RAAF reduces recruit and officer initial training times

Australia’s newest aviators will receive a modernised and streamlined introduction to the Royal Australian Air Force starting this year, with both 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU) and Officer Training School (OTS) revamping their Initial Military Training (IMT) courses.

CAPTION: Proud recruits march onto the parade ground at 1 Recruit Training Unit at RAAF Base Wagga Wagga. Story by Squadron Leader Matt Kelly. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Katharine Pearson.

The 1RTU initial recruit course has been shortened from 11 weeks to nine, and the OTS Initial Officer Course (IOC) has been reduced from 17 to 14 weeks.

Commanding Officer 1RTU Wing Commander David Borg applauded his team’s efforts and said that while the initial recruit course now had fewer training days, the quality of graduate will not change.

“The team has worked tirelessly to produce a new program that achieves the learning outcomes of the previous version and holds 1RTU in good stead to increase training capacity over the coming years in accordance with the Australian government’s strategic intent,” Wing Commander Borg said.

He noted that while the course was shorter overall, some components received greater focus in the new program.

“One of the more challenging aspects of the course is meeting RAAF physical-fitness standards,” Wing Commander Borg said.

“The team recognised this and added more physical training sessions while keeping the summative assessment in the same week as the previous program.”

Commanding Officer of OTS Wing Commander Garth Herriot also praised the work of his team and highlighted the benefits of the new course.

“The revision of the IOC has provided the opportunity to question how we develop our people, focus on approved learning outcomes and identify efficiencies within the course,” Wing Commander Garth Herriot said.

“As an IMT school, our mission is not to produce a complete workforce package, but rather, deliver a solid foundation for resilient, fit-for-purpose war fighters who have the ability and drive to develop further through workplace engagement, specific employment training and the professional military-education framework.

“Further, the restructuring of the course reduces the duplication of training for commissioning aviators, minimising their attendance and providing personnel capability back to the Royal Australian Air Force.”

The new versions of the courses will be trialled in the first part of 2023, after which feedback will be invited from key stakeholders before they receive final approval.


EDITOR’S NOTES: The Australian Army reduced it’s recruit training from 12 weeks to nine several years ago, but eventually reverted to a 12-week program after much upheaval and complaint from up-line units and formations. Will RAAF follow suite? Taking bets now 😉
Of course, each of Army’s changes/reversals was accompanied by a positively-spun press release, as though no error was made in the initial change. I will of course remind you of my prediction when RAAF reverts 🙂


The above report originally contained zero references to “Royal Australian” or RAAF  – an ‘error’ corrected by CONTACT. See here why we think this matters.






8139 Total Views 4 Views Today

4 thoughts on “RAAF reduces recruit and officer initial training times

  • 01/03/2023 at 3:25 pm

    My son enlisted yesterday and we also have a friend who used to be in the team in Adelaide that did the training. So it will be interesting to see how their discussions go on old verses new in 9 weeks time. Fingers crossed.
    We did have a guess at a few things that may have been dropped off. One of them being certain components of ceremonial drill.

  • 16/02/2023 at 9:16 pm

    I see first hand the quality that is coming out and it is disappointing. They are entitled and believe everything should be spoon feed to them.

  • 13/02/2023 at 12:30 pm

    It takes time to move from a civilian to a military mind-set. Drill is about training the collective mind to work as a team towards a certain goal. The same with uniform, kit and barracks inspections. Yes those things might be unfashionable today, but they are necessary. Unfortunately every now and again some new brains trust comes along who has forgotten the lessons of the past.

  • 12/02/2023 at 10:07 am

    I’m sure the Air Force can accept the risk of less drill in exchange for clawing back a few weeks at point of entry. Well beyond time to make the change


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *