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Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base Montgomery, Alabama

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55 LeMay Plaza South
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6335
(334) 953-2014
Air University

Air University, headquartered at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., is a major component of Air Education and Training Command and is the Air Force’s center for professional military education.

MISSION     [Return to Top]

Air University 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 and civilian personnel throughout their careers. The university's Professional Military Education (PME) programs educate airmen on the capabilities of air and space power and its role in national security. These programs focus on the knowledge and abilities needed to develop, employ, command, and support air and space power at the highest levels. Specialized Professional Continuing Education (PCE) programs provide scientific, technological, managerial, and other professional expertise to meet the needs of the Air Force. Air University conducts research in air and space power, education, leadership, and management. The university also provides citizenship programs and contributes to the development and testing of Air Force doctrine, concepts and strategy.

HISTORY      [Return to Top]

The Wright Brothers established the first U.S. civilian flying school in Montgomery in 1910. By the 1920s, Montgomery became an important link in the growing system of aerial mail service. It was in the early 1930s when the Army Air Corps Tactical School moved to Maxwell and Montgomery became 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 U.S. Armed Forces, federal government civilians and many international organizations. Today, AU has a reach worldwide affecting the careers of every Air Force member.

Learn more about Air University's History


The university's primary operating locations are concentrated on three main installations. Most AU programs are at Maxwell AFB in northwest Montgomery, Ala.; some are across town at Maxwell's Gunter Annex; and one is located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Although AU draws students from throughout the Department of Defense and from the military forces of other nations, its mission is more easily described in terms of the two main groups it's primarily organized to serve: U.S. Air Force commissioned officers and enlisted members.


Air University institutions at Maxwell include Air War College; Air Command and Staff College; Squadron Officer College; College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education; Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development; School for Advanced Air and Space Studies, Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools; Community College of the Air Force; and several other support organizations. AU also supports the Civil Air Patrol. Additionally, at Gunter Annex, AU manages the College for Enlisted Professional Military Education, which includes the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy and the Air Force Institute for Advanced Distributed Learning. Support for the AU organizations on Maxwell/Gunter is provided by 42nd Air Base Wing, the host organization. Another important part of AU is the Air Force Institute of Technology located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.


College for Enlisted Professional Military Education

The College for Enlisted Professional Military Education at Gunter is responsible for the instructional programs and faculty development for all Air Force Enlisted Professional Military Education Programs. This includes the Airman Leadership Schools, Noncommissioned Officer Academies and the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy.

U.S. Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy

The Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy graduates more than 1,800 chief master sergeant selects, senior master sergeants, selected master sergeants, and sister service and international senior NCOs annually.

Noncommissioned Officer Academies

The NCO Academies provide selected noncommissioned officers quality professional military education to more efficiently and effectively develop and fulfill their responsibilities in the world’s best air and space fighting force. The objective is for the student to gain an understanding of their positions in the military structure and the need to develop the skills necessary for effectiveness in those supervisory positions.

Squadron Officer College

The Squadron Officer College is designed to educate company grade officers on the basic concepts of modern-day air and space warfare and essentials of military leadership. Commissioned as an AU college in February 2000, SOC is composed of two educational schools: the Air and Space Basic Course and Squadron Officer School.

Air and Space Basic Course

ASBC is a six-week program organized to teach second lieutenants the essential concepts of how the Air Force prosecutes aerial wars. A new addition to the program is a five-day combined operations period with the Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy. This integrated curriculum includes a focus on hands-on leadership skills, improved communication abilities and a better appreciation of both officer and enlisted force development issues.

Squadron Officer School

Squadron Officer School is designed to teach the essence of military leadership, air and space doctrine, international security issues, and communication skills. Students are not only exposed to these new concepts, they are required to apply these lessons in a variety of complex experiential learning exercises.

Air Command and Staff College

Air Command and Staff College is the Air Force’s intermediate professional military education school, prepares field grade officers of all services (primarily majors and major selects), international officers and U.S. civilians to assume positions of higher responsibility within the military and other government arenas. Geared toward teaching the skills necessary to conduct air and space operations in support of a joint campaign, ACSC focuses on shaping and molding tomorrow’s leaders and commanders.

Air War College

Air War College is the senior school in the Air Force PME system. It educates selected senior officers to lead at the strategic level in the employment of air and space forces. The curriculum focuses on coalition warfighting and national security issues, with emphasis on the effective employment of aerospace forces in joint and combined combat operations. Additionally, AWC provides the only open enrollment nonresident senior PME program in the Department of Defense.


Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools

Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools provides coordinated leadership and policy direction for the Air Force's officer recruiting training and commissioning programs at Officer Training School and at Air Force ROTC detachments. AFOATS also directs the Air Force's high school citizenship training program - Air Force Junior ROTC.

Reserve Officer Training Corps

Air Force ROTC is the largest source of commissioned officers for the Air Force. The organization's mission is to produce Air Force leaders and to build better citizens for America.

Officer Training School

Officer Training School is the "flexible partner" of Air Force commissioning programs. OTS provides two officer-training programs: Basic Officer Training and Commissioned Officer Training.

ACADEMIC EDUCATION      [Return to Top]

Community College of the Air Force

The Community College of the Air Force is the only degree-granting institution of higher learning in the world dedicated exclusively to enlisted people. CCAF offers unique opportunities for motivated, career-oriented active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve airmen and NCOs to earn a job-related, two-year undergraduate associate in applied science degree. CCAF also facilitates selected professional certification and recognition for airmen.

Air Force Institute of Technology

The Air Force Institute of Technology supports the Air Force and national defense through responsive degree-granting graduate and professional continuing education, research and consulting services to AF and DOD agencies. Graduate-level work offers carefully selected officers, AF civilians, and international officers the broad educational experience necessary for understanding the role of technology in national defense and in analyzing and solving defense-related problems.


College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education

The College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education advances theory and application of air and space power through professional continuing education, research and wargaming.

Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development

The Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development provides world-class professional continuing education and technical training to Air Force and other Department of Defense personnel and international officers. It offers resident and distance-learning/exportable courses for chaplains; chaplain assistants; wing, group and on-scene commanders; military and civilian personnel and manpower managers; comptrollers, family support center personnel; judge advocates; paralegals; first sergeants; and historians.

International Officer School

International Officer School supports professional military education by conducting five classes of six weeks duration each year to enhance international officers' understanding of the United States and to prepare them to attend Air War College, Air Command and Staff College or Squadron Officer College.

School of Advanced Air and Space Studies

The School of Advanced Air and Space Studies produces tomorrow's senior military leaders who are experts in the employment of air and space forces. SAASS is an 11-month, follow-on school for selected graduates of intermediate-level DOD PME schools. SAASS educates strategists in the art and science of air and space warfare to enhance the Air Force's capacity to defend the United States through the control and exploitation of air and space.


Civil Air Patrol

The Civil Air Patrol has its national headquarters at Maxwell. Chartered by Congress as the official auxiliary of the Air Force, it is a private, nonprofit organization with three missions: emergency service, air and space education and conducting a cadet program.

Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps

Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools also administers the Air Force Junior ROTC program. This program provides citizenship training and an air and space science program for high school youth.


Air Force Institute for Advanced Distributed Learning

Air Force Institute for Advanced Distributed Learning is the Air Force focal point for implementation of advanced distributed learning policy and emerging ADL technology; the Executive Agent for the Air Force Extension Course Program, and the Executive Technology Network (ATN).

Academic Support Services

The Air University resident and distance education programs receive academic support from such organization as AU Registrar, AU Library, AU Press, AU Television, Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute and AU Bookstore.

Air University Library

The premier library in the Department of Defense, the AU Library houses especially strong collections in the fields of warfighting, aeronautics, Air Force and DOD operations, military sciences, international relations, education, leadership and management. Bearing the name of Gen. Muir S. Fairchild, the founder and first commander of AU, the library serves as the focal point of faculty and student research, holding more than 2.9 million items.

Air University Television

Operating under the chief of information technology, Air University Television – a video-production facility for DOD and Air Force projects – provides dedicated television services to the university's professional military education and professional continuing education courses.

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