Air & Space Operations Specialist

Job Description

Air & Space Operations Specialists (ASOS) work across 3 Employment Pillars; Air Operations Support, Air Operations Systems and Space Operations providing specialist skills across a variety of Employment Areas.

All ASOS roles are directly involved in aviation or space in support of aircrew, UK homeland defence or airfield operations utilising modern radar, communications and IT systems. You may be operating from hardened Command and Control Centre, an Operations Room or Control Tower. You could also work in field conditions as part of a deployable unit or onboard a Royal Navy Air Defence ship.

There are opportunities for a varied career which may include working in Air Traffic Control, the Space Operations Centre, Airspace Management, Tactical Data Links and Squadron Operations to name but a few. As an ASOS you will be a member of a highly skilled and in demand specialism as part of the next generation Royal Air Force.

Throughout your career you may be required to serve overseas on detachment as part of your role for a number of months or as a full time posting to certain locations. Your duties will be similar to those at your home station but will be demanding with opportunities to work with other professions, services and nations in an operational environment contributing to security of UK overseas territories and UK.


  • The coordination of airspace for military and civilian aircraft
  • Monitoring and identifying all aircraft within UK airspace including assisting in the scrambling of Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon jets
  • Keeping watch for foreign missile launches and monitoring foreign surveillance satellites
  • Management of aircraft mission planning systems and aeronautical data



Your career will start with a 10-week Basic Recruit Training Course at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you’ll also learn about the RAF lifestyle.


The next step is the 5 week Air & Space Operations Specialist Course (ASOSC) at RAF Shawbury. You will be taught the basic theory required to operate at your first frontline Unit. On successful completion of the course you will be promoted to Leading Aircraftman and receive your first assignment.



During your specialist trade training, you will be offered the opportunity to enrol on a Level 3 IT User Skills Diploma Apprenticeship. Within this apprenticeship your training will focus on the professional elements of Flight Operations.


You will undertake annual Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to ensure you build on your specialisation and Service knowledge. We will continue to train you in new skills, and you will have the opportunity to serve broader specialisation and wider RAF roles. As your seniority grows and you move up the ranks other roles will be available to you. These include training and recruitment duties or a role working for NATO. Training never stops and there will be a wide array of courses to enhance your skills and competency levels.



This is likely to be in the core roles of airspace monitoring at the Control and Reporting Centre or Mobile Radar Unit, Air Traffic Control, Station Operations or Area Radar. During this assignment there may be opportunities to move to another Employment Area on unit for your personal and professional development.



After completing your first year of service, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftsman (AIR SPECIALIST (CLASS 1)) provided you pass specialisation training and Profession Workplace Assessment. Following your first assignment you will be assigned to another station either within the UK or overseas. As an AIR SPECIALIST (CLASS 1) the majority of specialisation Employment Areas will be available to you through further specialist or workplace training as required. This could be supporting a variety of aircraft platforms such as F35 Lightning, E7 Wedgetail, P8 Poseidon or Remotely Piloted Air Systems. You may be employed in the Space employment area, either at the National Air and Space Operations Centre or RAF Fylingdales. As an ASOS you could be employed in support of either Air Command or UK Space Command. Further promotion to Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection for established vacancies. To be eligible for promotion you should undertake assignments across multiple Employment Areas or Pillars. If successful, to prepare you for Non- commissioned Officer (NCO) service, you will attend leadership and management training at the Aviator Command School. Upon reaching Sergeant you will be re- mustered as an Air & Space Operations Manager (ASOM).



Service as an Air & Space Operations Specialist (ASOS) will develop your resilience and personal skills such as problem solving, team work and communication. The leadership and management training in addition to the qualification offered as part of your ASOS specialisation training, are as valuable in civilian world as they are in the RAF. Meaning that whenever you decide to leave the RAF, you will be well placed to find another career.