View Full Version : RAFFT:- Goalpost change.


Yozzer
7th Aug 2012, 13:50
The goalposts associated with RAFFT have changed in line with elements of it which are/were untenable.

Those in their last 12 months of service will no longer have to complete RAFFT as there is little point in completing MAA administration at that point.

Those employed worldwide not as part of a formed unit insofar as PTI facilities are restricted/unavailable are exempt. This includes all USA postings. *There is a list of countries, but it appeared that 'Planet earth' would have saved much paper.

The cynic in me believes that these changes are being made in order to enhance future statistics in acceptance that certain things either cannot be overcome or are difficult to defend in redress. The briefing note is out now, the effective date is if I recall 1 Sep 12.

That'll be two less fitness tests to do then :ok:



Canadian WokkaDoctor
7th Aug 2012, 14:05
That makes me feel much better, as I ignored the fitness test and GDT in my last 18 months in the RAF (actually I didn't do GDT for the last 2 years in the mob) however that was 3 1/2 years ago, just before the intoduction of the twice yearly RAFFT.

CWD

Wensleydale
7th Aug 2012, 14:15
Those in their last 12 months of service will no longer have to complete
RAFFT as there is little point in completing MAA administration at that
point


The PEd section refused to find my leaving service clearance chit because I was due a 6 month RAFFT during my terminal leave! With just 2 days left in uniform, a visit to see their FS was needed to ensure that I got their signature. Common sense, for once, prevailed.

Canadian WokkaDoctor
7th Aug 2012, 14:18
Well, it helped that I was at a lodger unit at an RNAS Station - no-one cared, least of all me!

CWD

dctyke
7th Aug 2012, 14:34
Looking at some of the 'light blue' on the TV recently I sometimes wonder if there is another parallel RAF that does not have to pass a fitness test...........

VinRouge
7th Aug 2012, 14:37
Prob more to do with the number of pti's they laid off in tranche 2.

Those employed worldwide not as part of a formed unit insofar as PTI facilities are restricted/unavailable are exempt. This includes all USA postings. *There is a list of countries, but it appeared that 'Planet earth' would have saved much paper.

Does this include the AT force? Get in mah Belly!

Willard Whyte
7th Aug 2012, 15:14
Certainly worked for me CM.

I probably could have passed it, but I never felt the need to run to my aircraft, that's what a crew bus was for. Although often walking was quicker.

Al R
7th Aug 2012, 15:44
I ignored the fitness test and GDT in my last 18 months in the RAF (actually I didn't do GDT for the last 2 years in the mob)

I CCS'd a pilot in the early 90s and then gassed him again, a couple of tours later. Aforesaid person, by now an OC Ops, duly presented his green card to me. I was the last person who had seen it.. 10 years earlier.

Good effort. :ok:

LateArmLive
7th Aug 2012, 17:55
It never ceases to amaze me how many people who aren't in the RAF have an opinion on the RAFFT.

Willard Whyte
7th Aug 2012, 17:57
24 days to go, my opinion of the test hasn't changed since I joined up, and won't after the day I leave.

Kengineer-130
7th Aug 2012, 19:01
I was informed that with 5 weeks left in the RAF that I HAD to complete my CCS & fitness test before leaving :ugh::rolleyes:.

I booked the dates for a week after my final day ever, and got my leaving chit signed by the Regiment & PT.... I would have loved to hear the conversation between the Regiment/ PTI & my old Flt Sgt when the inevitable "where the :mad: is SAC xxxxx?" :ok:

wg13_dummy
7th Aug 2012, 19:26
It never ceases to amaze me how many people who aren't in the RAF have an opinion on the RAFFT.

And it never ceases to amaze me how many people who are in the RAF winge, whine and have a coronary just at the thought of the RAFFT.

CM, Also, never good to run as an Officer...it panics the troops.
7th Aug 2012 15:44

What troops?? Most crab officers are in charge of nothing more than their bowel movements!

Willard Whyte
7th Aug 2012, 19:30
The 'esteem' I had for the folk who ran the raf gymnasiums was cemented during my first days a Cranditz after we were forced to paint our trainers white.

Singing 'let's do the timewarp again' after the staff said "to the left with a jump" always went down well too.

Managed to get out of a few x-country runs at Finningley by getting my mates to tell the staff I'd been chopped. Scheduling ped first 2 periods in the morning followed by 2 free periods before lunch? Get real, I always needed a lie-in after a night drinking '151' - at least until I'd had a couple of years practice.

During fitness tests at Lyneham I always made sure to wear my Marlboro T-shirt, normally with a packet of 20 in the handy breast pocket.

Pontius Navigator
7th Aug 2012, 21:06
Saw a very smart SNCO or WO at Halton yesterday. Beautifully pressed shirt and trousers, tie, best hat, moustache - acres of shirt. Only sit ups he could do would be with the aid of an assistant and I guess the most exercise he does is roll out of bed of a morning.

And this the School of Recruit Training - a walking, breathing, tribute to the Contract catering. Or cheap beer in the mess.

Duplo
7th Aug 2012, 21:24
Having been a 'knocker' of this for years, I now think it's a really good thing, nothing wrong with a bit of exercise and actually something to make you feel good when you pass..! I've also helped lots of folks get through this, maybe I could help some of those on here get through it too..!? Anyway in sum, not ideal for everyone, but not that difficult in the end...

Duplo

Rigga
7th Aug 2012, 21:58
A bit longer ago, when I banged out, I just signed all the bits of the clearance forms that I'd never been to - and no-one noticed.

The Clothing Store Stacker didn't want my uniform and gubbins as the camp was closing - so I dumped it all (four bin bags) in the Stores Rubbish Bins. Mask. Helmet, webbing and all.

...and by signing some bits away myself - I think I inadvertantly diverted any Reserve Duty time, of which I had nothing.

Since I left the Mob my fitness has improved no end, recently I cycled 100 miles in one day, and I have lost some weight but not that much really.

Grimweasel
7th Aug 2012, 22:02
Never had an issue with it. The only people that seem to have are those who have an inability to pass. How anyone can fail such a simple test is beyond me?

I don't even break a sweat getting to my green level - and always get dark blue apart from Bleep Test where dark blue is out of reach. I still manage light blue and I'm bloody 38 - it's embarrassing when airmen half my age drop out on Level 7?!

For as long as the RAF is a fighting force then the old whining chief tech brigade ( it was never like this in RAFG yadda yah) will have to lump it; pass or leave. Simple.

Jeez, when I joined the Army in 1990 we had to run 1.5 miles in under 10 mins in white issued plimsolls!! I think the RAF should give people the option of Bleep Test or 1.5 mile run. I find the run much easier on the joints than all that blasted turning. Still, what do I care - 5 months to go!!

Melchett01
7th Aug 2012, 22:36
Grimweasel,

Same here - I've actually got fitter with age and now regularly get better scores than I did as young 20-something whose idea of exercise was running to the bar for last orders. I have to say, I do like feeling fitter and the fact that my clothes now fit properly - more money for beer!

But I must admit the test is a bit of a balls ache, especially if done when hung over. and I'm not totally convinced that if you can pass it without having done any phys all year it is an accurate reflection of fitness -the fact that it's annual gives my Army colleagues hours of ammunition talking about averaging out sit ups and push ups over the course of the year. In fact, my catching the fitness bug had precious little to do with the fitness test or those complete arses in the gym at Cranditz, more to do with being utterly bored on numerous op tours and finding the gym to be home to a lot of rather cute and very tight USAF girls. But if that is the hoop the RAF want to make me jump through, so be it. Frankly it might be a balls ache, but it's still more fun than sitting at my desk answering bone emails.

MG
7th Aug 2012, 22:37
Grimweasel, you're great! I want to be like you!
I hate doing the fitness test. I lose sleep the week before and and not very pleasant to be around for that week. I pass, not with flying colours, but I do. I wish I could lose the mental block I have over it and just do it because I know, deep down that I can pass, so people like you are a real treat to have around, you help no end! I'm quite odd in that I enjoy doing the dunker; a lot don't and I can see why, so I would never say that it was easy and can't see what the fuss is about, because I can. It's just that those difficulties don't affect me and this principle applies to the fitness test except that I'm the one who has the mental problem in this case.

What the 6-monthly test does do is that it means that I am obliged to work for the test throughout the year rather than try to forget for 10 months and then do myself an injury trying to cram for the test. So, for that, the new regime is a good idea and makes a lot of sense,

NutLoose
7th Aug 2012, 23:01
With just 2 days left in uniform, a visit to see their FS was needed to ensure that I got their signature. Common sense, for once, prevailed.


Lol Wensleydale when I left I cleared myself, bar SHQ PMC, Bedding Stores, clothing stores, the accommodation block, work and medical ( and I totally pissed them off by opening and reading my records in front of them ), I simply used multiple coloured pens and signed everything else myself... I don't think in my whole career did I ever clear from the Guardroom or the Gym etc.... What is the point of getting a bollocking and told to get a haircut when a simple squiggle took all that grief away.. Who the heck was going to take any notice or check... No one. If anyone asked, which they never did, I would have simply said well I cleared from them, check my card..

I remember arriving at a unit and moving into the block being presented with a mattress with a couple of minor stains on that had been circled and signed, I refused it as some sod had been billed to get it cleaned which they had not done, and I wasn't going to lie on it... They gave me a new one and I managed to knock the coffee percolator over on it... When I left I simply circled the huge great coffee stain and signed it... the Airforce worked on the assumption if a signature was in place it must be ok...

I simply cleared from those I would need docs sending to or from... Pay, medical and clothing.... The rest were simply detritus and a waste of space and my time.

Willard Whyte
7th Aug 2012, 23:11
I cleared, including a chat with the boss and my last 6 months getting paid, wearing scruffy jeans, t-shirt and a goatee.

Mind you, that's how I used to be down route too. Always got some odd looks popping in to work on my second post-route stand-down day sporting* a bushy beard.

* about the closest I got to committing sport whilst working in the raf.


I simply circled the huge great coffee stain and signed it...Coffee? Yeah, riiiiiiiiighhht.

Actually I wish I'd tried that with the entire room in my last mess accommodation.

Scuttled
8th Aug 2012, 04:19
Just realised I didn't clear at all from my last unit. Haven't had any issues, got everything I need at the new place....... Med records, clothing records etc have all found me.

Honestly didn't cross my mind for some reason, I've only realised when reading this. I can't be alone.

taxydual
8th Aug 2012, 05:48
I signed 70% of my Clearance Chit myself at one unit prior to Commissioning.. (Couldn't see the point in wandering around sections I'd never heard of or visited.)
Came a wee bit unstuck by a phone call from my old unit, some months later, telling me my name had been promulgated in their SRO's and that I was required to do Ord Cpl. Whoops.

Pontius Navigator
8th Aug 2012, 08:18
I'm not totally convinced that if you can pass it without having done any phys all year it is an accurate reflection of fitness .

I am. The test used to be quarterly in 18 Gp. I would exceed the minimum standard with no real exercise beyond dog walking. Now as far as the PEd knew I was fit, but from the test I knew I was not.

Yes, I could reach the appropriate time but not without being out of breath and having stiff muscles for a day or too.

Our objection then, and what was true until recently, was the lack of time to exercise. It was all very good to say we should have exercised in our own time but when you considered our duty week with sims begining as early as 0600 or ending 2200 not to mention flying 9 hour sorties round the clock, our scope for exercise during the day was strictly limited. Off duty many of us had additional duties such as wife, kids, dogs, gardening, shopping etc as few had two cars.

Now at least the system actively supports PEd training (I think :)).

Wensleydale
8th Aug 2012, 08:53
Our objection then, and what was true until recently, was the lack of time to
exercise

I recall that when the tougher tests were introduced, we were "encouraged" to allow the troops up to 3 hours per week for exercise. Having been leaned just before, and with a staff of around 100, I asked the boss whether we could put in for the extra 8 or so bodies to ensure that we could achieve this. Needless to say, this was not approved!

That said, we managed to get 3 or 4 of the guys qualified to run circuits and spinning sessions which we did once per week with a regular gym booking. (Officers to the front of course). However, when we were taken over by the CS run project team there was disapproval about this non-productive activity and it took some persuasion to get the civvy bosses to allow us to continue.

That said, these weekly sessions helped the officers to get to know the troops much better and were instrumental in getting me, as a 54 year old with a bad back/knees etc, through my final bike test.

Yozzer
8th Aug 2012, 09:09
Scuttled: Check PM

For other OOA guys, here is the reference should you need it:

IBN Serial No: 27/12
Source: 22 (Trg) Gp ACOS Trg
Date: 1 Aug 12 Released by: M&C

N.B. Policy from 1 Sep 12

THE RAF FITNESS TEST EXEMPTIONS

Or go to the MoD website click 'RAF' hyperlink and look at the drop down list on the right.

Red Line Entry
8th Aug 2012, 09:20
I was at a front line unit a few years ago where the Staish mandated 2 hrs of exercise per week for everyone . When he got a lot of complaints that it would affect output he said, 'Fine, tell me by how much and I'll give you top cover by accepting that reduction' - and he meant it.

The complaints dried up after that...

Whenurhappy
8th Aug 2012, 09:32
I've turned 50 and continue to do my fitness test (and pass it), even though I am in the 'back of beyond'. A WO recently visited my location - bulging over his belt of his CS95, sweating and generally looking like a sack of sh!t. I suspect he would never pass a fitness test and was, frankly, a disgrace in uniform. I'm sure he is a good technician but I would not want him on my team on ops. The fitness test, unfortunately, hasn't winnowed characters like that out, but I wished it had!

Cue incomiong assaults about whippets dropping like flies on ops....etc etc....

VinRouge
8th Aug 2012, 10:18
Or popping their clogs due to heat stress and causing a shed load of paperwork as a result of their obsession :E

OldnDaft
8th Aug 2012, 11:29
The RAFFT really, really frustrates me. I'd like someone, somewhere to provide the empirical evidence of the problems that existed prior to the RAFFT that have subsequently been reduced as a result of it's introduction. People will say that it helps on Ops, and perhaps it does, but what did we do beforehand? There was no RAFFT, no Heat Acclimitisation Training and we still got the job done well. It appears to me that the PEd Branch & Trade have created this empire to justify their own existence given that there is no other reason to retain the Branch/Trade (PJIs should go to the Army, RIs to the TG15 (Medical) and ATIs could be replaced by civilians as could the unqualified club swingers in the gym). The RAFFT has become a self-licking lollypop that has done nothing to improve performance on Ops as far as I can see. For the record, I have never failed the RAFFT and have regularly deployed to hot/dusty areas of the ME (For example I was on the first plane into Kuwait in 98 to set up AAS - 2 days notice, little of the correct kit, no HAT, no RAFFT and the job was still done). The RAFFT is a total waste of time, effort, and money.

Pontius Navigator
8th Aug 2012, 13:46
A little bit of deviation and repetition.

Believe it or not but the modern RAFFT mania can be traced back to the London-Paris Air Race of 1959. The race was won by Sqn Ldr Charles Maughan. As part of his pre-race fitness regime he was reputed to jump from his 1st floor quarter bedroom before exercising on the lawn.

He was smitten with the RCAF 5xX fitness plan and tried unsuccessfully when he was OC IX Sqn to introduce the plan to the whole Bomber Wing at Coningsby in 1964. This scheme was thwarted by a cunning flt lt who intercepted the parcel of 5xX plans.

Later, the CMO at Strike Command produced an article Fit to Survive[/I][/I]. Maughan, now an air officer, seized the opportunity and used this as the reason for introducing the 1.5 mile run on a quarterly basis but still only for aircrew. It was unpopular as a number of highly trained aircrew became temporarily indisposed through injury and I think at least one died. The scheme was quietly shelved when Maughan was posted.

The mid-80s then saw a short lived revival but now involving everyone up to the rank of sqn ldr; nothing like leadership. So the tests went on in fits and starts but no real enthusiasm and a general reluctance to provide or improve facilties, especially changing rooms and lockers. A number of units provided non-public fitness suites which were generally much better equipped and attended than the public ones.

Most guys are happy to get fit if given the right conditions.

BEagle
8th Aug 2012, 14:04
I liked the wartime quote from an Aussie in the bar at some OM, somewhat peeved at a jockstrapper's rants about fitness training:

"If yer want to get yerself fit, blue, get yerself a heavier glass!"

I've turned 50 and continue to do my fitness test (and pass it), even though I am in the 'back of beyond'.

Isn't it still mandatory for the over-50s (assuming they're not in the middle of nowhere)?

Tiger_mate
8th Aug 2012, 18:38
Yes for the RAF but I believe the few 50 + gentlemen in green suits are invited to participate.

cornish-stormrider
8th Aug 2012, 21:32
Ah, I thought it was time for the next instalment of beep test woes.....

If there could be a better way or one more geared to peoples needs it would be nice - it is a bit of a farce - however, a fitter service is a better service.

I say this as a now 18 stone fat git with a high stress job and ZERO time to exercise at work. take advantage of your narcissistic gym queens to get yourselves fit, keep yourselves fit and put up with the 6 monthly faff about....

here's another aspect to think of, the fitter you are the better your performance in bed with the missus! - so just think of how good you could be.

and I'm so depressed about my shape I am about to spend money on a new treader to cycle to work. I wish I had a gym free, for the use of, where either I worked or outside my house.

Stop your bleating and get on with it. You have to wear a unifrom don't you?

VinRouge
8th Aug 2012, 23:16
here's another aspect to think of, the fitter you are the better your performance in bed with the missus! - so just think of how good you could be.


It's not the size of the nail it's, the hammer you drive it in with. Well, thats what John Prescott told me and I am sticking by it.

NutLoose
8th Aug 2012, 23:25
But his answer to fitness was bulimia

BEagle
9th Aug 2012, 00:04
It's not the size of the nail it's, the hammer you drive it in with. Well, thats what John Prescott told me and I am sticking by it.

It's the gunner who counts, not the gun!

Yozzer
9th Aug 2012, 06:39
I am getting feedback that the information is difficult to find. When a Dii PC is started, it defaults to the MoD homepage. On this page there are hyperlinks and one one the right side is 'RAF'. Once clicked you will be taken to the RAF MoD webpage and the IBN hyperlink pertinent to IBN Serial No: 27/12 Source: 22 (Trg) Gp ACOS Trg Date: 1 Aug 12 Released by: M&C is to be seen on the right side.

Some units now have the information on scrolling news.

N.B. Policy from 1 Sep 12, MAA initiated prior to this will be carried over even though the goalposts have changed. Methinks that an immediate implimention and slate clean would have been a more pragmatic method of introduction to Policy change. For MAA initiated on 31 Aug 12 must surely be contentious and ripe for redress if a career is in jepardy.

Alexander.Yakovlev
9th Aug 2012, 06:51
Do the fitness test. Be proud that we have started to take fitness seriously. If you don't like it, you have no place in this air force. The old "I have done x dets overseas" just doesn't wash, there are far too many fitter people ready to take your shoes. No-one is indispensable.

Yozzer
9th Aug 2012, 07:07
Few people will argue with that but the thread is based on imformation being implimented and poorly distributed to the troops. The wider issue of the merits of RAFFT are wide open to criticism when massively overweight oxygen thieves pop down to the doc and get an immunity chit. Especially when they then enjoy a stable existence in one location free of Op Tours to see out their days. The comments about PTI trade protection will have a degree of integrity to them and if I were a Senior PEdO I would be doing exactly that. It is always an immotive subject and the currency checklist to remain available for OOA is particular is nauseous and when individuals get to the point that Afgh may as well be a job share, the last thing you need is earache from blunties chasing statistics. Without prejudice, it is fair to say that the bleep test breaks knees and either the Rockport walk for all or a faster (time only) version of the same based on a track would be far better received by all.

Big Bear
9th Aug 2012, 10:05
"Without prejudice, it is fair to say that the bleep test breaks knees and either the Rockport walk for all or a faster (time only) version of the same based on a track would be far better received by all."

Erm, no. I for one much prefer the bleep test. It's perfectly paced and much easier to judge than the old mile and a half plod and I find that the short sprint, turn and accelerate is much better suited to me. As for breaking knees, I don't think that 8 or 9 mins twice a year is going to make that much difference.

I'm no racing snake and I have to admit I need to train regularly in order to pass the bleep test (press-ups and sit-up are a doddle and should be increased :E) so, in that respect the fitness strategy works for me. I have started participating in more sport, just like I used to when I was younger, which is also a good thing. However, the unfortunate outcome is that the part of my brain that still thinks it's a teenager gets control of my body and doesn't take care of it. I end up trying to comepete with those who have far fewer miles on the clock and inevitably something goes twang. So, am I fitter, definitely. Am I healthier, no, I'm broken :{

Bear

Willard Whyte
9th Aug 2012, 12:12
Without prejudice, it is fair to say that the bleep test breaks knees and either the Rockport walk for all or a faster (time only) version of the same based on a track would be far better received by all.

Agreed. One of my knees gave way about 5 minutes after the bleeping test, the other a few days later. After two arthroscopies, which included some judicious trimming of cartilage which I was informed could make things better or worse, I went to see the doc a few months later. Said I: "when will I be able to do the fitness test?" Doc, peering over his half moon specs, "On those knees? DO NOT RUN ON THEM! The ped flt are a waste of space when it comes to fitness." Naturally I retained my flying cat, and my ability at work, both in quality and quantity, never suffered as a result the note saying 'unfit' running.

cornish-stormrider
9th Aug 2012, 12:19
Thats what i love about Pprune - if you comment the sky is blue a million pedants will post to tell you it is actually mauve, then the grammer police get involved.

A fitter service is a better service - agreed?
Is the beepy test the best way of judging - I'd say no BUT there has to be a subjective measure of fitness in a discipline to assess your fitness.

As to the Det dogers - I got downgraded and told I could not go on ops - I ended up PVR'ing as I was in effect bed blocking and making my mates carry my load. There has to be a better way of dealing with old fat lazy chiefs who don't deploy and cost a lot of money and effort.....

What was that quote from Churchill about an RAF station being a Bastion of Fighting Airmen - not a camp of uniformed civves living it up and being guarded by soldiers?


To the Gym - away you go....

Willard Whyte
9th Aug 2012, 17:56
The gym can burn in hell for all I care, as can all the gym queens.

I don't much like the smell of stale cigarettes, but it beats sweat any day.

Never liked the fact some squash playing fool could go to the bar for a drink covered in sweat, whilst someone dressed in clean jeans got a reception akin to if he'd trodden dog's muck into the mess carpet.

Glad to leave all this utter ballocks behind.

Pontius Navigator
9th Aug 2012, 18:31
First, I have never had to do either the bleep test or the bike test or the hand grip. I think I would have failed the bleep test several years before I retired the first time.

The test is a one-size fits all. As we served we all experienced wear and tear in different ways and to different degrees. In my case it was the back. About 4 years after the last of the quarterly fitness runs I was running across the dispersal. My back went. I had to come to a halt as rapidly as possible albeit quite slowly. I was then able to walk. This used to happen from time to time and sometimes I would be bed ridden. It didn't however stop me doing 6-months OOA.

It is true I did not have the basic standard of fitness the whole time but I was still able to do my job. Therein lies the rub. There are many that are capable of doing their job, and more, but are not fully combat fit. If everyone in that category was discharged the pensions bill would be astronomical, the operational load on the fit would possible double and there would be a knock on effect on retention.

Wensleydale
9th Aug 2012, 20:21
DO NOT RUN ON THEM


I had the same on my med docs from 1979 although this was badly damaged bone joints in the foot which hasn't moved for over twenty years (football). The problem was that as I hit my 50s, and the fitness test levels increased, the medics said that I was fit enough to sit on a bike so I should do the FT even although I had walked with a limp for nearly 30 years! Fit enough to do the test but not allowed to seriously train for it! The efforts of several physios finally got me an honoury pass after several months. The medics were most sympathetic but couldn't do anything after a 6 month "stay of execution" and refused to reduce my med cat.

Result was much pain and my foot even worse. (Dread cold damp weather in Winter when I had do go out on many mile bike rides). Those who crow about their prowess should think about those of us who used to be very fit but injury caused by sport has left its mark.

LateArmLive
9th Aug 2012, 20:59
The gym can burn in hell for all I care, as can all the gym queens.

Are you a fat nav by any chance?