HC Deb 02 March 1994 vol 238 cc786-7W
Mr. Bill Walker

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how long it takes to train RAF skilled airframe and engine fitters; and how many years' experience is required before they reach the rank of sergeant and flight sergeant.

Mr. Hanley

The trades referred to are now known as engineering technician airframe and engineering technician propulsion. Trade training is by a combination of some 131 weeks of various technical courses and a period of one to two years of productive service.

Promotion to sergeant and flight sergeant is by selection on merit to fill establishment vacancies. There is an intervening rank of chief technician for which promotion is also by selection on merit. The length of time taken to achieve promotion to these ranks varies from year to year depending on the number of establishment vacancies and the level of competition.

Mr. Bill Walker

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give details of the number of RAF skilled people working in training and support roles who will be required immediately to join active duty squadrons in the event of a war.

Mr. Hanley

It would not be appropriate to comment on the detailed reinforcement capability of the armed forces.

1969 1979 1989 1994
Aircraft Squadrons Aircraft Squadrons Aircraft Squadrons Aircraft Squadrons
Lightning F3/F6 60 5 24 2
Phantom FG1 22 2 29 2
Phantom FGR2 30 3 16 1
Phantom F4J 10 1
Tornado F3 35 3 80 6
Total 60 5 76 7 90 7 80 6

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