RAF Coningsby ASTRA – building the next generation RAF

The RAF’s vision for Astra is ‘A world-class integrated, capable and inclusive Air Force delivering decisive effect across all domains’.

Astra is our journey for the next 20 years to meet the challenges and threats of a rapidly changing world, where huge sets of data and information will be the norm. How we use that information to our advantage is fundamental to our continued success. Astra is built on strong foundations that encompass People, Training, Infrastructure and Equipment, focused by conceptual thinking. The delivery of measurable effects against these four elements will be our collective focus over the next 20 years and beyond. However, that can all be a bit daunting and distant from us all working hard in deepest Lincolnshire so.

How does Astra work at RAF Coningsby?

The RAF Coningsby Astra team, led by Wg Cdr Russ Gleeson, is made up of volunteers across the rank range and includes Civil Servants and Industry partners.
They are focusing on ways to improve poor processes, products or performance across the Whole Force that we wouldn’t consider accepting in our private lives, fundamentally adapting the culture of the entire Service. The team and the Station believe that by starting small and local we can deliver change that makes a real difference to all of us. We are wholly reliant on the enthusiasm, engagement and experience of our people across the Whole Force to submit ideas or thoughts on how we can improve the way we live and work. If ideas cannot be progressed on the Station, Astra has a mechanism to raise them to other parts of the RAF for them to look at on our behalf.

What is happening at RAF Coningsby so far?

Here are just some of the things happening:
The first shadow command board was convened primarily consisting of junior ranks and SNCOs to discuss station matters in-line with that of the Stn Cdr’s command board.
We are looking at ways to improve outside social areas for SLA occupants to encourage more social lifestyle opportunities.
We have created an RAF-wide centralised booking system to make visiting aircraft bookings easier.
We have received over £11000 of funding from the Core Astra Team to purchase bespoke IT equipment to create a Stn Coding Club.
We are looking at adopting a new and improved airspace booking system.

We have received a number of ideas and suggestions, some that have already been identified for improvement (the Stn Gym for example) and some that are original. The Astra team is keen to receive any suggestions or ideas and we will always look to provide feedback where possible (a new Stn Gym is earmarked for funding in financial year 22/23). So please get involved and send us your ideas on how to make Coningsby a better place to live and work! Use the QR code to submit your idea now.

Sqn Ldr Jim Rowe