RLC- Air despatcher V Ammo Technician

Before I get told to bogoff, I am looking for some sound advice from those "within" the RLC............................my son wants to sign up early next year and is looking at the air despatch job. However whats the score from those doing it.....................We need to know !

Is the ammo technician job a good alternative or is it not.........................we need to know.

which board if not this one will be the best to post on...................any help would be appreciated.
This is the right board, if you can get anyone give you a sensible answer. I'm an Anmmunition Technician, so I'm biased, but that's also the one I'd recommend. I don't know what pay range AD people are on, but ATs are all on the higher range (except LCpls, but he won't be one of those for very long). The AT trade is being expanded, and we're short of sergeants, which is where ATs really start to do what we want them for, so promotion at the moment is staggeringly, indecently quick.

On the down side, there's a selection process to get through before technical training starts and the courses are long and hard. A fair amount of academic aptitude is required. And the downside of the quick promotion/undermanned thing is that he will be working very hard when is fully qualified until all the posts are filled, which will be a long, long way off.

Oh, and as a final clincher, we get to blow things up. Can't say fairer than that.
I have had the pleasure of serving as an Air Despatcher, granted it was some years ago but I really enjoyed it.
The basic course is not too long(used to be nine weeks) but is a hard course. It covers basic air loading which is loading vehicles on to aircraft, JCB fork Lift training, Helicopter Handling and underslung loads, sea survival and then onto the Air Despatch phase. The AD phase was quite demanding as you will rig loads and then install them into aircraft and then despatch them. There can be a bit of pressure put upon you as they run upgrading courses at the same time. The AD phase is the hardest part about the course, thats providing that you can pass the selection which has changed somewhat since I did the course.

If you dont get airsick and pass the cse thats when the harder work starts, but I will leave current Air Despatchers to tell you what the day to day work is like.

Pay wise, you get AD pay which goes up in stages depending on how long you serv. And you get to go away to lots of nice hot countries, im not talking Iraqbut you may go there, but Las Vegas, Norway (cold Country) Turkey, Cyprus , Falklands and many other places.

Hope this was of some help, Dont forget Its a while since I was there so things may have changed a little.

Air Dispatch = Glorified Baggage Handler
Ammo Tech = Glorified Bullet Counter


Air Dispatch = Flying around the world in C130.
Ammo Tech = Driving round the M25 on blue lights.


AD = Working with the RAF
AT = (Not) working with RE


AD = Pushing taxpayers' money off the back of a moving aircraft.
AT = Turning taxpayers' money into a flash of light, loud noise and puff of smoke.

Either way its what he makes of it.
First of all people...................thanks for the repy, and the laugh, Im sure it will still have him wondering what to go for though. Both posts sound interesting, and what might sway me for him is the sort of employment he wil be able to pick up on leaving , I fancy AT might be more employable seeing as there are bomblets/mines spread across the globe, with civvy folk scraping them up on big money.

again thanks for the reply.....................

If all else fails, imagine talking to a gorgeous lady and saying either:-

"Hi - I'm in Army Bomb Disposal"


"Hi - Can I carry your bag's Ma'am".

I cant believe how insulting to others trades you ATs are.

We all do a job thats part of the bigger picture, and we all fit in somewhere, some fit in better than others and some are required more than others.

And here it gets better..... I take my hat off to all those ATs/Bomb Disposal/ EOD be it RE or RLC you are needed more than ever with the threats form terrorist and all.

BUT to all those that sit in a BAD (or whatever they are called these days) counting bullets................. no im going to stop there, I aint going to sink that low.

What looks better Flying suit or Bomb Suit. (please ignore my lack of knowledge as far as AT technical term are concerned) Flying Suits pull chicks.

If all you base a whole career decision on is whether your suit (that no chick sees anyway) helps you pull - then no wonder you're a boring muppet. You probably tell the women you meet that you're SF anyway.....

If however you base that decision on Pay, Promotion Prospects, Responsibility, Great Job - working with great people and would like to have some awesome transferable skills when you retire to civvy street - then there is only one option to take. The last point being V important.

Not belittling AD'ers - but have you seen many recruitment ads in the papers for civvy Air Dispatchers? Thought not.............

Dear BD We both have skills that can be transfered to civ div. In these days of conflict /civil wars and natural disasters both are jobs can be utilised. There are millions of mines dotted around the globe waiting to blow some poor unsuspecting persons foot off. With natural disasters becoming more and more, civil agencies are taking on more of the disaster reflief that was a while back left to the military. Aircraft dont load/unload themselves.

If were going down the road of what skills we have after life in the green suit then there are lots of jobs in the army that have no use in civvy street.
Totally agree - but the question was Ammo Tech v Air Dispatcher........... and there can be only one sensible option if you're looking past how Gucci your suit looks and 'pulling chicks' and on towards a full career and beyond.

I think you'll find you've upset all the AD personnel by saying they 'load/unload' aircraft... 5 pound an hour baggage handlers at Heathrow do that... I think the skills of the AD'er are worth a bit more than that! But my point was, that AD'ing in the strict sense of the trade is a very military art and not one that lends itself to civvy street that easily. Of course they have other attributes that will stand them in good stead - but who else apart from the military (maybe UN) 'unload' their aircraft when it is still flying? Not many NGO's have aircraft capable of AD'ing - so I think you'll find that job is still left to the military.

At the end of the day - this young lad should do what flicks his switch and if he wants to take into account his future career options - then all the better.... but there's nothing worse than someone who is stuck in a job they don't like and whinge & moan about it all day.... isn't that true JBB??

Bomb_Doctor said:
jonny_bored_bollox said:
...................there are lots of jobs in the army that have no use in civvy street.

Please name some........
That of course depends on one's definition of "civvy street". If yours doesn't include: working for the MoD as a civvy, working as a contractor in a f***ing dangerous country or instructing those that do.... then its only your generic skills that will be of use.

I'm not sure that under those conditions bomb-doctoring is of any more use than air dispatch, infantry, tank driver etc...

Its all in the CV writing:

1993-1996 = Strapping boxes to a pallet and pushing them off a plane.


1993-1996 = Strategic air delivery practitioner, manager and planner.
I`m not entirely sure that the rantings of those that should know better will have endeared he who asked the question. Air despatcher, though interesting, has an entrance test; it consists of doing the bleep test with heavy boxes.

The AT selection also has an entrance test, it consists of a lot more and requires a reasonable level of intellect, or it used to.

Whilst chugging along in a Herc must be good for sh*ts and g*ggles in the short term, the AT trade has far more potential. You must though take that with a pinch of salt; if he who wants to join can`t tie his shoelaces and gets confused when parked at the traffic lights, he'll probably get more from the air despatchers trade. AT trade is good if you do well and fairly dull if you fail to inspire!
OK - genuine question for the Air Despatchers out there, which will reveal my ignorance of other trades - so please don't rip me into too many shreds for that. Is AD a trade in its own right - ie you join just to be an AD dude, or is is it a derivative of one of the driver trades, in the same way that Tk Tptr is? I only say driver because I know it was an RCT trade before the great melting pot was boiled up.
What ever he decides to do he'll have a laugh. I would steer him towards the AT trade (but I'm biased too)

I transferred into the trade a few years ago and it's the best move I ever made. The first couple of years as an AT can be boring but once you get to SNCO then stand by it's a right chuckle.

I'm now going back in my box.
you'r not an AT then Jonny? hey there's still time. Don't be jealous and transfer. You know and we know its the best thing!!!
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
L Juniors 1
D RLC 15
Golfer RLC 20

Similar threads

Latest Threads