ASTOR Flight Crew

Discussion in 'Int Corps' started by MemecTrupit, Jul 9, 2009.

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  1. My first post - hope this is the right place, so here goes...

    I m thinking of joining either the Int Corps (1st choice) or as an RAF image analyst (2nd choice) at the end of this year, as I would really like to work in the Int business. I went to Waddington Airshow at the weekend and met somebody from the Int Corps who said they flew on the ASTOR jet (they werent making it up because they were behind the barrier in front of the ASTOR). If I joined the Int Corps would I be able to fly? Could I join and fly right away or would I have to do something else first? Is there anybody on this forum who could tell me what its like because I didnt get long to talk at Waddington.

    Thanks very much, sorry if this is in the wrong place.

  2. It would be years before you could fly, you'd need to be at least a Sgt to go aircrew unless you joined as an officer. You can't train as an IA straight out of phase 2, so at best it would probably be towards the end of your first tour.
    Even with the RAF now, they are now training more like our analysts, all source reporting, though IA is something they will still specialise in more.
  3. I'm not falling for that old trick Hibs Bez :p
  4. Memec

    I was told by a mate on V (AC) that the Int Corps are losing some air slots as they can't man them. One slot already given to a shipmate and a couple to RAF aircrew.
  5. it's been known :D

    alternatively, as a corporal with your relevant promotion courses complete, you could attempt pilot selection and sit in the fun end instead. oh, and get your sergeant out of it if you're successful :)

    p.s. think somebody's fishing lol
  6. Ultinately you would be allowed to be part of the flight crew of the ASTOR as a AIA. However, you would need to complete 1 tour (2 years) within a regular MI Bn, be found suitable for, and pass the Imagery course. Other posters here are correct that you would also need to be of SNCO rank, and be found suitable, and pass the aircrew selection tests.

    That is a long way down the line. IA (and in that I mean Watchkeeper, Hermes, Pred (Reaper), ASTOR and JARIC) remain a Corps priority, and will in time see numbers increase. I do not think that the AIA jobs are tied to the Corps (though I have on occasion been proved to be wrong...)
  7. Did he have an explosive device wired to his wallet? :lol:
  8. The jet is SENTINEL R1, the jet and groundstation are the ASTOR system. There are no tied slots, but RAF protectionism ensures that very few people put forward for the AIA slot get through aircrew selection, let alone the AIA course.

    IA's, once trained are posted straight to the unit to serve as IA's on the ground stations, there is a shortage of them Defence wide, there isnt a shortage of AIA's, given that many RAF Weapons Officers are pusing to fill slots.

    The RAF also ensure that Army have to go through aircrew selection, despite other Army units operating in more demanding aircraft environments with their own unit selection.

    It would be far better to disengage the ground stations from the RAF CoC and put them under Army command, and co-locate with the air platform, that way the ground stations would be able to be deployed more independantly. That is how the US operate - (army CGS not joint location)

    RAF CoC blocked deployment of ground stations until the SENTINEL was ready to deploy, to protect the program as they saw it, despite it also blocking utilisation of capability for ground commanders, resulting in US assests being utilised elsewhere.

    Joint units really dont work out the way they are planned to.

    In short, dont join the Army to be and AIA, you wont see that for a very long time, if ever, as other posters have indicated.

    Oh and CO 5 (AC) is supposed to be rotational, anyone seen the Army's turn?
  9. or perhaps it is "aircrew selection" itself which means that few get through aircrew selection? 60% of males fail the aptitude tests and 90% of women. (before anyone calls me a misogynist pig, i'm just the messenger lol)

    if it wasn't selective / difficult, it would be called "aircrew anyonecancomein" :D
  10. Have they sortedout the flyingpay/brevet issue for the army AIAs yet?
  11. Thanks for the replies so far.

    Still a bit confused. What is an "AIA"?

    Why can you apparently fly as a pilot as a corporal but you need to be a sargent to be a IA?

    If I join the Int Corps as an officer can I can fly in the ASTOR right away? On other threads it says officers are managers and the troops do the work, so what are officers doing on the ASTOR?

    Papa_L - what do you mean by "other Army units operating in more demanding aircraft environments" - are there other jobs in the Army where I could fly as an IA?
  12. Oh, and another thing - no-one has told me what it's like to be an ASTOR IA (the jet not the ground station) yet, is there anyone on this forum who knows? Are you one, Papa_L, you seem to know a fair bit?

    Thanks, Memec
  13. Were they wearing a flying suit and eating a doughnut?...
  14. lol - no doughnuts, but flying suit, yes. There were two of them but I only got to speak to one. All she really said was that there were lots of opportunities as an IA in the Int Corps, including flying on the ASTOR jet. She also said that RAF IAs only specialise in imagery, whereas the Int Corps do everything. There was also some trucks near the jet which apparently wer a ground station, although they just looked like ordinary trucks to me lol! Didn't see anybody there not in a flying suit...
  15. Or perhaps its the concept that to operate a terminal on the back of a civ buisness jet the RAF insist on choosing the personel, where as to operate at high altitude with the aircraft de-pressurised the Army is trusted to select its own people, leads to the concept that an artifical obstacle has been created to keep the SENTINEL back end as light blue as possibe?

    It was not my suggestion that aircrew selection itself is at fault, merely that its application in this case is done to serve another aim.