Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) created the National Security Space Institute (NSSI) in 2004 to provide tailored education and training to Air Force space professionals and the broader National Security Space community. In 2009, the NSSI transferred to The Air University and aligned under the Eaker Center for Professional Development, where it provides professional continuing education to those in military space career fields. Since 2012, the NSSI has been housed in a purposefully constructed learning facility on Peterson Air Force Base, The Moorman Space Education and Training Center (SETC), named after General (Ret) Thomas S. Moorman.
The main courses offered at NSSI include:
- Space 200: the NSSI’s mid-career course for space professional education. It develops space professionals who think critically about the application of space power. The course investigates two major areas: Space Systems Development and Space Power. In each area students actively participate in exercises challenging them to determine what to do given the dynamics and uncertainty of the national security environment.
- Space 300: the NSSI’s capstone course for space professional education. It develops space professionals who understand national policy considerations and strategic thought within an international geopolitical environment. Students will be able to critically address space acquisition, capabilities, and power at the operational and strategic levels across the range of military operations as well as space power’s strategic contributions to national security.
The NSSI grew from two pioneer organizations: the Space Tactics School (STS) and the Space Operations School (SOPSC). The STS which existed from 1994-1996 (and was later absorbed by the U.S. Air Force Weapons School in 1996), grew from lessons learned in Operation Desert Storm. The two organizations found that campaign planning had not fully leveraged the nation’s space capabilities. Initially the STS filled the void. SOPSC which ran from 2001-2004 extended beyond the sights of the STS and filled the breach by teaching broader space concepts and systems. The schools conducted a thorough examination of how to educationally prepare and train its warfighters, and instituted programs that addressed recognized shortfalls.
The Space Commission Report of January 2001 amplified the need for more space education and training, noting the shortfall in growing space professionals at senior leadership echelons. The Commission’s report served as a catalyst to help transform the SOPSC into the HQ NSSI, which officially activated in October of 2004.
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