Ready for action?

Whatever you are joining as, recruit training will challenge you mentally and physically. However, experienced instructors will be on hand to help guide you through. We’ll teach you important military skills, including how to fire a weapon and live in a field environment. You’ll also learn more about the RAF and the different roles we carry out around the world.

The most important thing you must do before starting basic training is to get fit – as fit as you possibly can. The main reason that recruits drop out of basic training is because of injuries caused by lack of fitness. The fitter you are when you arrive, the easier training will be for you.


Training takes place at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire and lasts for 32 weeks, including two weeks’ leave.

Non-Commissioned Aircrew (NCA)

Training begins with up to 11 weeks at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. This is followed by 10 weeks of leadership training at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. For Non-Commissioned Air Traffic Controllers, this is followed by a six-month specialist air traffic control course at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire.


With the exception of RAF Regiment Gunners, basic recruit training for all airmen/airwomen takes place at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire and lasts for up to 11 weeks.

RAF Regiment Gunner

RAF Regiment Gunners’ training takes place at RAF Honington in Suffolk and lasts for 29 weeks.