAF Regiment training is tough. We’ll build up your fitness and teach you essential skills such as shooting and how to live and fight in the field. Later, you’ll learn to use more advanced weapons and tactics. You’ll also do your driving test if you don’t already have a licence and you’ll be awarded your NVQ.

To prepare you for combat operations our training will take you all around the world on exercises to places like Belize, Canada and Cyprus.

Specialise

As a Gunner, you could specialise in some of the RAF Regiment’s other roles:

  • Become a paratrooper serving on 2 Squadron RAF Regiment or other parachute-capable units.
  • Serve on the Queen’s Colour Squadron, carrying out ceremonial duties including guarding Buckingham Palace, as well as your normal operational role.
  • Become a sniper – an expert in camouflage and marksmanship.
  • Be part of a unit specialising in detecting and protecting against chemical or biological attack.
  • Train as a member of a Forward Air Control team, calling in strike aircraft and helicopters in support of ground troops.
  • Work in support of Special Forces operations.
  • Work as part of a small team to recover downed aircrew or other key personnel.

Your first tour

For your first tour, you will be posted to an operational RAF Regiment squadron in the UK. Here you will consolidate your training and specialise in all the tactics, weapon systems and surveillance equipment to ensure that our overseas flying bases are protected from enemy actions. You will train hard with your mates and then be proud to serve alongside them with the confidence of knowing that you are working with the best.

Ongoing development

As your career progresses, we will continue to train you in new skills, particularly different weapons systems.

There are opportunities to learn specialist combat medical skills, undertake management and leadership training and complete GCSEs, A-levels and more advanced NVQs.

In addition, you will have the chance to gain qualifications in adventurous sports such as mountaineering, rock climbing, skiing, sailing and canoeing and for you to lead training as an Enhanced Team Leader.

Your future

Career prospects

You will initially join the RAF for a period of nine years.

After a year, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman, providing you pass a trade ability test.

Further promotion to the rank of Lance Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection.

Transferable skills

The qualifications and experience you will gain as a Gunner are also valuable to the civilian world – which means that whenever you decide to leave the RAF, you will be well placed to find a new job.

As you move up the ranks, you will gain a great deal of practical management and leadership experience, which you can develop into related civilian qualifications.

Gunners who have left the Service have started their own businesses or joined the police or other emergency services.

We will give you the confidence to succeed in whatever you choose to do. 

Apply now

Call us on

0845 605 5555

  • Mon-Fri8am to 8pm
  • Sat9am to 6pm
  • Sun10am to 4pm
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