AF, Navy form alliance to better meet education needs

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. A.J. Bosker
  • Air Force Print News
The Air Force and Navy formed an agreement Dec. 18 to meet the advanced education requirements of both services and the Department of Defense.

This educational alliance will leverage the capabilities of the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., to ensure officers continue receiving "world-class" graduate education, according to Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James G. Roche.

This initiative was prompted by a joint study chartered by Roche and Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England to review each of their services' graduate educational processes.

"By working together, we hope to minimize redundancy at the two institutions while still providing a world-class educational environment in which officers from all services can engage in education and research programs jointly," Roche said.

England echoed those comments, adding that the agreement will not only provide for better educational opportunities, but will do so in a multi-service atmosphere.

"This is a tremendous effort to maximize the strengths of both AFIT and NPS and form solid alliances for a truly joint environment," England said.

The alliance is designed to enable the Air Force and Navy to provide their officers, airmen and sailors with relevant, high-quality education that is directly aligned with Department of Defense needs while eliminating the duplication caused by running two independent institutions, he explained.

"This alliance strengthens both AFIT and NPS," England said. "Each has it own unique heritage and character and both are vital to this effort that will align them closely with the needs of our armed forces in the 21st century."

Changes are being made to the curricula at AFIT and NPS to eliminate duplicate degree programs and consolidate educational resources.

AFIT will become the DOD center of excellence for aeronautical-engineering education. NPS will become the DOD center of excellence for acquisition-management and meteorology graduate education.

Both services, as alliance partners, will establish joint boards in each of these areas to ensure the educational requirements of each service are met.

The chair of the aeronautical engineering board will be held by a Navy flag officer while the meteorology and acquisition boards will be chaired by an Air Force general.

Peter B. Teets, the undersecretary of the Air Force and director of the National Reconnaissance Office, will be the initial chair of the space board until a flag or general officer can be selected from within the NRO.

Each board will provide a periodic report to the Board of Visitors from Air University at Maxwell AFB, Ala., and the Board of Advisors from the NPS.

These two governing bodies will provide joint oversight for the alliance. Members of each board will be invited to attend the other's meetings and joint meetings of both boards will be held if necessary.

Further cooperation between alliance partners will be encouraged by selecting an Air Force colonel as the deputy superintendent and chief of staff of the NPS and a Navy captain as the vice commandant and director of staff at AFIT. Each will serve as his service's senior liaison officer at his institution.

Air Force and Naval officers will be given priority at the other's institution if there are no openings in a particular area of study at their service's institution. Both institutions will be filled before the services send students to civilian universities.