Fitter Recruits

The Royal Air Force is set to see fitter, more robust airmen emerge from basic training following a shakeup of the fitness policy at RAF Halton.

Prior to joining Recruit Training potential airmen attend a Pre-Recruit Training Course where they collect their boots, sit exams in basic and functional skills and take the RAF Fitness Test. What has changed is that they must now pass the RAF Fitness Test to the full standard instead of achieving 70% as before. If would-be recruits fail to make the grade they must wait at least 6 months before re-applying.

This increase in joining fitness standard has led to the removal of the Pre-Conditioning Course which was aimed at all females and unfit males to prepare them for the rigours of military training. Ensuring applicants achieve the fitness standard before joining means there is no longer a need for such conditioning. Perhaps the most important change is the addition of elements focussing on robustness and resilience. Approximately 30% of the physical training recruits undertake is now made up of Battle PT, loaded marches and tackling the Obstacle course which should develop an airman toward coping with the physical rigours of deployment.

Sergeant Danny Batson from the Recruits Gym said: “Recruits entering the RAF now are much fitter which gives us a better starting point from which to improve them further. Their robustness and resilience is also improving with the new lessons.” Wing Commander Darren Moss, Officer Commanding Training Wing added: “The standards have been gradually increased over the past 15 months allowing us to phase in more robust training. We can now focus properly on preparing recruits for the rigours of Service life including Operations.”