No. 1 Radio School RAF

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Number 1 Radio School is based at RAF Cosford and forms part of the Defence School of Communications and Information Systems.


The unit pre-dates the formation of the Royal Air Force and its roots can be traced back to the Royal Flying Corps School for Wireless Operators which formed in 1915. Originally known as No. 1 Signals School, on 1 January 1943 the school was renamed No. 1 Radio School.

It was based at RAF Locking between 1950 and 1999 when it was disbanded to form part of Number 1 School of Technical Training at RAF Cosford. It was reformed on 2 April 2003 and incorporates the Aerial Erector School at RAF Digby. More details of its history are available on this page of the Cranwell Apprentices Association web site.


ICT Technicians are responsible for maintaining and repairing a wide range of complex systems, from long-range search radar to aircraft mission and ground support systems, airfield navigation aids to local area networks. The training delivered at no 1 Radio School enables graduating technicians to begin their RAF Careers in any one of these tasks.

Upon completion of training, students graduate as ICT Technician holding the rank of Leading Aircraftman, (LAC), and could find themselves working on an airfield, in an underground bunker, office or workshop. ICT Technicians also provide technical expertise in support of Modern RAF Aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, MQ9 Reaper and Lightning II.


After up to 11 weeks of recruit training at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire, you will undertake a 52 week specialist training course at No. 1 Radio School, RAF Cosford, near Wolverhampton. This course will prepare you for your first tour, giving you relevant skills and experiences ranging from radar and radio principles to network administration and security. You'll also be trained in health and safety, and in the skills needed to deploy and maintain the RAF’s communications systems and information networks. The final phase of training is consolidated in a "signals unit" environment, taking and implementing skills learnt over the last 52 weeks into the field.


No. 1 Radio School is a Microsoft- and Cisco-accredited academy, and the training you will receive is recognised by a wide range of civilian employers and backed by transferable qualifications. As an ICT Technician, you will be enrolled on an Advanced Apprenticeship in Communications Technologies during your specialist training. You'll go on to the BTEC National Award in Communications Electronic Engineering/Technology at Level 3 and you’ll also be able to start the Communications Technology Professional Level 3 NVQ, which can be completed in the workplace during your first tour.