U.S. Air Force Special Operations School
Published March 01, 2003
The U.S. Air Force Special Operations School is a primary support unit of the Air Force Special Operations Command, the Air Force component of the U.S. Special Operations Command. The school is collocated with and directly supports USSOCOM's Joint Special Operations University at Hurlburt Field, Fla.
The USAFSOS prepares special operations Airmen to successfully plan, organize, and execute global special operations by providing indoctrination and education for AFSOC, other USSOCOM components, and joint/interagency/ coalition partners. USAFSOS turns skilled Airmen into special operators. USAFSOS builds on the functional training conducted by other agencies such as Air Education and Training Command and the USSOCOM training component schools: U.S. Navy Special Operations Command's Special Warfare Center and U.S. Army Special Operations Command's John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. USAFSOS also provides administrative and facility support to USSOCOM's Joint Special Operations University
Personnel and Resources
The joint staff and faculty are composed of 40 Air Force officer and enlisted personnel, 10 Air Force Reserve Individual Mobilization Augmentees, and Army and Navy special operators, civilians, and contractor personnel.
The curriculum is determined by AFSOC validated educational requirements. USAFSOS meet the USAF Instructional Systems Development standards and are integrated with the USAF training system.
One-week regional and cultural awareness courses focus on special operations forces areas of responsibility. These courses trace their roots to the very first course taught at USAFSOS. The courses orient the SOF warrior to the cultural, historical, political, economic and security issues of a particular region.
Asymmetric warfare educate SOF personnel on adversarial threats and operational and technological countermeasures available for consideration. Asymmetric warfare courses include crisis response, information operations, psychological warfare, force protection, unconventional warfare, international terrorism, and space operations.
Professional development courses indoctrinate new personnel into the special operations community and mission.
Joint special operations courses provide SOF indoctrination for new Air Commandos and cover doctrine, SOF air command and control, contemporary insurgency warfare, and operational planning. The school also conducts courses to prepare selected officers to command deployed operations.
USAFSOS is increasing its reach with Joint Special Operations University support by using distance-learning technologies to expand course availability. .
Introduction to Special Operations
Cross Cultural Communications
Middle East Orientation
South-Central Asia Orientation
Sub-Saharan Africa Orientation
Latin America Orientation
Contemporary Insurgent Warfare
Dynamics of International Terrorism
Responsible Officer Course - Force Protection II
Commander's Responsibility Force Protection III
Special Operations Liaison Element
Joint Special Operations Air Component
Mission Commander's Course
Space Application for Special Operations
Joint Search and Rescue Coordination Center
Civil-Military Strategies - Internal Development
Joint Operational Influence Course
Joint Senior PSYOP Course
Attending the School
Information for attending the school can be found on the USAFSOS website through the AF Portal. Course quotas are available for AFSOC and other special operations personnel. Other government personnel may attend on a space available basis. Course security classifications range from unclassified to top secret.
Most courses are one week long and use expert guest speakers to ensure the most timely and relevant information is provided to the students. More than 700 such guest speakers, including former ambassadors, distinguished academicians, and active-duty and retired flag-rank officers, support USAFSOS.
There are no tuition charges for U.S. personnel. Student travel and per diem costs are the responsibility of the home unit and average approximately $850 for a one-week course.
The U.S. Air Force Special Air Warfare School was activated at Hurlburt Field in April 1967 under the Special Air Warfare Center, then located at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The school was redesignated the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School in 1968. The initial curriculum was The Special Air Warfare Indoctrination Course designed to prepare Air Force personnel for duty in Southeast Asia. Courses have grown and expanded continuously to meet the educational needs of the emerging special operations warriors as they respond to complex world situations.