Officials activate National Security Space Institute

Press Release From: Air Force News Service
Posted: Wednesday, October 20, 2004

image by Capt. Johnny Rea Air Force Space Command Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFPN) Air Force Space Command officials stood up a space education and training organization here recently that they said will provide the foundation to creating a new generation of space professionals.

The National Security Space Institute will be the Department of Defense's single focal point for space education and training, complementing existing space education programs at Air University, the Naval Postgraduate School and the Air Force Institute of Technology.

"Through extensive space education and training programs, the (space institute) will help shape and create the growing team space professionals across the DOD and other stakeholder government communities," said Lt. Col. Ed Fienga, of the AFSPC space professional management office.

Its courses, when coupled with the operational qualifications demanded of space professionals, will secure the U.S advantage in space, said Gen. Lance W. Lord, commander of AFSPC.

The Space Warfare Center's Space Operations School at Schriever AFB, Colo., was redesignated as the NSSI on Oct. 1 with an official activation ceremony here Oct. 18.

The new institute incorporates the current programs provided by the Space Operations School, and eventually expand and integrate space-related education from other DOD activities. An Air Force Reserve associate unit, projected for fiscal 2006, will provide added support to NSSI programs.

About 2,500 students are expected to attend the institute annually, said Colonel Fienga, including servicemembers from all branches of the armed forces as well as representatives from the National Reconnaissance Office, NASA and other national agencies. Air Force students will comprise nearly 60 percent of the attendees.

The institute will conduct and coordinate space education, training, research and development programs for government space organizations, officials said. These programs will address space system capabilities, limitations, vulnerabilities and use; system acquisition; and space warfighting tactics and planning to provide full-spectrum professional development for space professionals in a variety of space missions and organizations.

Colonel Fienga said the current courses taught by the Space Operations School will continue under NSSI -- a combination of "legacy" courses focused on space application to joint warfighting, as well as space professional development courses. Eventually, the institute will incorporate other courses, where appropriate, presented elsewhere in DOD to eliminate redundancy.

"Space warfighting systems and capabilities are integral to our success in fighting today's battles and the linchpin to all planning and execution for success in tomorrow's battles," General Lord said. "NSSI's integrated approach to space education and training will ensure optimum opportunities for the advancement of space systems knowledge and will ultimately enhance mission effectivenes.

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