AF SPACE COMMAND, UCCS SIGN MEMO OF UNDERSTANDING TO FURTHER SPACE EDUCATION, RESEARCH EFFORTS

contact Capt. Angie Blair, AFSPC Public Affairs, at 554-3051 Tom Hutton, UCCS University Relations, 262-3439

Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Air Force Space Command’s (AFSPC) continuing efforts to provide a foundation of educational space programs for its professional space cadre has taken on a new, dynamic dimension. Culminating months of effort, General Lance W. Lord, Commander, Air Force Space Command, and Dr. Pamela S. Shockley-Zalabak, Chancellor, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), will announce a Memorandum of Understanding during a press conference Oct. 6 at UCCS that establishes UCCS as the lead university for a consortium of advanced education institutions to support AFSPC education and research efforts.

Colorado Lieutenant Governor Jane E. Norton and Elliot G. Pulham, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Space Foundation, will also participate in the press conference. Representatives from AFSPC and UCCS will attend the press conference, as well as attendees from the Colorado State Senate, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Colorado Springs government, the Greater Colorado Springs Economic Development Corporation, and new members of the consortium. With the memorandum as a springboard, the AFSPC and UCCS staffs have begun making the Space Education Consortium (SEC) a key element of AFSPC professional development.

AFSPC’s charter to expand and enhance education and training of a space cadre began with the January 2001 “Report of the Commission To Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization,” known as the Space Commission. The Commission noted that the Department of Defense (DoD) needed added effort to develop a cadre of “highly competent and motivated military and civilian space professionals” to meet national security objectives in an environment increasingly dependent on space capabilities. The Space Commission emphasized the continued evolution of space systems will require professionals who ” will have to master highly complex technology, develop new doctrine and concepts of operations and operate some of the most complex systems ever built and deployed.” The task of meeting this challenge went to the Air Force as the primary space operations service, and specifically to AFSPC.

AFSPC has made great strides in executing its space professional development responsibility. The centerpiece of this effort was publication of the Space Professional Strategy in April 2003. The strategy delineates career development and management processes and calls for increased breadth and depth of space experience. The efforts of AFSPC’s Space Professional Development Management Office and Space Operations School resulted in new education courses Space 200 and 300 that will provide the right mix of technical and conceptual education for mid- and senior-level military and civilian space cadre members. In assessing other means of developing and sustaining the skills and knowledge highlighted by the Space Commission, it became apparent that nurturing a robust resource of space know-how, spread throughout the DoD and other space organizations, would benefit from the support of academic institutions dedicated to space education. Capitalizing on the consortium experience of UCCS, the SEC came into being.

A major SEC goal is to be recognized as a national and international organization of excellence for space education to achieve national security objectives. Based on the Memorandum of Understanding, UCCS will develop and coordinate SEC functions relating to AFSPC educational initiatives to foster broader space-related education and research activities through member institutions. The SEC will focus on promoting education, research, and cooperation–supporting the development of the space cadre to advance space systems design, development, operation, and application. The consortium’s interests will include a broad spectrum of space operations in all environments (land, sea, air, space, cyber); development and integration of space systems; interaction of DoD, national, civil and commercial systems; and interdependency of technology, operations, business and policy/doctrine. Underpinning the SEC will be a series of agreements that will allow students to take courses from consortium members, plan educational programs, receive degrees, and transfer credits among member institutions.

Five primary tenets of the SEC mission underscore its importance to AFSPC and the continued development of national space capability:

· Ensure the military space role and perspective is adequately and accurately reflected in educational initiatives.

· Promote and facilitate space-related education program development.

· Focus and facilitate space-related research and development.

· Encourage cooperation between consortium institutions.

· Facilitate the ability to obtain appropriate degrees and other educational programs for space professional personnel.

The UCCS approach to SEC membership is to be inclusive rather than exclusive, with a focus on contributing members rather than consortium size. SEC members will include higher education institutions, military schools and educational institutions, and other organizations that foster the advancement of space education. A Steering Committee of UCCS and AFSPC representatives will advise on execution of the memorandum, and an advisory board of SEC members and AFSPC representatives will manage SEC membership activities. UCCS aggressively pursued its lead university responsibility, targeting October for formation of the initial consortium–including articulation agreements, established Steering and Advisory Committees, and an SEC web site.

Joining the SEC effort to provide a bridge to industry, the civil space community and educators will be the Space Foundation. As the leading space advocacy organization, the foundation’s strong support and relationships with NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the commercial space sector will serve a role in broadening the endeavor to those sectors and the contractor community. The Space Foundation also brings two decades of experience in providing space-based and space-themed curriculum to K-12 teachers.

Acknowledging the significance of the Memorandum of Understanding to national security and the AFSPC mission, General Lord and Dr. Shockley voiced their enthusiasm for the breadth of opportunity offered by the SEC concept.

“This is a major step in creating a system to help us provide the trained space cadre for our great nation,” said General Lord. “I want to personally thank UCCS and Dr. Shockley for taking the lead in putting together the consortium that allows us to provide people who understand the environment and medium of space.”

“This memorandum puts into place a formal relationship between the university and Air Force Space Command to build professionals who meet the current and future needs of the military and industry,” added Dr. Shockley. “I look forward to continued discussions and the development of a consortium of leading educational institutions that serve the needs of our nation’s top military officers.”

Pulham will join the press conference via videoteleconference from Omaha, Neb., where the Space Foundation is conducting the Strategic Space 2004 conference in support of the United States Strategic Command.

The Space Foundation was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with offices in Washington, DC and Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Space Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to vigorously advance and support civil, commercial and national security space endeavors and educational excellence. For more information, visit www.spacefoundation.org.

MEDIA ADVISORY

Media interested in attending the press conference on Oct. 6 should contact Capt. Angie Blair, AFSPC Public Affairs, at 554-3051, or Tom Hutton, UCCS University Relations, 262-3439. The press conference will be in room 103 of the UCCS El Pomar Center, Room 103 beginning at 10 a.m. Media should be in place no later than 9:45 a.m. Reserved parking will be available for media members arriving in marked vehicles or with current credentials.