Air and Space Basic Course: A Cost Effective Contribution to Air Force Officer Professional Development
Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States
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Since 1998, the USAF endeavored to send every second lieutenant through the Air and Space Basic Course ASBC at Maxwell AFB, Alabama within their first two years on active duty. 1,2 The ASBC strives to provide every lieutenant with a baseline knowledge of Air, Space and Cyberspace operations, an understanding of USAF doctrine, heritage, and culture, a commitment to the warrior ethos and USAF core values, and dedication to leading air, space, and cyberspace expeditionary forces. 3 However, the ASBC, as currently configured, only partially accomplishes the objectives for which it was designed and provides minimal contributions to officer professional development. Thus, in the current fiscally constrained environment, the course should be discontinued and the fiscal savings used to increase enrollment at Squadron Officer School SOS and lower the overall budget of Air University. Results of a RAND study published as a doctoral dissertation, data from interviews of ASBC graduates squadron commanders, comments on supervisor surveys of graduates, and logic based arguments bear this assertion out. However, before assessing the merits and shortfalls of the ASBC, essential background information on USAF officer professional development, the genesis of the ASBC, the ASBC curriculum, and the monetary costs of the ASBC is required for context.