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FAA Warfare ASW Aircrewman Q and A.

#1
If you have any questions on the ASW Aircrewman branch please post them here. I can't guarantee that we will be able to answer all questions but we'll certainly attempt to. Please use all the usual resources available first, but we appreciate not all the answers are out there on http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk
Please seek advice from the AFCO for any recruitment specifics.
 
#4
Just been chatting to one of the ex crabs at work and his Granddad was a Observer on Swordfish during the war.

He heard that he may have ditched during the war a would have been entitled to join the Goldfish Club. Anyway he got in contact with a Cdr at Culdrose and this is the reply he received:


A bit more detail to follow but delighted (!) to report that your grandfather was a Goldfish - indeed a DOUBLE Goldfish!!


Both were on 813 NAS. 25 Apr 1941 ditched, rescued by SS MATHURA and taken to Aden.



19 May 1942, Swordfish V4499 ditched on ASW patrol ahead of Fleet, rescued by HMS WESTCOTT!

The poor chap was also torpedoed on two occasions!!!
Think his name was Albert :)



http://www.thegoldfishclub.co.uk/
He was obviously some-ones uncle !
 
#5
Anyone have any information regarding the promotion ladder for ASW Aircrew?

I’ve been spun a lot of dits about it, such as the fact that Aircrew seem to become Commodores within 30 seconds of entering the AFCO (unfortunately this wasn’t actually true).

When do they jump up to Killick (or acting) and are they actually becoming PO’s on completion of phase 2 training as I’ve been told?

Any info is much appreciated!
 
#7
Sorry for the later reply, thought I’d replied to this already.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/-/medi...s/reference-library/br-3-vol-1/chapter-81.pdf

Promotion details at the link. To summarise, the Training pipeline should now get an Aircrewman ASW fro Raleigh to Wings, Acting POACMN in 2 and a half years. Acting LH whilst under flying training.

Most do make Commodore, but that takes a bit longer.
:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

I was torn between liking and funny. (I'm a failed Commodore. (I was slightly higher at CPOAcmn).)
 
#8
Great thread - Any info on length of deployments and how often for aircrew in ASW? Would they join a destroyer on a 9 month tour for its entirety? AFCO doesn't have much info on this side of things..... Cheers
 
#9
Great thread - Any info on length of deployments and how often for aircrew in ASW? Would they join a destroyer on a 9 month tour for its entirety? AFCO doesn't have much info on this side of things..... Cheers
In short - yes. You will be deployed to a front line squadron, (Usually 2 years or more), and deploy at the Navies discretion. Could possibly be in excess of 9 months. Not uncommon for a ship returning from a 9 month deployment to be re-tasked if no other ship is available. For example, a rescue operation, humanitarian aid. Your life is never written in concrete. Flexibility is the name of the game.
Times have changed and moved on. But I was in the UK, (not necessarily at home) for 56 days in 1986. A while ago and ships tend not to deploy for so long these days. BUT!!!!! Expect the worst.
 
#10
Firstly I’d say the tasking is highly varied, do not think that the role of an ASW Acmn is just ASW, far from it. Secondary roles now feature highly in the tasking. Expect to be either deployed on QE/P of W on 820 SQN when not at Culdrose. 814 SQN have some slightly different UK based secondary role tasking now alongside ASW and will also take over the Type 23 flights.
 
#11
Oh I forgot. Ask your AFCO about an acquaint course, they are available and will get you a visit to Culdrose. Alongside an opportunity to fly, you will also get face to face with the aircrew to ask your questions. Some of which can’t be answered on here.
 
#12
I've been offered Aircrewman in the RN, and WSOp in the RAF - Never thought I'd get offered either. Obviously need to make a decision deciding my future career. Anyone have any particular advice? The way I see it - Pros of Navy: Living in Cornwall (love it), working on rotary aircraft with a lot of winching experience (post military SAR really appeals to me). Cons - The Navy isn't the flying force, the RAF is. Seems a heck of a lot of time spent at sea (I would like somewhat of a family life, and with being away so much how much time will I get to live in my beloved Cornwall?!) and I genuinely haven't met anyone who has had a happy career in the Navy - just my experience though.

RAF Pros - Range of aircraft with multiple roles to work on giving more experience for careers post service, the RAF is the flying service, I know multiple people who have enjoyed an RAF career, seems like more flying time - will rack up flying hours quickly, RAF seem to be treated better? Or is this just a stereotype. Cons - may not be streamed on helicopters (Although Puma and Chinook fleets are increasing).

Any advice anyone? I'm obviously aware this is a Navy forum! I've been on the Aircrewman visit to Culdrose and I'm being put on the WSOp one to Cranwell, which will hopefully give me the best comparison I can get.
 
#13
You say the Navy (RN) isn't the flying force, well no, but the Fleet Air Arm is. There are very few non flying jobs for Aircrewman.

Have the people you have met actually had careers? If so, it's a shame and a surprise they stayed so long when they weren't happy. We're they Aircrewman? Most, if not all Aircrewman I know that have left Liked, if not, Loved their time in. They all left for different reasons, as people do in most jobs. They've all gone on to be successful in second careers as well, most in aviation related jobs. Some left after 15 years or so, others full careers of 22 and the remainder beyond 22, so something must have been right.

RN vs RAF is a tough decision that only you can make but gather all the information and talk to the right people. Especially on the WSOp famil and get their views on both rotary RAF and RAF fixed wing. What about the army?

As for going to sea, your deployments as an Aircrewman may be less than general service but expect this to change with QE and P of W. Personally, I think this is a good thing, my best career times have been at sea and most would say the same. Currently amongst the more junior sailors (non aircrew) that I talk to, they are disappointed that they are not getting away on detachments and deployments more often. Come next year, with QE deploying I think they'll find what they been missing. Which are run a shores, preferably somewhere warm with a nice beach!

Flying and operating embarked is different, maybe more challenging than from ashore even for non pilot aircrew. Having experienced fixed wing MPA flying, even on a busy ASW sortie I was bored in an hour or so and was happy when the 6+ hour sortie came to an end. For me it wasn't the same as tactical mission flying in a Merlin, it lacked the thrill and excitement that I'm used to on that type of sortie. It was very comfortable though, nice and warm and they had a toilet. I couldn't comment on Chinook or Puma forces, I expect it's pretty good but no more than flying Merlin in CHF.
Finally don't get caught up thinking more flying hours will help in a subsequent career, probably quality flying exceeds quantity.

As well as choosing based on logic and location, career prospects etc don't forget to select on fun. If there's no fun you probably made the wrong choice. Good luck and more than happy to answer any further questions.
 
#14
You say the Navy (RN) isn't the flying force, well no, but the Fleet Air Arm is. There are very few non flying jobs for Aircrewman.

Have the people you have met actually had careers? If so, it's a shame and a surprise they stayed so long when they weren't happy. We're they Aircrewman? Most, if not all Aircrewman I know that have left Liked, if not, Loved their time in. They all left for different reasons, as people do in most jobs. They've all gone on to be successful in second careers as well, most in aviation related jobs. Some left after 15 years or so, others full careers of 22 and the remainder beyond 22, so something must have been right.

RN vs RAF is a tough decision that only you can make but gather all the information and talk to the right people. Especially on the WSOp famil and get their views on both rotary RAF and RAF fixed wing. What about the army?

As for going to sea, your deployments as an Aircrewman may be less than general service but expect this to change with QE and P of W. Personally, I think this is a good thing, my best career times have been at sea and most would say the same. Currently amongst the more junior sailors (non aircrew) that I talk to, they are disappointed that they are not getting away on detachments and deployments more often. Come next year, with QE deploying I think they'll find what they been missing. Which are run a shores, preferably somewhere warm with a nice beach!

Flying and operating embarked is different, maybe more challenging than from ashore even for non pilot aircrew. Having experienced fixed wing MPA flying, even on a busy ASW sortie I was bored in an hour or so and was happy when the 6+ hour sortie came to an end. For me it wasn't the same as tactical mission flying in a Merlin, it lacked the thrill and excitement that I'm used to on that type of sortie. It was very comfortable though, nice and warm and they had a toilet. I couldn't comment on Chinook or Puma forces, I expect it's pretty good but no more than flying Merlin in CHF.
Finally don't get caught up thinking more flying hours will help in a subsequent career, probably quality flying exceeds quantity.

As well as choosing based on logic and location, career prospects etc don't forget to select on fun. If there's no fun you probably made the wrong choice. Good luck and more than happy to answer any further questions.
Everything MD said. I'm ex RN Aircrewman. Loved every minute. Do it again? Without doubt.
Anything I didn't like? Yes!! Having to leave the RN when I did. It was transitioning from Sea Kings to Merlins.

Big decisions ahead for you - but for me - its a no brainer. However, I'm biased by experience. Dark Blue through and through.
 
#15
Mark Dip & Waspie - thank you for the replies, some great information. How long have you been in for? What sort of deployments did you do and for how long? I think my biggest dilemma is time away. I'm perfectly fine with being deployed for a length of time, but as I said, I do want a family life of sorts outside of the service. Contacts in the RAF have told me, depending of which way you are streamed, that you realistically won't be sent away for more than 6 months in a year, and that includes training as well as deployments. In the Navy, being away for 9 months+ to then go away on another deployment for a similar amount of time doesn't do it for me. Is this a regular thing? Or for aircrew is it scaled down a bit.
Really appreciate you taking the time to reply to these questions. As you can imagine, it really is a life changing decision.
 
#16
If you go Merlin, there are three types of deployment you can expect: "small ships flight"; capital ship flight and duty TAPS style stuff.

The small ship's - actually T23 flights - will join their nominated ship for the workup and deployment. As a guide, and if you're doing a nine monther, you can expect about 10 months away, but nearly three months of leave with that.

I have a vague idea of what the Carriers will be doing: between four and six months away, and you'll get decent time at home when she's alongside.

The Duty TAPS (the UK's national response to Russian SMs being dicks) is a lot more variable, and can be the biggest type of thrash going. But, it's your core job, and you'll be one of a handful of people who are actively protecting our nation against the Russians (and it's a genuine threat we're against).

Deployments are great fun, and you'll learn loads about lots - self, team, how to do your job, what the RN is about etc.

Don't forget that as you promote to PO and then CPO you'll tend to move from frontline roles to instructional roles back in Culdrose (and elsewhere). With 820 NAS back on the carrier though there will be sea going jobs upto WO ACMN.

Whilst I understand your concern about deploying, trust me, it is fun, and it's where you learn most and quickest!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#17
For ASW expect to go to 814 or 820. Spend 2 to 3 years front line. 814 UK based tasking with some short detachments within UK and Europe, embarked and ashore. 820, QE SQN deploying next year for further trials. Most deployments embarked are generally 2,3 maybe 4 months but could be up to a maximum of 9 months. Sounds a long time but when you consider opportunities to fly your partner out to where you are for a 1-2 week catch up with you, then it's not so bad. That could be the States, the Caribbean or the Gulf it could be further afield. I have done this several times. Don't forget you'll also be accumulating more money whilst deployed, check online for allowances. Post front line you may become an instructor which will mean your won't deploy operationally for 3 years or more. There is a cycle that you could get into which would go front line SQN and back to 824 the OCU but there are several other options as well

There is life outside of the service whilst in the service and plenty of family time available. Some of my civvy friends see their children far less than I see mine, due to their commute to work and long hours. I've never lived on a married patch by choice and most of our friends aren't military. The RAF and Army currently have many of their family accommodation/married quarters inside the fence, which personally I have always considered a bit odd and I think looking at the new Future Accommodation plan, all 3 services are shifting to a more integrated housing model and limited/no married quarters.

How long have I been in, long enough to give you a balanced opinion of the pros and cons. Is it for everyone, no. Are some better suited to the RAF, yes, but unfortunately grading doesn't grade on someone's ability to be a matelot. Hopefully on your acquaint at Culdrose and your future visit to Cranwell you'll be able to realise from the characters that you meet, where you'd most like to spend a good few years of your life.
 
#20
As for home life. I did 24 years. 15 as aircrewman. I have been happily married for some 44 years now so I guess a relationship can work. It helps having the right partner. One that understands the absences. My wife didn't altogether like the time apart but she realised the long game. Life after the RN.
Like everything, life is what you make and put into it. Being honest with your partner I found to be the best ingredient for longevity.
Good luck. Life as a RN Aircrewman is about the best job as a rating your likely to find. In my era, many changed from their parent trade TO Aircrewman, few if any changed back. That alone speaks volumes.

(Always remember - pilots are simply provided to take YOU to and from your place of work.) Oh yes!!! And to sign things!!!
My experiences are too dated to add regards the actual job today and deployments. Mark Dip is current so provides pukka info!