International Officer School graduates 126 international military students

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  • By By International Officer School

As summer descended upon Maxwell, so did 126 international military students from across the globe.

Each year, IMS and their families arrive for a yearlong professional military education experience at Air University’s Air War College and Air Command and Staff College.

 The international students have a chance to adjust to the warm summer weather and life in the United States during specialized two-month long preparatory courses at International Officer School here designed to prepare them for the rigorous curriculum of their PME courses.

On July 7, 2022, IOS graduated 46 Air War College IMS representing 46 allies and partners across the globe.  Then, on July 21, 2022, IOS graduated 80 Air Command and Staff College IMS representing 64 allies and partners from around the world. These 126 students have already been identified as future senior leaders and approximately 10% will go on to serve as air chiefs or higher in their respective countries.

During this year’s programs, the students tackled 400 hours of academics that focused on the history of the United States, instruments of national power and strategic security issues that have global impact. 

In addition to their strategic studies, they also focused on communication skills and were tasked with writing assignments, participating in seminar discourse and debates and building presentations to prepare them for their upcoming academics at AWC and ACSC. In addition to in-class academics, the AWC students traveled to Washington, D.C., to experience democracy in action as part of their field studies program. Trip highlights were their tour of the United States Capitol building and meeting with Alabama Congressman Barry Moore and Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville to discuss strategic issues that impact our allies and partners.

 Col. Alex Ganster, IOS commandant, addressed the students at the graduation ceremonies and emphasized the importance of international students attending PME at Air University and how their contributions have a lasting impact on the U.S. students.

To wrap up the ceremonies, AWC Commandant Brig. Gen. William Freeman and ACSC Commandant Col. Matthew Berry addressed the students as they transitioned from the IOS Preparatory Course to their respective professional military education courses.  Both commandants challenged them to learn about the United States and its culture, share about themselves and their cultures, have fun and enjoy their time in America.

The current administration’s Interim National Security Guidance states that the United States will reinvigorate and modernize the nation’s alliances and partnerships around the world. Alliances and partnerships are vital to ensuring the United States is prepared to execute a strategy of integrated deterrence. For decades, the nation’s allies and partners have stood by its side against common threats and adversaries and worked hand-in-hand to advance shared interests and values. They are a tremendous source of strength and a unique American advantage, helping to shoulder the responsibilities required to keep our nations safe and their people prosperous.

In 1954, the Air Force instituted the Allied Officer Preparatory Phase Course to aid the adjustment of international officers attending AU programs. Since that time, more than 13,000 international military students from 143 countries have graduated from International Officer School preparatory courses. To this day, IOS operates to enable the educational mission of the schools and the programs it supports.

Additionally, the United States has made a commitment to substantially increasing international officer participation in PME over the next 10 years. Air University has already seen a 12% increase in international student participation.

“International military student participation provides the United States and our allies and partners an asymmetric advantage over our adversaries,” said Mike Homan, IOS deputy commandant.

Overall, IOS delivers a positive and respectful experience for international military students and their families to help grow mutually beneficial global partnerships with future international military leaders.