WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Improving the integration between the Air Force acquisition community and members of the operational community is one of the goals of the Air Force Materiel Command-sponsored Advanced Acquisition Course, the inaugural cohort for which is scheduled to start in July.
During the initial course, which will serve as a validation, the students along with other acquisition experts will create the syllabus for the course.
The goal of the course is to broaden the students’ acquisition knowledge and experience by visiting operating locations across AFMC and the Space and Missiles Systems Center to learn from and evaluate acquisition weapons and tactics through direct engagement with program executive officers, technology directors, test wings, and sustainment complexes as well as experts in the test, nuclear, sustainment, science and technology communities.
As part of the course’s validation process, the students will audit the U.S. Air Force Weapons School’s Core I and Core II academic blocks where they will observe academics given to all Weapons Instructor Course students who specialize in just about every weapons system in the Air Force fleet.
The audit will allow the initial cohort to determine how the academics at Weapons School might provide value to a materiel-focused curriculum.
“Core I at the Weapons School is where all of the different platforms and communities come together for academic work to understand the capabilities and effects of various platforms and Core II is about understanding how those platforms come together to provide a joint and integrated effect,” said Lt. Col. Steve Smith, commandant of the AFMC Advanced Acquisition Course. “Auditing Core I and II will allow our students [acquisition experts] to get a quick introduction to most of the [operator] communities out there, and allow them to start thinking about how their individual experiences and expertise can integrate into the Weapons School itself and with operating communities.”
Acquisition is an increasingly vital part of our warfighting mission, and educating acquirers about weapon systems and how they are used in combat will only improve Air Force lethality added Col. Brady Hauboldt, vice commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and an advocate for the new course.
“While at the Weapons School the students [from the Acquisition Course] will learn more about how other communities integrate in order to create an effect in a conflict environment and how they as acquirers can help with the rapid acquisition of the pieces that perhaps they [operators] need,” Hauboldt said. “Maybe it’s a technology shortfall, maybe it’s a capability shortfall or a sustainability and operability improvement with the jet itself, these are areas where acquirers would be able to provide expertise and value.”
Other portions of the course are expected to include visits to AFWERX, the Air Force Rapid Capability Office, Capitol Hill and the United States Special Operations Command.
“One of the charters of the first student cohort is to figure it [course direction] out and come back with recommendations,” said Hauboldt. “They will deliver a draft curriculum and accreditation flight path for the course. In addition, they will develop acquisition tactics, techniques and procedures that future graduates will use and teach to others. While we don’t know whether the course will become a formal accredited program under the Weapons School – a three to four year process – or remain a standalone AFMC course, we do expect it will provide great value to both acquisition professionals and the operators they engage with.”