Air University (AU), headquartered at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, is a major component of Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and is the lead agent for Air Force education. AU provides the full spectrum of Air Force education, encompassing precommissioning programs for new officers; graduate programs in specialized military disciplines; progressive, career-long professional military development for officer, enlisted, and civilian Airmen; and specialized programs for US cabinet appointees, senior executive service (SES) civilians, and general officers.
AU’s professional military education (PME) programs educate Airmen 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 Air Force leaders and contribute to curriculum development. The university is engaged in community and public service, offering two citizenship programs: Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and Civil Air Patrol–USAF.
History. The Wright brothers established the first US civilian flying school in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1910. 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 (ACTS) moved to Montgomery, establishing Maxwell Field as the country’s intellectual center for airpower education.
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 US armed forces, federal government civilians, and many international organizations. AU’s current worldwide reach enriches the careers of every Air Force member.
Organizational Structure. The university’s primary operating locations are concentrated on four main military installations. AU’s officer and enlisted PME and officer accessions programs are offered in residence at Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex in northwest Montgomery, Alabama. AU’s distance-learning PME programs are also developed and maintained by the Maxwell–Gunter campus faculty. The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), AU’s college of engineering, science, and technology, is located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; and the Air Force Test Pilot School (USAF TPS) is located at Edwards AFB, California. AU strives for diversity, drawing students from all service components of the Department of Defense (DOD), other US 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 Professional Development, Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, Squadron Officer College, International Officer School, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, USAF Center for Strategy and Technology, AFIT, USAF TPS, and several support organizations. 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.
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The intellectual and leadership-development center of the Air and Space Forces.
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