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Air University’s inaugural SWOTS focuses on learning, teaching space topics

  • Published
  • By Air University Public Affairs

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala.-- Air University’s inaugural Summer Workshop on Teaching Space held recently provided attendees with substantive knowledge on space, including leading edge information and in-depth analysis of classic space studies.

The weeklong workshop, July 26-30, 2021, at MGMWERX in Montgomery, Alabama, also served as a forum to share information and provide ideas for stimulating learning and teaching on space topics.

The workshop covered a wide array of topics, including the overarching history and mission of the U.S. Space Force, space power theory and strategy, orbital mechanics, new private industry approaches, space law, space policy and best practices for teaching about space.

“The SWOT helped with breaking down the numerous silos that exist in the field,” said workshop organizer and AU’s interim dean of space education, Dr. Andrea Harrington. “Whether those differences are between military, civilian or commercial entities, the STEM and humanities communities or particular academic institutions, we made great strides in sharing ideas, broadening networks and welcoming people potentially daunted by such silos and the classification of research.”

Guest presenter  Maj. Gen. DeAnna Burt, commander, Combined Force Space Component Command, U.S. Space Command, and vice commander, Space Operations Command, U.S. Space Force, challenged each of the more than 40 attendees to “ask why at every moment in the process,” referring to issues that could impact how space exploration unfolds in the decades ahead, including scenarios where potential competition could arise.

Event organizers believe SWOTS hit its intended messaging goals.

“SWOTS was really successful in taking these ‘mysterious’ concepts that are out there and bringing them down to Earth,” said Dr. Gregory Miller, an event organizer and professor at Air Command and Staff College. “I am very certain the relationships created will continue to share and refine those concepts for the benefit of all going forward.”  

SWOTS was hosted in partnership with the U.S. Space Force-sponsored Schriever Scholars Program and MGMWERX. Attendees included professors and leaders from AU’s ACSC, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Air War College and Cyber College as well as representatives from NASA, RAND, the American Foreign Policy Council, industry partners and other academic institutions.