Incubating a Space Strategy: The Role of Education
SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States
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The national strategic issues confronted by the United States during the interwar period led to the creation of the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field Alabama, the birthplace and nurturing ground for American air doctrine and strategy. In the same way today, due to aggressive actions by adversaries, the United States faces a similar dilemma with regard to developing space doctrine and strategy. The argument for specific or broad officer education all have merit, but the better approach will have lasting impact on the Air Forces preparedness in space. This study comprises an analysis of the relationship between professional military education and space education. First, through an examination of three defining periods of space application, a problem in defining space doctrine and strategy is presented. Through a historical case study, the author assesses the role of the Air Corps Tactical School to World War II. The conclusion is that the Air Corps Tactical School provided the strategy for Air Force officers to successfully fly, fight and win. Next, the writer evaluates current professional military education, specifically Air Command and Staff College curriculum against space content. The results of this analysis reveal that although ACSC curriculum is steeped in air power history and joint doctrine the needed focus on space education is lacking. By examining the role of professional military education during World War II, and the positive link between education and air power, the author shows the need for the United States Air Force to develop a similar approach for space power. To address the identified gaps, several recommendations are presented, of which the most significant is a proposal for the formation of a Space Corps Tactical School.
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations