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Dear Diary,

Published on 12 May 2020 at 12:00

A very good afternoon on this sunny day! I just got a call from a recruiter from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. We got a lot of information during our conversation. Due to Covid-19 the open days are cancelled, so I have an online webinar next Wednesday :). This same afternoon I am called back by Luke at 3:00 pm to see if I want to continue and am still so enthusiastic.

Luke - Royal Air Force - Recruiter
Corporal - Petty Officer Aircraft Equipment Engineering
Luke spent a day in the department at Gilze Rijen Air Base last February and shared her story with me from her perspectives.
The ranks for this position are as follows: Corporal, Noncommissioned Officer and then Officer. An officer is at HBO/WO level. Officer is also the highest rank achieved in this position. Personal development is a top priority at the Royal Netherlands Air Force. They even have a personal budget for this. You can use this personal budget for training and/or courses to get higher. If you stand out positively, you will quickly take steps.

Application procedure will go into effect as follows:
You apply via werkbijdefensie.nl > fill in the form online and press submit > you will then receive a confirmation via email. > After this you will have to send in your diplomas > questionnaire with 350 questions > invitation Amsterdam Psychologist > invitation Amsterdam for a whole day: fitness test, strength test, physical test, medical test and computer test = did you all pass this positively? > invitation to an interview with senior officers (appointment interview) > If you have passed this successfully, this is also an employment interview and you have been hired.

Due to Covid-19, this entire circuit will take about 2 to 3 months before this is even complete. Good to know, for the entire day in Amsterdam you must meet cluster 1 fitness. You can use the following schedules for this: Cluster 1 Defense Requirements  & Training Schedule Cluster 1.

Have you passed, been admitted and appointed? Then the real work begins, the military training is 9 weeks long in Woensdrecht, which is located in Zeeland. These 9 weeks will initially take place internally so that you can really bond with your colleagues and really entrust your life to the other person. After these 9 weeks, the training function starts, it is then no longer necessarily internal. The job training lasts 1 year and is related to MBO 2 work and thinking level. They do this because the Air Force indicates that they can get you in at this level and they will teach you everything you have to learn for the position in that one year. From moment 1 when you start the first 9 weeks in Woensdrecht, you will already be paid from moment 1 and you switch health insurance. The health insurance of a soldier is about € 60.00 net per month. And no deductible. Your gross salary per month from the day you start the 9 weeks is a lot lower, because you do not yet have an appointed rank. Your gross salary from the moment you start will be between 1400 to 1500 € gross per month. On top of this, there is still about 200 € because you do not pay the normal health insurance. When you start the job training you will also be able to be sent on exercises. For this you will receive various surcharges that will be added to that amount.

When you have completed the training function, you have been appointed as Non-Commissioned Officer Aircraft Equipment Technology. You will be directly linked to a helicopter or F16 and F35. The gross salary for this will be between 2100 and 2200 euros per month. On top of this you will receive all supplements, if you go on exercise you will receive supplements on top of your salary. If you start exercising, this can take an average of 1 to 4 weeks. Exercises will prepare you for the real thing. Eventually you will be sent on missions and you don't want to be sent on a mission unprepared. That is why the exercises are there. What is also very cool: the Royal Netherlands Air Force works together with the Royal Netherlands Navy. It is therefore possible that as soon as you have completed the training function, you will be linked to the helicopter that will accompany you on the naval ship during exercises and missions. And then you will also join the Royal Navy.

What exactly does this job entail? As an aircraft equipment engineering non-commissioned officer you are responsible for the necessary equipment of a pilot. For example, if you are coupled to an F16 or F35, you are working on tailoring the pilot suits, for example all suits must already be waterproof (you want to prevent that when the water is -10 and the pilot enters the water that the water directly enters his suit and the pilot becomes hypothermic and dies within minutes.) You are also designing a pilot's helmets, all of which must meet safety standards. Under a pilot's airplane seat is an emergency kit, this emergency kit consists of SOS pistol, food, first aid kit. A real survival kit. This kit must meet all standards, be completely complete because you don't want to send that pilot on the road with incomplete materials. You are also involved in the development of life jackets, ejection seats and weapons. Recently, the Royal Netherlands Air Force was deployed to fight the forest fires in Limburg and North Brabant, for this they used a Burundi bucket, this bucket hangs under a Chinook and can hold about 10,000 liters of water. And they used these to fight the forest fires. You are also working on this, such a bucket has to work correctly otherwise they will have problems and the fire will only spread further. All in all, this is a necessary but responsible job.

You will be sent on exercises several times a year. As mentioned before, an average exercise takes about 1 to 4 weeks. This is the great preparation for a mission. Because if you are well trained and well prepared, you will of course be sent on a mission. And these missions often take longer. For this position it is important that you have an affinity with technology. You will need to know what a crosshead means. It's okay if you don't know this either, but it's a technical position and an affinity with technology is beneficial. Next Wednesday (May 20, 2020) I have an online webinar. The open days will not take place in the coming time due to corona. Hence this online webinar, in the online webinar a subject specialist gives his/her story about the position, about the requirements, application procedure and you also have the opportunity to ask questions if you still have these for the position. I have now also registered for this online webinar and it will take place on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 between 13:00 and 14:00 h. If I have any questions before this time, I can always text, call or email Luke. After the online webinar, Luke calls me back around 3:00 PM to check if I still feel the same way, if I have any questions and if I want to apply yet. And I'm already sure about the latter, I'm definitely going to apply!

Posted on: 12-05-2020 

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