AFIT realigns nuclear, space education programs


For Greene County News

FAIRBORN – Air University Commander Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast announced Sept. 11 that several professional continuing education programs will realign to AU’s Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The programs realigning are the National Security Space Institute, which is currently aligned under AU’s Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development, and the Nuclear College component of AU’s Center for Unconventional Weapons Studies.

This action is being taken as part of a comprehensive AU transformation initiative, led by Kwast. The primary goal of this decision is to take a more holistic, coordinated approach to meeting current and future education requirements in several of the Air Force’s high-priority core missions, to include air and space superiority and nuclear deterrence—global strike.

AFIT is currently responsible for graduate degree and certificate programs related to space in AFIT’s Center for Space Research and Assurance, as well as those programs related to nuclear deterrence. AFIT is also a major center for Air Force professional continuing education; for example, its School of Systems and Logistics and The Civil Engineer School, enroll more than 22,000 students annually. This action will make more effective use of AU’s faculty talent with nuclear and space expertise and associated staff resources.

AFIT currently supports Air Force requirements for both graduate education and professional continuing education in cyber through its Center for Cyberspace Research. With the realignment of space and nuclear professional continuing education, AFIT will be AU’s primary center for comprehensive education in several of the Air Force’s high-priority core missions: nuclear deterrence, cyber and space superiority.

The National Security Space Institute, located at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the Department of Defense’s center of excellence for professional continuing education, or PCE, for the national security space community. NSSI researches, develops and provides world-class instruction of space system technologies, capabilities, operational concepts, acquisitions and tactics in support of joint service strategies to develop space professionals across the DOD and with several international allies, as well as to provide space education to warfighters for joint military operations.

With a faculty and staff of 44 military, Air Force civilians and contractors, the NSSI currently enrolls about 800 students each year from across the DOD, as well as allied countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

NSSI currently offers two courses for space professionals: Space 200, a four-week course for mid-career officers, enlisted and civilians; and Space 300, a three-week capstone course for senior officers, enlisted and civilians.

AU’s Nuclear College, located at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, currently offers three PCE courses to Airmen in the nuclear enterprise. With a faculty and staff of 10 Air Force civilians, the program enrolls more than 1,100 people annually.

Nuclear 200, Air Force Nuclear Fundamentals, is a four-day course designed to enhance awareness of the U.S. Air Force nuclear mission. The course covers nuclear weapon fundamentals, force structure, nuclear stockpile guidance and planning, the DOD nuclear surety program, the nuclear community, and current issues related to the Air Force’s nuclear mission.

Nuclear 300, Advanced Nuclear Concepts, is a five-day in-residence course that covers nuclear history and lifecycle, nuclear effects and surety, nuclear policy/strategy, the U.S. nuclear enterprise, nuclear incident response, and stockpile sustainment. The course is for “core nuclear” individuals at the nine-plus year point working in the nuclear enterprise.

Nuclear 400, Senior Leader Nuclear Management, is a two-day, nuclear issues course for flag officers and civilian members of the federal senior executive service who have nuclear responsibilities in their portfolio of responsibilities.

Story courtesy of Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

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