RN Jobs



Royal Navy: NA (Survival Equipment)

Job Profile

These days, safety in the air and at sea isn't just left to chance. The young men and women who fly, and work in today's sophisticated aircraft and ships have a need for a variety of survival equipment and practical survival skills to meet the world-wide commitments of the Naval Service. The responsibility for the co-ordination and training of the personnel who maintain and repair all of this equipment in the Royal Navy is that of the Survival Equipment specialisation.

As a Survival Equipment Rating, you will be one of a small team of skilled personnel, who have been specially trained to look after the wide variety of survival equipment used by the Fleet Air Arm and ships at sea. This includes lifejackets, parachutes, life rafts, survival packs and emergency signalling devices such as radio beacons and distress flares. Protective clothing including immersion suits, flying helmets, oxygen masks and emergency breathing apparatus also requires to be maintained.

Whilst based at a Naval Air Station, on an aircraft carrier or as a member of a sea-going squadron, it would be your job to carry out regular maintenance checks, repairs and repacking procedures, all of which are vital to ensure that the equipment will work correctly. As with any lifesaving equipment, it must work first time, for there may not be a second chance. The Survival Equipment Rating carries a big responsibility.

Civilian Qualifications

Your chosen career as a Royal Navy Naval Airman (Survival Equipment), will prepare you for much more than internal promotion. This includes obtaining civilian qualifications as well as giving you an exciting and varied career in the Service. City & Guilds certificates in Survival Equipment Maintenance and Management are awarded after completion of Leading Hands and Petty Officer Qualifying Courses.

Professional Training

After initial Basic Training at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint, Cornwall, you will move on to your professional training where you'll be taught all of the basic procedures…how to pack equipment such as parachutes, life rafts and survival packs…how to store them and how to test and repair them. What's more, you'll learn how to work fast without sacrificing attention to detail. The training also shows you how each item is used, as well as covering all aspects of survival drills including underwater escape from helicopters.

Courses at the Air Engineering and Survival School tend to be small, which means that you'll get a fair amount of individual instruction and help in all subjects. The requirement to accurately record data is also introduced early on as the basis for practical work. This isn't just more paperwork. These days more and more information technology is used. It is essential to have a record of all equipment…when it is used…when it was repaired…when it was last checked; just like maintaining a car, only with very much more at stake.

Confidence comes from practical experience, so the final stage of training takes place on-the-job. At a large Naval Air Station you'll see most types of Naval Aircraft at work. Over a period of five months you will gain first-hand experience of the survival equipment needed for each aircraft type, from ejection seats for the Sea Harrier to sea survival equipment used in helicopters.

Additional Training

Your first Naval job also marks the last stage of your formal training – at least as far as your main trade is concerned. It consists of On Job Training, (OJT), where you will complete as many different tasks as possible. On completion of the Task Book, (which enhances your core skills), and completion of the minimum required time, you will be advanced to Naval Airman (Survival Equipment) First Class.