Force Protection – RAF Regiment Gunner

Opportunities across the UK

Level 2 Apprenticeship HM Forces Service Person

Start Date: Oct 1, 2021

Closing Date: Oct 1, 2021

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Provide combat support to deployed air operations anywhere in the world – fighting on the ground to ensure control of the air


  • The ability to undertake a wide variety of specialist Force Protection roles throughout your career.
  • Work alongside the full spectrum of RAF aircraft whilst protecting them at home and abroad.
  • Part of a highly-motivated team with opportunities to participate in overseas exercises, Adventurous Training and developing personal qualifications.


The RAF Regiment is a highly-specialised force with responsibility for providing Force Protection to enable and support air operations. Specialists in ground combat operations, the RAF Regiment contributes to the defence of RAF airfields in the UK and overseas, Forward Air Controlling, ceremonial duties and support to Special Forces operations.

As a RAF Regiment Gunner, you will become a specialist in dismounted close combat tactics, fieldcraft and how air operations are conducted. You will learn to operate a wide variety of weapon systems including individual weapons through to machine guns and anti-tank systems as well as an impressive array of state-of-the-art surveillance systems designed to help you locate the enemy and stop them from interfering with air operations. Additionally, there are opportunities to learn how to operate and employ a range of armoured vehicles required to enable rapid mobility to protect RAF assets.

Within your first few years, you will almost certainly be deployed on an overseas operations or exercises to locations including Canada, Cyprus, Middle East and Africa.


The qualifications and experience you will gain as a Gunner are valuable to civilian life – 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.



Your career will start with a 10-week Basic Recruit Training Course at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you will also learn about the RAF lifestyle.


Upon successful completion of Phase 1 you will move to RAF Honington, Suffolk. Here you will complete your specialist Gunner training course (Phase 2) which will last for approximately 20 weeks. You will be taught how to operate and use weapons in a professional manner and learn how to survive and fight in all environmental conditions. The course includes navigation, dismounted close combat tactics, field craft and physical training. RAF Regiment training is a test of character, determination and your will to succeed. By the end of the course you will be at peak physical fitness and have learnt to operate effectively regardless of the environment. In order to give you the confidence to overcome any situation you may encounter whilst on operations, the training is deliberately tough.


You will be enrolled onto a National Level Apprenticeship, HM Forces Service Person (Public Services). Prior to starting your first squadron tour you will spend a further period undertaking specialist employment courses which include driver training and further advanced weapon training.


Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work Intermediate Apprenticeship in HM Forces. HM Forces Service Person – Public Services (Uniformed). Level 1 & 2 Functional Skills qualification in English and Maths if not already acquired. Driving qualifications as required. As your career progresses on successful completion of promotion courses you will achieve:

  • DAO Level 2 award in Leading Individuals and Teams.
  • DAO Level 3 Certificate in Leadership & Management Principles.
  • DAO Level 4 Certificate in Management.


As your career progresses, we will continue to train you in new skills. There will be opportunities to learn specialist combat medical skills, undertake management and leadership training, NVQs, GCSEs and A levels. 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 Endurance Training Leader.


For your first tour you will be posted to an operational RAF Regiment squadron located within the UK. Here you will consolidate your training and form part of the teams responsible for providing Force Protection to RAF assets at home or deployed on operations or exercises.


After completing one year’s total service you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman, providing you pass a Trade Ability Test. Further promotion to the rank of Lance Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection. Like most people in the RAF you will move jobs every few years and each job is known as a tour. There are a wide range of jobs available to an RAF Regiment Gunner including Forward Air Controller; Support to Special Forces and Instructional and ceremonial duties.


A Modern Force: The RAF recognises the value of a person’s ability no matter their ethnicity, social background, religion or belief, gender identity, sexual orientation or marital status/civil partnership.

Age: 16 – 47* *Must attest before 48th birthday. (If you are under 18 years of age, you will need consent from a parent or guardian before you apply however you may commence your application from 15 years and 9 months).

Qualifications: You will undertake Functional Skills (FS) qualifications in English and Mathematics during your Phase 2 specialist trade training course at Level 1.

Nationality: You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth.

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

Selection: After passing the Airmen Selection Test and medical, you will attend the Potential Gunner Selection Course (PGSC), a 3-day suitability assessment at RAF Honington. You will be expected to complete a number of tests. PGSC contains the following:

  • Swim Test – The assessment is a 100m swim followed by 2 minutes treading water then exit the pool unaided.
  • Press Ups/Sit Ups – This test is Age and Gender fair. The physical standards for each are to RAF Green Standard
  • Multi-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT) – This test is Age and Gender fair. The physical standards are to RAF Green Standard.
  • RAF Regiment Applicant Selection Test (RAST) • 2 Km/1.25 mile run: PTI led 500m warm up to be completed within 5 mins. Followed by the 2km/1.25 mile individual best effort test. Candidates are to complete this test in 9:30 minutes or under.
  • Medicine Ball Throw: Complete a throw of a Medicine Ball weighing 4kg, in a seated position, to a distance of 3.1m. Candidates are allowed 3 attempts only. The best scored is to be recorded. All throws count as an attempt – there are no practice throws. The test is complete once a candidate achieves 3.1m or uses all 3 attempts. Candidates will be graded Pass/Fail.
  • Static Deadlift: A Mid-Thigh Pull (static deadlift) of 95 kg. Candidates are allowed 3 attempts at this test and the best score will be recorded. The first pull is a range finder/practice.
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