|Air Force Fact Sheets|
Air University, a major command direct reporting unit headquartered at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., is a major component of Air Education and Training Command, and is the Air Force's center for professional military education.
Air University conducts professional military education, graduate education and professional continuing education for officers, enlisted personnel and civilians to prepare them for command, staff, leadership and management responsibilities. Specialized and degree-granting programs provide education to meet Air Force requirements in scientific, technological, managerial and other professional areas. In addition, Air University is responsible for research in designated fields of aerospace education, leadership and management, provides pre-commissioning training, and offers selected courses for enlisted personnel leading to the awarding of select Air Force specialty credentials. Air University also contributes to the development and testing of Air Force doctrine, concepts and strategy.
Although Air University draws students from throughout the Department of Defense and from the military forces of other nations, its mission is more easily described in terms of the two main groups it is organized to serve: U.S. Air Force commissioned officers and enlisted members. For each group, educational opportunities begin before they enter active service and follow them throughout their careers.
Before deciding on a career in the Air Force, many young people receive education through Air University programs; such as Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, Air Force ROTC programs and the Civil Air Patrol. All are beneficial to individuals regardless of their later category of service. For future officers, AFROTC is one path to commissioning. For future enlisted people, participation in any of the three programs can lead to a higher initial rank upon enlistment. Upon enlistment, airmen begin earning credit toward a Community College of the Air Force associate's degree as they attend basic training.
The commander of Air University functions in a dual capacity as commander and also Air Education and Training Command's director of education.
Air Force Officer Accession And Training Schools
AFOATS provides coordinated leadership and policy direction for the Air Force's officer recruiting, training and commissioning programs at Officer Training School and at Air Force ROTC detachments at 144 universities. The organization's staff manage support and develops curriculum to train tomorrow's Air Force officers. AFOATS also directs the Air Force's high school citizenship training program Air Force Junior ROTC.
Reserve Officer Training Corps
Air Force ROTC also administers the Air Force Junior ROTC program. This program provides citizenship training and an aerospace science program for high school youth. The program focuses on self-confidence, self-esteem, teamwork, leadership and the importance of community service. Located on 609 high school campuses throughout the nation, in locations such as Guam, Puerto Rico and selected U.S. dependent schools overseas, Air Force Junior ROTC touches more than 91,000 young people every day.
Officer Training School
Commissioned officer training is located at Gunter Annex, and shares facilities with the Senior NCO Academy. This training provides initial officership training for nearly 2,700 Air Force judge advocates, chaplains, medical service officers (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, bioenvironmental engineers and hospital administrators) and medical scholarship recipients each year.
Professional Military Education
Squadron Officer School
The field leadership program uses a spectrum of competitive activities to develop students' leadership techniques and problem solving skills in a pressure-packed environment. Classes are seven weeks long with an enrollment of more than 700, including 25 civilians in each class. Three courses each year include international officers. With six classes each year, more than 3,800 students attend this course annually.
Air Command And Staff College
ACSC's 40-week curriculum focuses on educating students on the profession of arms, the requisites of command, the nature of war, and the application of air and space power at the theater warfare level. The college prepares officers to apply air and space power during peace and war and challenges faculty and students to think critically and creatively. The curriculum emphasizes warfare at the operational and strategic levels through nine major courses of study woven around a problem-solving methodology for a theater-joint campaign.
Air War College
The curriculum focuses on warfighting and national security issues, with emphasis on the effective employment of aerospace forces in joint and combined combat operations. Each class lasts 44 weeks. Its enrollment of more than 250 consists of officers from all branches of the armed forces, international officers and civilians of equivalent rank from U.S. government agencies.
Special activities throughout the year complement the learning process in many phases of the Air War College curriculum. Each year the college conducts a one-week National Security Forum which brings students into contact with business, civic and professional leaders from throughout the U.S. to discuss issues affecting national security. The forum is a highlight and the culmination of the ten-month Air War College course of study.
College for Enlisted Professional Military Education
All enlisted PME courses contain instruction in areas designed to prepare students for positions of greater responsibility. Airman Leadership Schools prepare senior airmen to be noncommissioned officers. NCO academies prepare technical sergeants to be senior NCOs. Each level of education contains instruction in military studies and communication, as well as leadership and management. Completion of the appropriate level of PME is a prerequisite to sewing on the next stripe.
U.S. Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy
Designed for professional managers, the curriculum focuses on leadership and management, communication skills and military studies. The academy uses case studies and group problem solving as well as lectures and small-group activities to promote the exchange of ideas. The academy conducts five, seven-week classes each year and has an annual enrollment of almost 1,800 students.
Community College of the Air Force
Open to active-duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve members, the college awards Associate in Applied Science degrees. The curriculum is designed to fuse technical and professional military education with off-duty education at civilian institutions. This careful mix of education from diverse sources equips graduates with information and mental tools needed for enhanced performance within their Air Force specialties.
The Community College of the Air Force is America's largest community, junior or technical college. The college has awarded more than 125,000 associate in applied science degrees since it first opened in 1972. CCAF is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Air Force Institute Of Technology
AFIT's Civilian Institutions Program places students in more than 400 civilian universities, research centers, hospitals, and industrial organizations throughout the United States and in several other countries. Through its two resident schools and the Civilian Institutions Program, AFIT graduates about 800 degree students annually.
AFIT also has two resident schools dedicated to short, specialized courses in professional continuing education, and to provide expert consultation services to Air Force commanders and their staffs. The Civil Engineer and Services School provides engineering, environmental, services and management courses to customers throughout DOD and other federal agencies. The School of Systems and Logistics was instrumental in creating the Air Technology Network, where students learn in a classroom without walls. By providing courses via satellite, many more people have access to AFIT's courses without compromising learning, yet still providing a significant cost saving for customers. Building on AFIT's success, distance learning is expanding across Air University
In all, well over 30,000 students graduate from these continuing education programs each year.
Continuing Professional Education
Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development
The College for Professional Development provides courses for chaplains, commanders, personnel and manpower managers, comptrollers, family support center mangers, judge advocates, first sergeants and historians. In addition, the college awards Air Force specialty codes to paralegal specialists and chaplain assistants.
College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research And Education
CADRE is also responsible for doctrine research and education. Its doctrine analysts examine both existing and proposed concepts and strategies and deliver the results directly to the Air Force Doctrine Center. Also, CADRE's Air Force Wargaming Institute conducts numerous games each year to enhance the war fighting skills of both U.S. and international military officers. Competing demands for war gaming support make the Air Force Wargaming Institute a highly visible entity throughout DOD.
Other AU Organizations
Office of Academic Support
Civil Air Patrol
An Air Force liaison staff provides advice and assistance to CAP's full-time corporate staff. CAP's members manage all aspects of their day-to-day operations. The Civil Air Patrol program has more than 50,000 members in 52 wings; one in each state, as well as in Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. CAP units also exist at several American installations overseas.
42nd Air Base Wing
At the close of World War II, as plans were made to establish the U.S. Air Force as a separate branch of the armed forces, officials recognized that continuing professional education would be as important to the new service's future as its inventory of weapons.
In 1946, under the direction of Gen. Muir S. Fairchild, a group of educational pioneers made plans for a new professional military educational system. They envisioned a centrally managed university complex with schools and colleges to meet a variety of needs. Today, Air University and its educational facilities stand as visible evidence of the soundness of their planning.
POINT OF CONTACT
42nd Air Base Wing, Public Affairs Office; 50 LeMay Plaza South; Maxwell AFB, Ala. 36112-6334; DSN 493-2014 or (205) 953-2014. For the Air University home page, go here.
Above Information Courtesy of United States Air Force