Air University, with headquarters at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, provides the full spectrum of Air Force education, from pre-commissioning to the highest levels of professional military education, including degree-granting and professional continuing education for officers, enlisted members, and civilians throughout their careers. AU, which is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, conducts courses both in-residence and via distance learning.
AU has responsibility for the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development. The Holm Center Commander provides direction for two of the Air Force's three commissioning programs – the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and Officer Training School. AFROTC commissions about 1,700 officers annually through programs located at 145 detachments at colleges and universities across the country.
Officer Training School is located at Maxwell, and provides basic officer training, a nine-week program designed to commission about 500-700 new second lieutenants annually. OTS also conducts a five-week commissioned officer training program for about 1,300 new judge advocates, chaplains, and medical officers each year. Additionally, the Air National Guard's Academy of Military Science detachment at OTS commissions about 400 officers annually.
AU's officer PME schools, overseen by the Carl A. Spaatz Center for Officer Education, prepare students from the Air Force, its sister services and allied nations for more responsible positions as they progress through their careers. Emphasis in these programs includes leadership, military doctrine, and air and space power.
Squadron Officer College is the Air Force's center for company grade officer professional development.
SOC's Squadron Officer School has an eight-week in-residence course that delivers primary developmental education for captains from U.S. and allied militaries and civilian equivalents. Approximately 3,000 students attend the in-residence course, with 11,000 enrolled in SOS via distance learning.
Air Command and Staff College is the Air Force's intermediate officer PME school preparing field grade officers of all U.S. services (primarily majors), international officers, and U.S. civilians to assume positions of higher responsibility within the military and government arenas. Geared toward teaching the skills necessary for air and space operations in support of a joint campaign, as well as leadership and command, the course focuses on shaping and molding tomorrow's leaders and commanders. Nearly 500 students attend the annual 40-week in-residence course, while about 9,000 are enrolled via distance learning.
Air War College is the senior school in the Air Force PME system preparing officers from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces (primarily lieutenant colonels), international officers, and civilians of equivalent rank from U.S. government agencies to serve as strategic national security leaders. About 250 students attend the 44-week in-residence course, while about 4,500 are enrolled via distance learning.
The School of Advanced Air and Space Studies is a 50-week, follow-on school for selected graduates of intermediate-level Department of Defense professional military education schools. SAASS creates warrior-scholars with a superior ability to develop, evaluate, and employ airpower with the complex environment of modern war. Upon completion of all requirements and with faculty recommendation, graduates receive a master of philosophy degree in military strategy.
The Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education is responsible for the instructional programs and faculty development for all Air Force enlisted PME programs. This includes Airman Leadership Schools, Noncommissioned Officer Academies, the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy, and the Air Force First Sergeant Academy.
Airman Leadership Schools prepare those in the rank of senior airman to be professional, warfighting Airmen who can supervise and lead Air Force work teams in the employment of air, space and cyberspace power.
Noncommissioned and Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academies provide professional military education to noncommissioned officers for positions of greater responsibility by broadening their leadership and supervisory skills and expanding their perspective of the military profession.
The Community College of the Air Force offers and awards job-related associate in applied science degrees and other academic credentials that enhance mission readiness, contribute to recruiting, assist in retention, and support the career transitions of Air Force enlisted members. Air Force enlisted members are automatically enrolled in the CCAF and begin earning college credit during basic military training.
The mission of AU's Air Force Institute of Technology, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is to advance airpower for the nation, its partners, and the US Armed Forces by providing relevant defense-focused technical graduate and continuing education, research and consultation.
The Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development provides world-class, multi-discipline technical training and professional continuing education to Air Force and other Department of Defense personnel, as well as international students. Its five schools include: the Commanders' Professional Development School; the Air Force Chaplain Corps College; the Defense Financial Management and Comptroller School; the U.S. Air Force Personnel Professional Development School; and the National Security Space Institute.
The Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education develops and publishes Air Force doctrine, teaches doctrine through in-residence and distance learning courses, and advocates airpower through visionary wargaming. The LeMay Center assists in the development, analysis, and wargaming of the concepts, doctrine, and strategy of air and space power. It also educates Air Force and joint communities on warfighting at the operational and strategic levels through research, wargaming and military education courses. The college prepares flag officers from all military services for leadership positions in the joint warfighting environment.
AU's Air Force Research Institute conducts independent research, outreach, and engagement to enhance national security and assure the effectiveness of the US Air Force. AFRI has three divisions. A team of research professors conducts studies on airpower and national security for the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and other senior leaders within the Defense Department. The Air University Press conducts outreach by producing the world's finest publications about airpower and national security, including the Air and Space Power Journal and the Strategic Studies Quarterly. AFRI also has a division devoted to engagement, creating the necessary conversations within the Air Force, and our nation on how best to enhance our thinking about airpower.