Sharing space with the world: Eaker's NSSI opens course to foreign students|
by Army Maj. Jason Nunnery
National Security Space Institute
4/22/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The National Security Space Institute opened the Space 200 course to students from Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada, welcoming two Canadian space officers to the course Tuesday.
The Space 200 course is NSSI's mid-career course for space professional education. It develops space professionals who think critically about the application of space power. The course investigates two major areas: space system development and space power. In each area, students actively participate in exercises challenging them to determine what to do given the dynamics and uncertainly of the national security environment.
Opening the Space 200 course to Australian, British and Canadian students was not an easy process. It took two years of lesson plan development, coordination with both Air Force Space Command and Air Education and Training Command's foreign disclosure offices, as well as the final approval through the office of the deputy under secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs. All of the hard work is finally coming to fruition as international space partners are welcomed into the realm of space professional education.
Since 2004, the NSSI has provided responsive space professional continuing education to all four branches of the U.S. military. Graduates have distinguished themselves in supporting the warfighter using space effects and technology. However, the U.S. is not alone in bringing space support to the fighting forces, and as partnerships with other nations grow, their personnel require knowledge to work with U.S. space systems and personnel.
International partners already occupy many space positions in places such as the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., and the International Security Assistance Force headquarters at Kabul, Afghanistan. These space professionals work hand in hand with U.S. space personnel on a daily basis. Therefore, the baseline knowledge level of all space personnel must be equal regardless of which nation they belong. Space 200 now provides that opportunity.
In addition to developing and retaining space professionals, one of the goals of the June 2010 National Space Policy is to expand international cooperation on mutually beneficial space activities. Furthermore, January's National Security Space Strategy said DoD will "continue to partner with others to augment the U.S. national security space posture across many mission areas."
NSSI is a part of Air University's Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development.