FTS | 55 Sqn
Introduction | 55 Sqn History | Navigator
[Airman Aircrew Training]
No. 55 (Reserve) Squadron
Airman Aircrew Training
INITIAL TRAINING COURSE
All Airmen Aircrew students first undergo the 12-week Airman Aircrew
Initial Training Course on No 55(R) Squadron at No 3 Flying Training
School, RAF College Cranwell. The course aims to accustom direct entry
recruits to Service life, to teach all aircrew cadets the basic skills and
knowledge, and provide general Service and character development training
which will enable them to enter specialist training as smart,
well-disciplined and responsible SNCO airman aircrew.
General Service Knowledge
Drill and Ceremonial
Ground Defence Training
Oral and Written Communications
General Service Training
Teamwork and Crew Cooperation
On completion of this course, the students are awarded the rank of
acting sergeant and progress to initial specialist training.
WEAPONS SYSTEMS OPERATORS
The Weapons Systems Operator (WSOp) Course is divided into 2 phases.
The common phase lasts for 28 weeks and is primarily concerned with
establishing a firm academic grounding in areas such as mathematics,
electronics and communication procedures. Survival training, simulator
exercises and flying make up the practical element of this phase. On
completion of the common phase, the students are streamed into one of 2
specializations: WSOp(EW) or WSOp(ACO). WSOp(ACO) or acoustic operators
concentrate on underwater detection systems during their specialist phase
of training, which lasts 18 weeks. The non-acoustic operators, or WSOp(EW)
are responsible for communications and the operation of electronic
warfare, radar and magnetic anomaly detection sensors. The specialist
phase for the WSOp(EW) lasts 27 weeks and includes a 4 week advanced
flying phase. In total it takes 46 weeks to train a WSOp(ACO) and 55 weeks
to train a WSOp(EW). Having completed the course, the new WSOp is awarded
their brevet. Graduates are then posted to the Nimrod or the E3-D to
commence operational conversion.
The Air Engineer (AEng) Course is of 46 weeks duration and is divided
into academic, flying and synthetic phases. The academic phase includes
fundamental theory and a thorough grounding in airframes, engines and
aircraft ancillary systems. The students practise elementary systems
operations in 13 exercises flown in the Dominie aircraft where they learn
the practical aspects of airmanship and aircraft operations. Advanced
systems training is carried out in the Air Engineers' Procedures Trainer
during 6 weeks of intensive synthetic exercises. On graduation, the AEng
student is awarded the 'E' brevet. The graduates may be posted to either
Hercules, Nimrod, VC 10, Tristar or E3D Sentry aircraft.
The Air Loadmaster (ALM) Course is divided into 2 phases. The basic
phase lasts 8 weeks and includes elementary aircraft systems, the
principles of loading and restraint, weight and balance, passenger and
cargo handling, survival techniques and international air transport
regulations. They also undergo a survival exercise, attend a one-week
Specialist First-Aid Course and visit flying stations to experience a
taste of operational flying on both fixed and rotary-winged aircraft.
Having completed the basic phase, the students are streamed into either
fixed or rotary-wing training according to requirements and aptitude. They
spend a further 3 weeks expanding on the basic subjects with consideration
to specialization, covering any additional subjects according to role.
Fixed-wing students remain with 55(R) Sqn to complete a 5-week flying
phase. On completion of initial specialist training, students begin flying
under supervision at RAF Lyneham or RAF Brize Norton for fixed-wing
aircraft or No 2 FTS RAF Shawbury for rotary-wing aircraft. On completion
of training, the ALM student is awarded the 'LM' brevet and may be posted
to Hercules, Tristar, VC 10, Puma, Wessex or Chinook aircraft.