DRIVER AIR DESPATCHERRoyal Logistic CorpsSoldierPrepares stores, equipment and vehicles for despatch by air and despatches cargo and vehicles from aircraft
Driver Air Despatchers prepare stores, equipment and vehicles for delivery by air, which involves dropping them by parachute while the aircraft is airborne. As a member of the air despatch crew, your job is to use aircraft safety equipment, carry out aircraft emergency drills and jettison/evacuation procedures. In addition, you are trained in survival techniques, marshalling of helicopters and how to ‘hook up’ underslung loads. You may also have the chance to become a Parachutist.
The Right Job For Me?
Applicants should be alert, physically fit, conscientious and with a keen eye for detail. Reasonable knowledge of mathematics is an advantage. Air Drivers need to be robust, enjoy flying and be the type of person able to work independently or as part of a team.
What Skills Will I Learn?
First aid and all aspects of aircraft safety procedures.Able to assemble automatic load extraction systems for parachuted loads.Tailor loads from operational support to famine relief.Gain an HGV (Category C+E) licence.
What Training Will I Do?
Initial trainingYour military career will start with 23 weeks at the Army Technical Foundation College (ATFC) Winchester in Hampshire. You will learn military skills such as foot drill, how to handle and fire a weapon, how to live and work in the open and how to tackle an assault course, as well as developing your stamina and fitness. You will be stretched further than you thought possible and toughen up both physically and mentally. In addition to your military training you will take part in an education package, adventurous training (climbing, abseiling and similar activities) and sport. Although the training at ATFC is hard work, you will remember it for the rest of your career as a soldier, and at the end of it all you will take your place in the Passing Out parade in front of an invited audience of parents, relatives and friends.Further training Driver training takes place at the Defence School of Transport at Leconfield in East Yorkshire. This training, which is self-pacing, lasts up to 11 weeks and includes Driver RLC Class 3 employment qualification and a Category C+E licence, plus ADR Certificate. Class 3 Standard: Trained in the use of mechanical handling equipment, lashing and tensioning techniques, the assembly of automatic load extraction systems for parachute loads and a variety of methods to manually despatch cargo from the Hercules aircraft. This specialist training takes 11 weeks and is broken down into the following phases:Material Handling Equipment Phase (MHE) (one week).Air Loader Phase (one week).Air Despatch Phase (seven weeks).Medium Stressed Platform Basic Rigger and Installation Crew Member (two weeks).Sea Survival Course (three days).Helicopter Rigger/Marshaller Training (two days).Class 2 Standard: As for Class 3 but in addition has more experience, including at least 20 flying sorties dropping parachuted loads. This includes:Capability of carrying out tasks without detailed supervision.Obtain a rigged platform checkers certificate.Rigging abnormal loads for air drop.Able to supervise Class 3 Air Despatchers in the absence of the Crew Commander.The course is intense and challenging, and requires an individual to display determination and dedication to pass. Candidates must be flexible and willing to work long hours in sometimes arduous conditions. Training does not include time spent on leave, recess duties or adventure training. Every graduation of Class is accompanied by a rise in pay and responsibility.
What Qualifications Could I Get?
Soldiers trained as Air Despatchers can be posted to Helicopter Support Units or indeed any other RLC unit in the Driver role. As a non-commissioned officer (NCO), you have additional supervisory responsibilities according to rank. Perhaps you have ambitions to be a Corporal as a Despatch Crew Commander
- If you become a Sergeant or Staff Sergeant, you may be qualified as an AD Instructor (QADI). Qualifications as a Warrant Officer ranked at Master Air Despatcher (MAD) are also on offer.
Soldiers are encouraged to improve their Driver qualifications to gain promotion on the Driver employment role should they fail to be selected for senior promotion as Air Despatchers. Upgrading to Class 2 is by a written test after a minimum of one year Air Despatch experience. Promotion prospects to Junior NCO are very good. Promotion to Senior NCO and Warrant Officer is by selection for a limited number of vacancies. Additionally, all Air Despatchers must maintain their Driver trade qualifications.