Published January 06, 2004
Air University, with headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., is a key component of Air Education and Training Command, and is the Air Force's center for professional military education.
We produce the future. We launch leaders of character, educated to think critically, strategically, and jointly to master and deliver superior Airpower in support of national security objectives.
Air University provides the full spectrum of Air Force education from pre-commissioning to all levels of professional military education, including degree granting and professional continuing education for officers, enlisted and civilian personnel throughout their careers.
The university's professional military education programs educate Airmen on the capabilities of air, space and cyberspace power and its role in national security. These programs focus on the knowledge and abilities needed to develop, employ, command, and support air and space power at the highest levels.
Specialized professional continuing educational programs provide scientific, technological, managerial and other professional expertise to meet the needs of the Air Force. Air University conducts research in air and space power, education, leadership and management. The university also provides citizenship programs and contributes to the development and testing of Air Force doctrine, concepts and strategy.
One Team. Transformative Education. The Intellectual and Leadership Center of the Air Force.
Personnel and Resources
Air University's primary operating locations are concentrated on three main installations. Most AU programs are at Maxwell AFB in northwest Montgomery, Ala.; some are across town at Maxwell's Gunter Annex; and one is located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Although AU 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 three main groups that it serves: U.S. Air Force officers, enlisted members and civilians.
Air University institutions at Maxwell include the Carl A. Spaatz Center for Officer Education; Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development; Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education; Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education; Air Force Research Institute; Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development; and several other support organizations. AU also supports the Civil Air Patrol - U.S. Air Force, which is a part of the Holm Center. The Air Force Institute of Technology is located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The Air Force Chaplain Corps College is located at Ft. Jackson, So. Car. The National Security Space Institute is located at Petersen AFB, Col. The 42nd Air Base Wing provides support for AU organizations on Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex and serves as AU's host organization.
Professional Military Education
Carl A. Spaatz Center for Officer Education
The center was established on April 29, 2008, and is named in honor of the first chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force. Each school within the Spaatz Center prepares officers from second lieutenant to colonel in the full spectrum of officer professional military education. The Spaatz Center is responsible for directing, integrating, synchronizing and supporting a continuum of officer PME, research and outreach that produces leaders for the warfighter who effectively articulate, advocate and employ air, space and cyberspace power in a joint and multinational environment.
· Squadron Officer College. Air University's college for the early development of future air, space and cyberspace leaders, and the Air Force's center for company grade officer professional development. The mission is to develop CGO's as leaders of integrity ready to aim high -- fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace.
-- Squadron Officer School. This eight-week course for captains with four to seven years of experience, international Allied partners and DoD civilian equivalents graduates more than 3,000 officers annually with 11,000 enrolled in distance learning. It emphasizes leadership and air, space, and cyberspace power. While at SOS, officers step out of their specialties and broaden their focus on essential leadership competencies, as well as officership, leadership, problem solving, core values, and the Air Force as an institution in the profession of arms. SOS not only provides students with an opportunity to see how their leadership skills influence team success, but also to experience followership in support of other student leaders as well as their international partners.
· Air Command and Staff College. A 40-week course, ACSC educates majors, DoD civilian equivalents and international Allied partners in areas related to critical thinking and effective communication. ACSC focuses on air, space and cyberspace education and preparing the world's best joint strategic leaders. Students are educated on the profession of arms, air power history, international security, the requisites of command, the nature of war, and the application of air, space and cyberspace power at the operational level of war. The online Masters Program provides AF majors and civilian equivalents an educational opportunity to meet needs of AF while accommodating today's high operations tempo. More than 480 students graduate annually and 11,000 students enroll in its distance learning program.
· Air War College. This 44-week course is the senior school in the Air Force professional military education system. AWC is for lieutenant colonels, colonels, international Allied partners and equivalent grade DoD civilians and develops senior leaders for strategic-level employment of air, space and cyberspace forces. The curriculum emphasizes coalition war fighting and national security. Approximately 250 students graduate annually, and 4,500 students enroll in distance learning. The course includes seminars, simulation exercises, electives, international travel and a national security symposium to develop cross-domain mastery of joint airpower and its strategic contributions to national security.
· International Officer School. This seven-week course annually provides over 200 international officers an enhanced understanding of the United States and prepares them to attend Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, or Squadron Officer School. Courses refine communication skills while providing U.S. military context to help them comprehend materials used in Air University classes. Through the Alabama Goodwill Ambassadors, a civilian sponsorship program, the international students are introduced to political, military and socioeconomic aspects of American culture.
School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. SAASS is the U.S. Air Force's graduate school for airpower strategists. For 49 weeks, students encounter an extremely rigorous curriculum and outstanding educational and research resources to produce future senior leaders who are experts in the employment of air, space and cyberspace forces. Approximately 45 students from the Air Force and sister services, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and international partner nations graduate annually. Unique to the DoD, students have the opportunity to earn a Master of Philosophy in Military Strategy. Additionally, SAASS is the home of the Air University Ph.D. in Military Strategy doctoral program available to exceptionally-qualified graduates.
Centers of Excellence
Centers of Excellence respond to Air Force requirements for competence in novel or specialized areas of knowledge and practice. As directed by Air Force senior leaders, they provide focused research, lessons-learned, education, outreach and support. Centers service the needs of Airmen, leaders, and the Air Force organizations responsible for policy, doctrine, training and specialized military roles. They offer conceptual depth to sponsors and enable the institutional Air Force to operationalize cutting-edge knowledge in emerging fields. The Centers of Excellence are the Public Affairs Center of Excellence; Air Force Culture and Language Center; Air Force Center for Strategy and Technology; and the Air Force Counter Proliferation Center.
Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development
The center is named in honor of the first woman in the Air Force to be appointed to the grade of brigadier general. The Holm Center provides coordinated leadership and policy direction for the Air Force's officer recruiting, training and commissioning programs at the Air Force Officer Training School and at Air Force ROTC detachments at 145 universities. About 80 percent of the officers who enter the Air Force each year come through one of these two programs. The center's staff also manages, supports and develops curriculum to train tomorrow's Air Force officers. The Holm Center also directs the Air Force's high school citizenship training program, Air Force Junior ROTC and is home to Civil Air Patrol-U.S. Air Force.
· Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. Air Force ROTC is the largest source of commissioned officers for the Air Force, offering a 2- or 4-year commissioning program for college students. There are approximately 14,000 cadets in the ROTC program at 145 detachments in over 1,100 colleges and universities nationwide and in Puerto Rico. The ROTC program commissions approximately 1,800 second lieutenants annually.
· Officer Training School. The school provides four training programs: Basic Officer Training, Commissioned Officer Training, Reserved Commissioned Officer Training and Academy of Military Science. BOT, a 12-week course, prepares college graduates and qualified enlisted members for the professional and physical requirements of service as active duty and Reserve Air Force line officers. COT, a 4 ½-week course, provides military training and leadership development for health professionals, judge advocates and chaplains that receive direct commissions in the Air Force. Patterned after COT's leadership and military training curriculum, RCOT is a specialized 2 ½-week course for hard-to-recruit AF Reserve health professionals, judge advocates and chaplains. AMS, a 6-week program, is designed to train and commission second lieutenants to fulfill Air National Guard requirements. OTS is considered the flexible commissioning partner for the Air Force because it has the capability to quickly increase or decrease annual officer production. OTS trains approximately 2,800 individuals annually.
· Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. Air Force Junior ROTC provides citizenship training and an aerospace science program for high school students. Air Force Junior ROTC participants do not incur any obligation to the Air Force. There are more than 870 Air Force Junior ROTC units with over 120,000 cadets in high schools across the United States and at selected Department of Defense dependent schools in Europe, the Pacific and U.S. territories.
· Civil Air Patrol - U.S. Air Force. An active-duty unit, Civil Air Patrol-U.S. Air Force, is collocated with the CAP National Headquarters and provides Air Force support, liaison and oversight of CAP. The CAP-USAF staff directs more than 200 members at 25 locations nationwide, and provides advice and assistance to the full-time corporate staff. CAP members manage all aspects of their day-to-day operations. The CAP program has more than 60,000 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.
Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education
The center is named in honor of the fourth Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. The center discharges Air University's responsibility for the education of enlisted leaders throughout the Air Force. Since its inception in 2008, the Barnes Center has been refining, adapting and deploying PME curriculum for enlisted education in the Air Force. It now serves as the umbrella organization for all continental U.S. Air Force NCO academies as well as those listed below.
· Community College of the Air Force. CCAF serves the educational needs of the Air Force enlisted community by offering associate in applied science degrees and other credentialing programs that enhance mission readiness, contribute to recruiting, assist in retention, and support the career transitions of enlisted members. The college is the only federally chartered institution in the United States that awards college degrees solely to enlisted personnel. CCAF is regionally accredited through the Air University by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
· U.S. Air Force First Sergeants Academy. The U.S. Air Force First Sergeant Academy provides education and training to select senior noncommissioned officers to serve as advisors to commanders on issues that impact our Airmen in successfully accomplishing our AF mission. Approximately 500 students graduate annually.
· Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute. AFEHRI is dedicated to preserving the heritage and tradition of the enlisted corps of the Air Force and U.S. Army Aeronautical Division, Air Service, Air Corps and Air Forces in the development of air power to defend the United States. The Institute achieves this by featuring artifacts, art collections, and pictorial exhibits, written and oral documentation, audiovisuals, equipment, and selected aircraft parts. Additionally, students use the in-house and on-line research capabilities to enhance learning and complete enlisted heritage research projects.
· Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy. This innovative 6 ½ week academy provides senior enlisted leaders the ability to lead more effectively in dynamic service environments. It emphasizes full range leadership across multiple domains and provides the 2,250 DoD and select enlisted members from Allied nations the opportunity to recognize their influence on mission and team success at the tactical and operational levels of war.
· Air Force Career Development Academy. The Air Force Career Development Academy develops, manages and delivers distance learning curriculum in support of Upgrade Training and Career Development Courses, Professional Military Education, Weighted Airman Promotion System and Professional Continuing Education to over 180,000 Airmen (AD, Reserve, Guard, and civilian) annually.
Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education
The center is named in honor of the fifth chief of staff of the Air Force. The LeMay Center leads the development of operational-level doctrine and establishes the Air Force's position in joint and multinational doctrine. The center develops, examines and teaches through war games the concepts of air, space and cyberspace power doctrine and strategy. It is the hub for air, space and cyberspace doctrine development, warfighting education and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance education. The LeMay Center also provides analysis and assessments of future threat scenarios in support of educational objectives. Each year, the center coordinates, designs, and executes war games that include tactical and strategic-level warfare supporting the development of joint theater-level campaign war games.
Air Force Research Institute
AFRI conducts independent research, outreach and engagement that contribute ideas for enhancing national security, assuring the continued effectiveness of the U.S. Air Force. The institute is home for the Strategic Studies Quarterly, an Air Force-sponsored strategic forum for military, government and academic professionals, and the Air & Space Power Journal, the professional journal of the Air Force and the leading forum for presenting and stimulating innovative thinking on military doctrine, strategy, tactics, force structure, readiness and other national defense matters. Researchers at AFRI conduct independent studies of importance to Air Force leaders. Also part of AFRI is Air University Press, which provides professional publishing services in support of the research and writing programs of Air University and other Air Force agencies.
Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development
The center was named in honor of Gen. Ira C. Eaker to recognize his significant contributions to the Air Force and the continuing professional development of its members. Eaker Center supports the U.S. Air Force mission by providing world class, multidiscipline technical training and professional continuing education to U.S. Air Force, international, and other Department of Defense personnel. The center is composed of five schools: the Commanders' Professional Development School, the Defense Financial Management and Comptroller School, the Air Force Human Resource Management School, USAF Chaplain Corps College, and National Security and Space Institute.
Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center
The Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center, founded in 1946, is the premier research facility in the DoD. The center was named after the founder and first commander of Air University, Gen. Muir S. Fairchild. It houses well-balanced collections especially strong in the fields of warfighting, aeronautics, Air Force and DoD operations, military sciences, international relations, education, leadership and management. The center holds more than 2.6 million items including 514,000 military documents; 556,000 monographs and bound periodical volumes, 162,000 maps and charts, and 150,000 military regulations and manuals. The center's branch library at the U.S. Air Force Senior NCO Academy provides tailored information collections and services for senior NCO professional military education.
Air Force Institute of Technology
The Air Force Institute of Technology, or AFIT, is the Air Force's graduate school of engineering, applied science and management as well as its institution for technical professional continuing education and training. AFIT is committed to providing defense-focused graduate and professional continuing education and research to sustain the technological supremacy of America's air and space forces. AFIT provides capability. Located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, AFIT is comprised of the three schools listed below and the following centers: Advanced Navigation Technology (ANT) Center, Center for Directed Energy (CDE), Center for Cyberspace Research (CCR), Center for Operational Analysis (COA), and Center for Technical Intelligence Studies and Research (CTISR).
- Graduate School of Engineering and Management engages in research activities that enable the Air Force to maintain its scientific and technological dominance. In state-of-the-art classrooms and more than 50 laboratories, AFIT provides expertise in critical technical disciplines, with more than 30 programs from which to choose leading to the award of a master's degree or Ph.D. as well as several graduate certificate programs offered in six academic departments: Aeronautics & Astronautics, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Engineering Physics, Mathematics & Statistics, Operational Sciences, and Systems & Engineering Management. Since resident degrees were first granted in 1956, more than 17,500 graduate and 600 doctor of philosophy degrees have been awarded. Through its Civilian Institution Programs, AFIT also manages Air Force sponsored educational programs of officers enrolled in civilian universities, research centers, hospitals, and industrial organizations.
- School of Systems and Logistics provides the AF's acquisition and logistics workforce with professional continuing education, counseling and research to be the world's best managers of air, space and cyberspace systems.
- The Civil Engineer School provides vital, relevant and connected education that enables Airmen (civil engineer and environmental professionals) to be ready engineers and great leaders who know how to build sustainable installations to last while leading the change for the Civil Engineer career field.
The Wright Brothers established the first U.S. civilian flying school in Montgomery, Ala., in 1910. During WWI, the Air Service established an aircraft and repair depot on the land formerly utilized by the Wright flying school. In 1922, the Air Corps named the airfield after 2Lt William C. Maxwell, a native of Natchez, Ala., killed in an airplane crash in the Philippines on 12 Aug. 1920. 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. During WWII, the Southeast Air Corps Army Air Force Training Center, headquartered at Maxwell Field, conducted basic and advanced flight training for tens of thousands of flying cadets, including those of Allied air forces, at Maxwell Field and airfields across the Southeast United States.
The Air University, established in 1946, continues the proud tradition of educating tomorrow's planners and leaders, in air and space power for the Air Force, other branches of the U.S. armed forces, federal government civilians and many international organizations. Today, Air University's reach spans not only the globe but the careers of every Air Force member.