A job as a RAF Supplier
Corporal Pauline Logan is a supplier in the RAF. She is currently responsible for ensuring aircraft have whatever is needed to keep them operational. Supplies can vary from clothing to fuel.
When did you join the RAF?
When I was 17, I visited the careers office one day while shopping and was hooked. It seemed a good opportunity to train and be paid at the same time.
What does an RAF supplier do?
I order whatever items are needed – we call it 'demanding' items. They could be anything from food or clothing to aircraft parts.
How do you deliver the goods?
I have to locate the item on the RAF central computer system which shows me where it is located throughout the world. After allocating the urgency of the item, I organise and arrange for it to be transported on site, either by rail, road or air. I have to track the progress of the order and account for it at different stages of delivery.
What other jobs have you done in supply?
I've worked at RAF Ascension, refueling Tristars. It takes two hours to refuel them. I tested the fuel, too, and cleaned and filtered it.
In Italy, I was supporting units in the Balkans, supplying Harriers and making sure they were serviceable. We had 20 aircraft to look after.
What do you like about the job?
The fact that it is not a routine job. You never know what challenges will arise. You are doing a job for real and seeing how your actions, and how well you do the job, affect other people. Being in the RAF has given me confidence. I can now go anywhere in the world and even if I don't know anyone, I can start a new job and settle in straightaway.
What have been the benefits for you?
I've really had a chance to make something of my life. I spent some of my teenage years in foster care. The RAF has given me a good job, a roof over my head and meals as well as free medical and dental care and a great social life.
What's the best thing about being in the RAF?
There are so many! I love the travel. As well as Ascension Island and Italy I've been to Turkey and Singapore. I am looking forward to more overseas postings. I feel really supported in my career. The RAF has encouraged me to develop my abilities and gain qualifications. And they recognise and reward you too. I won a commendation in 2002 for working on my own initiative without a corporal or sergeant supervisor for four months – it was a proud moment.
Pauline's RAF Supplier tip
- Swot up on your languages as there is plenty of opportunity for travelling.
Becoming an RAF Supplier
- Suppliers undertake basic training, followed by a course in management, logistics and information technology skills.
- Personnel management, stock control, freight and air movements, and the management of fuel, explosives and technical equipment are just some of the areas addressed in training.
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