Air University (United States)

Air University (United States)

The United States Air Force Air University (AU) is a component of the United States Air Force's Air Education and Training Command, headquartered at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Air University is the U.S. Air Force’s primary center for professional military education.

History of Air University

The Wright brothers established the first U.S. civilian flying school in Montgomery in 1910. By the 1920s, Montgomery became an important link in the growing system of aerial mail service. In the early 1930s, the Army Air Corps Tactical School moved to Maxwell and Montgomery became the country's intellectual center for airpower education. Air University was established in 1946 and continues to educate U.S. and allied military planners and leaders in air and space warfare.


The institutions that fall under Air University include:

Enlisted Professional Military Education

The College for Enlisted Professional Military Education is responsible for the instructional programs and faculty development for all Air Force enlisted professional military education programs. This includes the Airman Leadership Schools, Noncommissioned Officer Academies and the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy.

The Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy graduates more than 1,800 Air Force chief master sergeant selectees, senior master sergeants, senior master sergeant selectees, and non-commissioned officers from other U.S. military services and the services of international U.S.-allied nations annually. It is located on Maxwell AFB's Gunter Annex.

The NCO Academies provide selected noncommissioned officers quality professional military education to develop their skills and responsibilities in the United States Air Force. The objective is for the student to gain an understanding of their positions in the military structure and the need to develop the skills necessary for effectiveness in those supervisory positions. Several NCO Academies operate worldwide on various Air Force installations.

Officer Professional Military Education

The Squadron Officer College is designed to educate company grade officers on the basic concepts of modern air and space warfare and the essentials of military leadership. Squadron Officer college is composed of two educational schools: the Air and Space Basic Course and Squadron Officer School.

The Aerospace Basic Course (ASBC), formerly known as the Air and Space Basic Course is a four-week program organized to teach second lieutenants and civilian equivalents the essential concepts of how the Air Force prosecutes air wars.

Squadron Officer School (SOS) is designed to teach the essence of military leadership, air,space, and cyberspace doctrine, international security issues, and communication skills. Students at SOS have achieved the rank of captain.

Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) is the Air Force’s intermediate professional military education school, prepares field grade officers of all U.S. services (primarily USAF majors), international officers and U.S. civilians to assume positions of higher responsibility within the military and other government arenas. The curriculum is geared toward teaching the skills necessary to conduct air and space operations in support of a joint campaign.

Air War College (AWC) is the Air Force professional military education school. It educates selected senior officers of all U.S. services (primarily USAF lieutenant colonels), international officers and U.S. Department of Defense civilians of grade GS-14/GM-14 to lead at the strategic level in the employment of air and space forces. The curriculum focuses on coalition warfighting and national security issues, with emphasis on the effective employment of aerospace forces in joint and combined combat operations.

Officer Accession

The Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools (AFOATS) operates two of the four officer commissioning sources. These are the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) and the Air Force Officer Training School.

Although they are USAF officer accession and training programs, the United States Air Force Academy and the Air National Guard's Academy of Military Science (AMS) do not fall under Air University. The Air Force Academy is a direct reporting unit (DRU), and the Superintendent of the Academy reports directly to the Air Force Chief of Staff. Admission to and administration of the ANG Academy of Military Science is controlled by the National Guard Bureau.

Citizenship education

Air University administers the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) program. This program provides citizenship training and air and space science education via a cadet program for high school students.

Air University is the command echelon equivalent to a numbered air force for the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the official United States Air Force Auxiliary. CAP supports the nation through three missions: emergency services, aerospace education, and cadet programs for middle school/junior high school and high school students.

Academic Education

The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) is the only degree-granting institution of higher learning in the world dedicated exclusively to enlisted personnel. CCAF offers educational opportunities for active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve airmen and NCOs to earn a job-related, two-year undergraduate associate of applied science degree. CCAF also facilitates selected professional certification and recognition for airmen.
*Possession of a CCAF degree has in recent years become a "de facto" mandatory requirement for promotion to Senior Master Sergeant and higher, regardless of whether or not the candidate has a civilian degree such as a baccalaureate. This "de facto" status is now official: starting with the 2007 promotion cycle, promotion candidates cannot receive critical endorsements on performance reports without having first received an Associates Degree from CCAF.The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) supports the Air Force and national defense through responsive degree-granting graduate and professional continuing education, research and consulting services to Air Force and Department of Defense agencies. Graduate-level work offers selected Air Force members, Air Force civilians, and international officers the broad educational experience necessary for understanding the role of technology in national defense and in analyzing and solving defense-related problems.

Professional continuing education

The Air Force Doctrine Development and Education Center is a result of a merger between the College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education (CADRE) and the Air Force Doctrine Center.

The Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development provides continuing education and technical training to Air Force and other Department of Defense personnel and international officers, including resident and distance-learning courses for a variety of Air Force specialties.

The International Officer School conducts classes to enhance international officers' understanding of the United States and to prepare them to attend Air War College, Air Command and Staff College or Squadron Officer College.

Advanced Professional Military Education

The School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS) is the US Air Force graduate school for airpower and space power strategists. A highly qualified and motivated faculty, a small and very carefully selected student body, a coherent and challenging curriculum, an outstanding educational and research resources, and a well-designed facility combine to produce tomorrow’s senior military leaders who are experts in the employment of air and space forces. SAASS is a follow-on school for selected graduates of intermediate-level professional military education schools. The focus of SAASS is to educate officers in the art and science of air and space warfare to enhance the Air Force's capacity to defend the United States through the control and exploitation of air and space.

External links

* [ Air University home page]
* [ Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center] The Air University Library

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