List of Royal Air Force Ground Trades

This is a list of Royal Air Force Trade Groups. Each ground trade in the Royal Air Force is assigned to a Trade Group which it operates under for command and control.[1][2]

Originally, the trades were organized in groups numbering I, II, III, IV & V and M for any medical associated trades. They were changed into the 22 Trade Groups as shown below in 1951,[3] and have since undergone amalgamation into 19 groups in 1964 and down to 18 by the early 2000s.[4] With further amalgamations, only 17 of the original groups now exist.

Trade Group Trades Notes
1 Aircraft Maintenance Avionic, Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic, Weapon Technician
2 *No longer assigned* TG 2 was amalgamated into TG 1 making one aircraft Trade Group by 31 March 2009[5]
3 *No longer assigned* Trade Group 3 was amalgamated with TG 11 to form the new Communications Trade Group 4[6]
4 Information and Communication Technician Aerial Erector, Information and Communication Technology Technician
5 General Technician Electrical, General Technician Mechanical, General Technician Workshops
6 Mechanical Transport Driver TG 6 was also assigned to Mechanical Transport Technician before amalgamation with TG 5 GEF.
7 Air and Space Operations Specialist / Non-Commissioned Controller (NCC) The administrative merge of TGs 9 & 12. With effect from 1 April 2019, TG9 becomes Air and Space Operations Specialist (Flight Operations) and TG12, Air and Space Operations Specialist (Aerospace Systems).

TG7 NCC was formed from the transfer of TG9 and TG12 NCO controllers with effect from 1 April 2018.

8 Firefighter,[7] Gunner,[note 1][8] RAF Police Firefighters and RAF Regiment Gunners were transferred to TG 8 from TG 22 in 1976.[9] In the same year, RAF Firefighters were separated from the Regiment Command Structure and became a separate trade.[10]
9 Flight Operations Assistant[11] Now TG7 - Air and Space Operations Specialist (Flight Operations)
10 Physical Training Instructor
11 Intelligence Analyst, Intelligence Analyst (Voice) Formerly: Telecommunications Operator (merged into TG 4)
12 Aerospace Systems Operator Now TG7 - Air and Space Operations Specialist (Aerospace Systems)
13 Survival Equipment Technician Trade name changed from Survival Equipment Fitter in 2019[12]
14 Air Cartographers, Photographers
15 Biomedical Scientist, Environmental Health Technician, Operating Department Practitioner, Pharmacy Technician, Radiographer, RAF Medic, Registered Nurse (Adult), Registered Nurse (Mental Health), Student Nurse,
16 Dental Hygienist, Dental Nurse, Dental Technician
17 Personnel Support
18 Logistics Mover, Logistics Supplier
19 Logistics Caterer, Logistics Chef
20 *No longer assigned*
21 Musician
22 *No longer assigned* TG 22 used to be the Regiment and Firefighters group. These are now in TG 8 with the RAF Police.[13]


  1. Since inception in 1942, the RAF Regiment was not open to women. This has now changed by Prime Ministerial decision as of July 2016. Women should be combat service ready by 2018.


  1. Wale, Nick (16 October 2012). "FOI trade groups RAF" (PDF). Royal Air Force. Royal Air Force. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  2. "10 Mar 2006 : Column 1788W—continued". Hansard. UK Government. 10 March 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  3. Armitage, Michael (1998). "Into the Jet Age". The Royal Air Force : an illustrated history (2 ed.). London: Brockhampton Press. p. 182. ISBN 1-86019-851-1.
  4. Escott, Beryl (1989). Women in Air Force Blue. Wellingborough: Patrick Stephens. p. 253. ISBN 1-85260-066-7.
  5. "FOI" (PDF). Royal Air Force. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  6. "AP 1358 Chap 7 Distinguishing Insignia" (PDF). Royal Air Force. pp. 7–29. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  7. "Defence Fire Risk Management Organisation - GOV.UK". Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  8. "RAF Recruitment | RAF Regiment Gunner". Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  9. "Royal Air Force and Defence Fire Servivces Association History". RAFANDDFSA. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  10. Witherow, Mickey (1995). "The Royal Air Force Regiment: 1967 to present". Journal of the Royal Air Force Historical Society (15): 50. OCLC 21256749.
  11. "Trade Group Number". Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  12. RAF IBN 23/19 Dated 30 Apr 19
  13. Proctor, Ian (2014). "Recruitment & Training". The Royal Air Force in the Cold War, 1950-1970. Barnsley: Pen & Sword. p. 161. ISBN 9781473844551.
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