Get to grips with the most common RAF abbreviations and acronyms


A&T – Administrative and Technical
AAC – Army Air Corps
AAL – Additional Adoption Leave see AFOALS
AAR – Air-to-Air Refueling
AAW – Anti-Air Warfare
ACCS – Air Command & Control System
ACM – Air Chief Marshal
ACOS – Assistant Chief Of Staff
ADC – Additional Duties Commitment – (Reserves)
ADGE – Air Defence Ground Environment
AD H – Assistant Director Housing
AE – Aeronautical Engineering
AEF – Air Experience Flights
AEROMED – Aeromedical Evacuation
AEW – Airborne Early Warning
AF – Armed Forces
AFCAS – Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey
AFCO – Armed Forces Careers Office
AFCS – Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
AFFS – Armed Forces Families and Safeguarding and delivery
AFJT – Advanced Fast Jet Training
AFMF – Armed Forces Muslim Forum
AFOALS – Armed Forces Occupational Adoption Leave Scheme read JSP 760 chapter 25 for more information about adoption leave
AFOMS – Armed Forces Occupational Maternity Scheme
AFPRB – Armed Forces Pay Review Body
AFPS – Armed Forces Pension Scheme
AGM – Air-to-Ground Missile
AH – Annington Homes
Air Cdre – Air Commodore
ALARM – Air Launched Anti-Radiation Missile
AM – Air Marshal
AML – Additional Maternity Leave
AMP – Air Member for Personnel
AMRAAM – Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile
AOC – Air Officer Commanding
AOR – Area of Responsibility
AP – Air Publication
APDT – Adventurous Personal Development Training Scheme
APO – Acting Pilot Officer
ASACS – Airborne Surveillance and Control System
ASC – Air Surveillance & Control
ASD – Accredited Schools Database
ASOC – Air Support Operations Centre
ASRAAM – Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile
ASTOR – Airborne Stand-Off Radar
ASW – Anti-Submarine Warfare
AT – Adventurous Training
AT – Air Transport
ATC – Air Training Corps
ATS – Advanced Training Squadron
ATTU – Advanced Tactical Training Unit
ATW – Aerosystems Training Wing
ATOC  – Air Tactical Operations Centre
AVM – Air Vice-Marshal
AWACS – Airborne Warning & Control System
AWOL – Absence With-out Leave
AWP – Accommodation and Welfare Policy


BACS – Bank Automated Clearing System
BATUS – British Army Training Unit Suffield
BFPO – British Forces Post Office
BFBS – British Forces Broadcasting Service
BFJT – Basic Fast Jet Training
BLB – Basic Level Budget
BLUF – Bottom line up front (military term)
BME – WS Ballistic Missile Early Warning System
BRNC – Britannia Royal Naval College
BVR – Beyond Visual Range


C2 – Command and Control
C4I – Command, Control, Communications, Computers & Intelligence
CAA – Civil Aviation Authority
CAS – Chief of the Air Staff
CAS – Close Air Support
CAAS – Combined Accommodation Assessment System
CAB – Citizens Advice Bureau
CACS – Computer Assisted Command System
CAOC – Combined Air Operations Centre
CAP – Combat Air Patrol
CASOM – Conventionally Armed Stand-Off Missile
CASWO – Chief of the Air Staff’s Warrant Officer (now WORAF)
CAT – Civil Air Travel
CB – Career Break
CBO – Central Booking Office
CBU – Cluster Bomb Unit
CC – Congestion Charge
CCA – Campaign Continuity Allowance
CCF – Combined Cadet Force
CCG (HP) – Climatic Clothing Grant (Hot Posts)
CCLO – Community Careers Liaison Officer
CCRFs – Civil Contingency Reaction Forces
CCZ – Congestion Charging Zone
CDP – Chief of Defence People
CDS – Chief of the Defence Staff
Cdre – Commodore
CEA(B) – Continuity of Education Allowance (Board)
CEA(Day) – Continuity of Education Allowance (Day)
CEA(Guardian’s) – Continuity of Education Allowance (Guardian’s)
CEAGT – Continuity of Education Allowance Governance Team
CEA(SENA) – Continuity of Education Allowance (Special Educational Needs Addition)
CEA(SENA(Day)) – Continuity of Education Allowance (Special Educational Needs Addition)(Day))
CEAS – Children’s Education Advisory Service now Education Advisory Team (EAT)
CFAV – Cadet Force Adult Volunteer
CFS – Central Flying School – headquarters based at RAF Cranwell
CI – Career intermissions (JSP 760 Chapter 5)
CI – Crime Investigation
CILOCT – Contributions in lieu of Council Tax
CILOR – Cash in Lieu of Rations
CinC – Commander In Chief
CIV SEC – Civil Secretary
CLO – Community Liaison Officer
CLR – Converted Leave Rate
Cmdt – Commandant
CNO – Casualty Notification Officer
CO – Commanding Officer
CofC – Chain of Command
COLA – Cost of Living Addition
COMAO – Composite Air Operations
COMD SEC – Command Secretary
COMECT – Commonwealth Enlisted Compassionate Travel
COO – Country of Origin
COS – Chief of Staff
Cpl – Corporal
CPU – Close Protection Unit
CT – Chief Technician
CTF – Concessionary Travel for Families
CTP – Career Transition Partnership
CTS – Central Training School
CV – Curriculum Vitae
CVF – Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier


DACOS – Deputy Assistant Chief Of Staff
DAS – Defence Accommodation Stores
DAS – Defensive Aids System
DBS – Defence Business Services (serving, civilian and veteran administrtion previously dealt with by SPVA)
DBS PACCC – Defence Business Service Pay and Allowances, Complaints & Casework Cell
DCAE – Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering
DC&S(Claims) – Director of Claims and Safety (Claims)
DCCIS – Defence College of Communications and Information Systems
DCTT – Defence College of Technical Training
DCDS – Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff
DCDS(Pers) – Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Personnel)
DCEME – Defence College of Electro-Mechanical Engineering
DCPG – Defence College of Policing and Guarding
DCS – Defence Children Services
DCTT – Defence College of Technical Training
DCYP – Directorate Children and Young People now closed, click link for more information
DDC – Directorate of Defence Communications
D Dip – Defence Diplomacy
DDS – Defence Discount Service
DE – Direct Entrant
DE – Disturbance Expense
DEFS – Defence Elementary Flying School – based at RAF Cranwell
DFAU – Defence Fraud Analysis Unit
DfE – Department for Education
DFS – Defence Food Services
DFT – Damages for Trespass
DFT – Directorate of Flying Training
DG – Director General
DG SP Pol – Director General Service Personnel Policy
DGT – Directorate of Ground Training
DHE – Defence Housing Executive
DHFS – Defence Helicopter Flying School – based at RAF Shawbury
DHRS – Defence Hotel Reservation Service
DIA – Defence Internal Audit
DILFOR – Dangerously Ill Forwarding of Relatives
DIN – Defence Instructions and Notices
DIO – Defence Infrastructure Organisation
DLO – Defence Logistics Organisation
DMOC – Defence Media Operations Centre
DOLAS – Defence Operational Language Award Scheme
DOMCOL – Domiciled Collective Leave
DNCO – Duty Non-commissioned Officer
DPA – Data Protection Act
DPA – Defence Procurement Agency
DPRC – Defence Passenger Reservation Centre
DPTS – Directorate of Personnel Training & Strategy
DRM – Defence Relationship Management
D Res – Director of Resources
DRS – Directorate of RAF Sport
DS – Day Subsistence
DSA(NW) – Day School Allowance (North Wales)
DSC – Deputy Squadron Commander
DSOP – Defence School of Photography
DU – Dyslexia Unit
DUSRA – Detainees Under Sentence Reimbursement Allowance
DWP – Department for Work and Pensions
DWP(O) – Deployment Welfare Package (Overseas)
DWSP – Defence Welfare Support Policy
DZ – Drop Zone


EAT – Education Advisory Team part of DCS
EC – Emergency Contact
ECA – Extra Command Area
ECM – Electronic Counter Measures
EFT – Elementary Flying Training
ELC – Enhanced Learning Credit
ELINT – Electronic Intelligence
EMS – Early Mover Status
EU DSA – European Union Daily Subsistence Allowance
EUMS – European Union Military Staff
ERG – External Reference Group
ESL – Early Service Leaver
ESM – Electronic Support Measures
ET – Early Termination
ETA – Experimental Test Allowance
ETP – External Training Providers
EW – Electronic Warfare


FAC – Forward Air Control
FAM – Future Accommodation Model
FAMCAS – Families Continuous Attitude Survey 
FAMGRANT – Family Maintenance Grant
FANDF – Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum
FAR Brief – Financial Aspects of Resettlement Brief
FAVA – Families Assistance for Visits Abroad (JSP 752 Chapter 11 Section 1)
FCA – Financial Conduct Authority
FCDO – Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
FD – Force Development
FDIS – Future Defence Infrastructure Services
FDoS – Final Date of Service
FFR – Fixed Forces Rate (of exchange)
Fg Off – Flying Officer
FHWS – Family Housing and Welfare Services
FIA – Food and Incidental Allowance
FiMT – Forces in Mind Trust
FLIR – Forward Looking Infrared
Flt Lt – Flight Lieutenant
Flt Sgt – Flight Sergeant
FMG – Family Maintenance Grant
FMS – Furniture Movement Allowance
FOI – Freedom of Information
FPS – Forces Pension Society
FRA – Family Road Allowance
FRE – Furniture Removal Expenses
FS – Flexible Service
FTOD – Final Tour of Duty
FTRS – Full Time Reserve Service
FTRS(FC) – FTRS (Full Commitment)
FTRS(HC) – FTRS (Home Commitment)
FTRS(LC) – FTRS (Limited Commitment)
FW – Fixed Wing – all aircraft excluding helicopters


GAR – General Accounting Rate of Exchange
GAU – Global Administration Unit
GB – Great Britain (England, Scotland & Wales)
GBAD – Ground Based Air Defence
GCHQ – Government Communications Headquarters
GDT – Ground Defence Training
GLO – Ground Liaison Officer
GOR – Ghurka Other Rank
GPC – Government Procurement Card
Gp Capt – Group Captain
GRT – Graduated Resettlement Time
GSK – General Service Knowledge
GSO – Global Support Office
GT – Ground Training
GTS – Ground Control Station
GYH – Get You Home
GYH(EY) – Get You Home (Early Years)
GYH(O) – Get You Home (Overseas)
GYH(S) – Get You Home (Seagoers)


HAS – Hardened Aircraft Shelter
HCDC – House of Commons Defence Committee
HDT – Home to Duty Travel
HF – High Frequency
HIO – HIVE Information Officer
HIVE – Forces Information Centre (Not an acronym or an abbreviation)
HLB – Higher Level Budget
HM – Her Majesty’s
HMG – Her Majesty’s Government
HMRC – His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
HMSG – House Moves on Security Grounds
HMI – Human-machine Interface
HOTS – Head Office Travel Scheme
HQ – Headquarters
HQNI – Headquarters Northern Ireland
HREC – Homeowner’s Re-Entry Certificate
HSA – Home Savings Allowance
HTD – Home to Duty


IA – Insurance Allowance
IC – In Command
ID – Identification
IE – Incidental Expenses
IED – Improvised Explosive Device
IFF – Identification Friend or Foe
IFPT – Initial Force Protection Training – Run by the RAF Regiment, this is where recruits learn basic soldiering skills.
IiP – Investors in People
III – Incapacitating Illness/Injury
ILA – Individual Leave Allowance
IMINT – Imagery Intelligence
IMSAT – Imagery Satellite
INAS – Inertial Navigation and Attack System
INVOLSEP – Involuntary Separation (JSP 752 Annex B to Section 1 of Chapter 2)
IofR – Inspectorate of Recruiting
IOT – Initial Officer Training
IPG – Integrated Provider Group
IQP – Initial Qualifying Period
IRF – Immediate Reaction Force
IRP – Individual Resettlement Preparation
IRTC – Individual Resettlement Training Costs
ISD – In Service Date
ISODETs – Isolated Detachments
ISTAR – Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition & Reconnaissance
ITS – Initial Training Squadron


JCCC – Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre
JHC – Joint Helicopter Command
JPA – Joint Personnel Administration
JPAC – Joint Personnel Administration Centre
JRRF – Joint Rapid Reaction Force
JSAT – Joint Services Adventurous Training Scheme
JSHAO – Joint Service Housing Advice Office
JSP – Joint Service Publication
JSF – Joint Strike Fighter
JTIDS – Joint Tactical Information Distribution System


LA – Lodging Allowance
LAC – Leading Aircraftman – now Air Specialist (Class 2)
LDS – Last Day of Service
LEA – Local Education Authority
LGB – Laser Guided Bomb
LMG – Light Machine Gun
LOA – Local Overseas Allowance
LOSLOA – Living Out Supplemented Rates of Overseas Allowance
LSA – Longer Separation Allowance
LSTACOS – Loan Service Terms and Conditions of Service
LTD – Last Tour of Duty
LTM – Laser Target Marker


MA – Married Accompanied
MAD – Magnetic Anomaly Detector
MCO – Media & Communication Officer
ME – Multi-Engine MEARW Multi-Engine Advanced Rotary Wing
MEDEVAC – Medical Evacuation
MEPT – Multi-Engine Pilot Training
MGS – Military Guard Service
MMA – Motor Mileage Allowance
MND – Multi National Division
MO – Senior Medical Officer
MOB – Main Operating Base
MOD – Ministry of Defence
MOE – Meals Out Expenses
MOT – Motivational Outreach Team
MOU – Memorandum of Understanding
MP – Manpower Plan
MP – Member of Parliament
MPGS – Military Provost Guard Service
MR – Maritime Reconnaissance
MRA – Maritime Reconnaissance & Attack
MRAF – Marshal of the Royal Air Force
MRT – Mountain Rescue Team
MSC – Mission Support Cell
MT – Mechanical Transport
MTO – Mechanical Transport Officer
MTW – Mechanical Training Wing
MU – Married Unaccompanied


NAAFI – Navy, Army and Air Force Institute
NAC – Non-Availability Certificate
NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
NBC – Nuclear, Biological & Chemical
NCA – Non-Commissioned Aircrew
NCO – Non-Commissioned Officer
NEAC – National Executive Advisory Committee (which leads SCISS)
NEM – New Employment Model
NGB – National Governing Body
NGEC – Next Generation Contract
NHS – National Health Service
NI – Northern Ireland
NIC – National Insurance Contributions
NOK – Next of Kin
NS – Night Subsistence
NRPS – Non Regular Permanent Staff
NTV – Notice to Vacate
NVG – Night-vision Goggles


OA – Operational Allowance
OAL – Ordinary Adoption Leave
OAS – Offensive Air Support
OASC – Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre
OC – Officer Commanding
OCA – Offensive Counter Air
OCASH – Overseas Cash Option Scheme
OCE – Operational Commitments and Establishment
OCU – Operational Conversion Unit – Aircraft-specific training
OEST – Overseas Education and Supportability Team
OFPS – Overseas Furniture Provision Scheme
OML – Ordinary Maternity Leave
OOA – Out of Area
Ops – Operations
ORA – Overseas Rent Allowance (JSP 752 Chapter 9 Section 1)
ORBAT – Order of Battle
ORD – Ordinary Retirement Date (The date at which officers retire)
OSD – Out of Service Date (when aircraft retire!)
OSG – Offensive Support Group
OSR – Official Service Residence
OTR – On The Road


P&SS – Provost and Security Services
PAP – Privately Arranged Passage
PAR – Privately Arranged Rate
PAX – Passengers/Forces Life and personal injury insurance
PC – Personal Contribution
PC – Permanent Commission
PCR – Private Car Rate of MMA
PE – Personal Effects
PEd – Physical Education
PEdO – Physical Education Officer
PJHQ – Permanent Joint Headquarters – based at Northwood
Plt Off – Pilot Officer
PMRAFNS – Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service
PMS – Personnel Management Squadron
POC – Point of Contact
PODL – Post Operational Deployment Leave
POL – Post Operational Leave
POL – Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants
PSA – Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Settlement Agreement
PStat Cat – Personal Status Category
PTI – Physical Training Instructor
PTR – Private Transport Rate (Civil Servant equivalent of Private Car Rate of MMA)
PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTVR – Part-Time Volunteer Reserves
PVR – Premature Voluntary Release


QARANC – Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps
QARNNS – Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service
QFI – Qualified Flying Instructor


RAA – Representational Attachment Allowance
RAB – Resettlement Advisory Brief
RAF – Royal Air Force
RAFA – Royal Air Forces Association
RAFAC – Royal Air Force Air Cadets
RAFALO – RAF Association Liaison Officer
RAFAT – Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team – The Red Arrows
RAFBF – RAF Benevolent Fund
RAFC – Royal Air Force College
RAFFF – RAF Families Federation
RAFP – Royal Air Force Police
RAFRLOS – RAF Regional Liaison Officers
RAP – Recognised Air Picture
RBL – The Royal British Legion
REC – Resettlement and Education Coordinator
REME – Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers – Army
Rep Sup – Representational Supplement
ResCAS – Reserves Continuous Attitude Survey
RFPS – Reserve Forces Pension Scheme
RJ(RL) – Respite Journeys (Remote Locations)
RLE – Refund of Legal Services
RLG – Relief Landing Grounds
RM – Royal Marines
RMAS – Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
RMP(SIB) – Royal Military Police (Special Investigation Branch)
RN – Royal Navy
ROAD – Review of Officer and Airmen Development
ROS – Return of Service
RPAS – Remotely Piloted Air System (preferred RAF terminology to UAS/UAV)
R&R – Rest & Recuperation (JSP 760 Chapter 10)
RRA(L) – Recruitment and Retention Allowance
RSO – Removal Service Overseas
RTS – Recruit Training Squadron – located at RAF Halton
RW – Rotary Wing – helicopters (see also FW)
RWA – Residence at Work Address


SAC – Senior Aircraftman
SAR – Search & Rescue
SAS – Special Air Service
SATCOM – Satellite Communications
SCC – Service Complaints Commissioner replaced by Service Complaints Ombudsman
SCE – Service Children’s Education
SCISS – Service Children in State Schools
SCOAF – Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces
SCS – Service Community Support
SCSO – Service Community Support Officer
SCS – Service Contract Scheme
SCV – School Children’s Visits
SDR – Strategic Defence Review
SDSR – Strategic Defence and Security Review
SE – Single engine
SEARW – Single Engine Advanced Rotary Wing
SEBRW – Single Engine Basic Rotary Wing
SEND – Special educational needs and disabilities
SERE – Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Extraction – form of training
SERVE – Service for Experienced, Rejoiner & Volunteer Engagements
SFA – Service Family Accommodation
Sgt – Sergeant
SH – Support Helicopter
SHAPE – Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
SHSS – Services Home Savings Scheme
SI – Seriously Ill
SITREP – Situation Report
SL – Service Leavers
SLA – Single Living Accommodation
SLI – Service Life Insurance
SMA – Special Messing Allowance
SMO – Senior Medical Officer
SO – Staff Officer
SOFA -Status of Forces Agreement
SofS – Secretary of State
SPCP – Service Personnel Command Paper
SPED – Special Procurement of Evacuated Dwellings
SPPol – Service Personnel Policy
SPR – Selected Place of Residence
SPS – Self-Pack Service
SPVA – Service Personnel and Veterans Agency now part of Defence Business Services (DBS)
Sqn – Squadron
Sqn Ldr – Squadron Leader
SR – Standard Rate of MMA (Civil Service equivalent of Official Duty Rate of MMA)
SRA – Service Resettlement Advisor
SSAFA – Soldiers, Sailors & Airmen’s Families Association
SSC – Short Service Commission
SSFA – Substitute Service Family Accommodation
SSLA – Substitute Single Living Accommodation
SSLOA – Small Station Local Overseas Allowance
SSSA – Substitute Service Single Accommodation
SSVC – Services Sound & Vision Corporation
STOVL – Short Take-Off & Vertical Landing


T&COS – Terms & Conditions of Service
T&S – Travel and Subsistence
TACP – Tactical Air Control Party
TAOR – Tactical Area of Responsibility
TD – Training Development
TFC – Tax-Free Childcare
TfL – Transport for London
TIALD – Thermal Imaging Airborne Laser Designator
TG – Training Group – now known as ‘No 22 (Training) Group
TGDA – Training Group Defence Agency
Theatre – Area of Operation
TLA – Three Letter Abbreviation
TLB – Top Level Budget
TMT – Trade Management Training
TOSD – Travel for Operational Stand Down
Trg – Training
TSARs – Tri-Service Accommodation Regulations
TWU – Tactical Weapons Unit


UA – Unauthorised Absence
UAS – University Air Squadrons
UAS – Unmanned Aerial System (preferred RAF terminology is RPAS)
UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (preferred RAF terminology is RPAS)
UB – Unaccompanied Baggage
UCE – University Cadet Entrant
UIN – Unit Identity Number
UK – United Kingdom
UKPASH – UK Private Arrangements Self-Help Scheme
UKRS – UK Removal Service
UL – Unlisted
ULA – Unpleasant Living Allowances
UnAcc – Unaccompanied
UNMINS – Unaccompanied Minors
UOTC – University Officers’ Training Corps
UUG – Uniform Upkeep Grant
UWA – Unpleasant Work Allowance (JSP 752 Chapter 16 Section 1)


VeRR – Volunteer Ex Regular Reserve
Vets Uk – Veterans UK
VO – Visiting Officer
VOLSEP – Voluntary Separation
VSI – Very Seriously Ill
VWS – Veterans Welfare Service


WAC – Wraparound Childcare
WaSP – Welfare and Support Personnel – This is specific to RTS.
Wg Cdr – Wing Commander
WIS – Wounded Injured or Sick
WO – Warrant Officer
WORAF – Warrant Officer of the Royal Air Force (was CASWO)
WPS – War Pension Scheme
WWC – Warm Weather Clothing