Air University

Air University Vision: The intellectual and leadership-development center of the Air and Space Forces.

Air University Mission: Access, train, educate and develop Air and Space warfighters in support of the National Defense Strategy.

Air University, headquartered at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala., is a major component of Air Education and Training Command and is the lead agent for Air Force education. AU provides the full spectrum of Air Force education, encompassing pre-commissioning programs for new officers; graduate programs in specialized military disciplines; progressive, career-long professional military development for Department of Defense officers, enlisted members and civilians; and specialized programs for U.S. cabinet appointees, senior executive service civilians and general officers.

AU’s professional military education programs educate warfighters to leverage air, space and cyberspace power to achieve national security objectives. Specialized professional continuing educational programs provide scientific, technological, managerial and other professional expertise to meet the needs of the Air Force. AU also conducts research on the evolving security environment; emerging threats; future uses for air, space and cyberspace power; working in joint and coalition teams and multicultural environments; education; military leadership; management; and other topics that inform senior leaders and contribute to curriculum development. The university is also engaged in community and public service, offering the citizenship program Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.

The university’s primary operating locations are concentrated on four military installations. AU’s officer and enlisted PME and officer accessions programs are offered in residence at Maxwell in northwest Montgomery and at Gunter Annex, located just north of the city. AU’s distance-learning PME programs are also developed and maintained by the Maxwell–Gunter campus faculty. The Air Force Institute of Technology, AU’s college of engineering, science and technology, is located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; and the Air Force Test Pilot School is located at Edwards AFB, Calif.

AU strives for diversity, drawing students from all service components of the Department of Defense, other U.S. government security agencies and foreign military services from 80 plus nations each year. Air University organizations include, Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education, Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education, Ira C. Eaker Center for Leadership Development, Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, Squadron Officer School, International Officer School, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, U.S. Air Force Center for Strategy and Technology, AFIT, Air Force TPS and several academic centers and support organizations.

The Wright brothers established the first U.S. civilian flying school in Montgomery in 1910 on the site where Maxwell now sits. By the 1920s, Montgomery was an important link in the growing system of aerial mail service. In the early 1930s, the Army Air Corps Tactical School moved to Montgomery, establishing Maxwell Field as the country’s intellectual center for airpower education.

Maxwell Field was named in honor of 2nd Lt. William C. Maxwell, a native of Atmore, Ala., who died in the Philippines in 1920 while attempting to land his DH-4 in a sugarcane field to avoid a group of children playing below.

The 42nd Air Base Wing, AU’s host organization, manages facility infrastructure, safety, housing and local area network systems, as well as providing many services that contribute to the quality of student life on campus. Some of the larger mission partners located on Maxwell and Gunter are the Air Force Reserve’s 908th Airlift Wing; Air Force Program Executive Office-Business and Enterprise Systems, an Air Force Materiel Command, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center directorate; and the 26th Network Operations Squadron.

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. AU’s current worldwide reach enriches the careers of every Air Force member.
For more information about Air University, contact the Air University Public Affairs Office at (334) 953-2014/2015.

(Current as of September 2023)

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. (U.S. Air Force graphic)