Air Operations 20190528-PUB790_AirOperations - Page 13

“ THE VARIETY OF DIFFERENT ROLES WITHIN THE AIR OPERATIONS ( SYSTEMS ) OFFICER SPECIALISATION IS WHAT ATTRACTED ME TO THE RAF .”
ON THE JOB AEROSPACE SURVEILLANCE OFFICER
SAM
Sam is a Flight Lieutenant specialising in Surveillance . Currently working as the Operations Officer on 49 ( Inkerman ) Battery , 16 Regiment Royal Artillery – a joint RAF and Army unit – he is responsible for the planning and execution of the Battery ’ s mission , to provide air situational awareness to Land Commanders .
“ 49 Battery is a deployable unit held at very high readiness to support Land forces whether on exercise or operations . We carry this out by
providing a Recognised Air Picture ( RAP ), where everything airborne within our area of operations is identified , be that friend or foe . This allows the Land Headquarters ( HQ ) to decide how to respond to any potential threats to friendly forces . My day job is extremely varied , one day I can be in barracks planning an exercise , the next day I can be in the field commanding a number of radars and air picture nodes over a Land Brigade ’ s area of responsibility to ensure the commander receives the RAP . As a deployed Surveillance Director , I advise the HQ on how best to achieve air situational awareness to inform deployed Air Defence and Intelligence assets . Away from barracks I have also been heavily involved in NATO activity ,
recently returning from Lithuania delivering a Short-Term Training Team to the Lithuanian Air Force Air Defence Battalion . Prior to my current role I have worked at the Control and Reporting Centre at Boulmer as an Identification Officer , gaining Combat Ready status and deploying to the Falklands Islands . I was then posted on exchange to the Royal Navy on board HMS ILLUSTRIOUS . As a Battle Watch Director , I worked with embarked forces and external commands to advise on battle management requirements and data link operations to ensure we could land the amphibious landing force as effectively as possible . During this period , I deployed to Norway , Spain , Ireland , Denmark ,
France , Germany , Albania , Italy and the Mediterranean . I have also been an instructor at the School of Aerospace Battle Management , instructing Phase 2 Surveillance students and commanding the Basic Trade Training Flight responsible for instructing ASOS ( AS ) trainees . The variety of different roles within the Air Operations ( Systems ) Branch is what attracted me to the RAF . There are few other jobs like this where you get to be involved in such fast-paced , interesting roles and have the opportunity to take part in so many sports and adventurous training activities ”
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