RAF recruits shouldn’t worry about passing physical fitness tests if they’re tech-savvy, says military leader | UK News

Anyone considering a career in the Royal Air Force no longer has to worry about passing a fitness test, provided they know how to practice on a keyboard.

The RAF chief reported that the recruitment of people with data and digital technology skills – even if they cannot complete a set number of timed push-ups and pre-dawn runs – is increasing. more important in a world where having a technological edge is vital for the military. to succeed.

People with autism and other forms of neurodiversity should also consider careers in R.A.F.said Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston.

Speaking at the RAF’s annual Air and Space Power Conference, he stressed the need to hire from the widest pool of talent as the focus of his service expands from flying fast jets, from transport planes and helicopters to fighting at a distance, with machines, codes and artificial devices. intelligence.

Many of the people the Air Force is recruiting today “will still be serving in 2040, so that’s the force we need to recruit,” he told the fellow chiefs’ conference. air and their staff, who traveled to London from around the world.

Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston

“It will be about data and digital and … we probably won’t need people who have to take a physical fitness test,” he said.

“We may have different standards. We may look at different parts of society that we haven’t traditionally recruited from. But that’s the nature of what a warfighter might be in the 2040s, so thinking, in as part of an agile thinking about the technology of 2040, thinking about the demographics of the workforce that’s going to use that technology, and then you need to start recruiting them today.”

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The Royal Air Force, recently featured in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations alongside Royal Navy and Army aircraft

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The RAF, Army and Royal Navy have basic physical fitness tests that most recruits must pass. These standards will still be in place for roles which might see an airman in a combat zone, but the RAF chief has indicated that it does not make sense to exclude applicants from their fitness if they are more likely to spend their time behind a computer in a safe place. .

“I think as service members we can have a conversation, a healthy conversation, about different physical standards, different neurodiversity standards and we should be ready for those conversations,” Air Chief Marshal Wigston said. , speaking to reporters after his speech.

“I think that’s an important part of being forces that are fit for the future and ready for the future, taking advantage of the greatest pool of talent in our respective national work forces.”

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