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  • Air University Transformation

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    Air University Reveals Strategic Plan

    November/December 2015
    By David Zaslawsky
    Photography by Robert Fouts

    The 2015 Air University Strategic Plan revealed five lines of operation that will enable the “intellectual and leadership center of the Air Force” to transform itself.

    Those five lines of operation are:

    > Delivering the best training, education and leadership opportunities.

    > Making recommendations that address Air Force and national security issues using research and analysis.

    > Improving integration and outreach.

    > Developing doctrine and educational programs to guide strategies and operations.

    > Building the university’s capacity for problem solving, research, outreach and doctrine.

    By focusing on those five lines of operation, Air University will be able “to educate more people, more broadly and deeply so that they can think critically, act morally and innovate rapidly,” according to the strategic plan.

    “Air University (AU) can leverage capability to help senior leaders address vexing challenges and in so doing connect more fully with communities, agency partners, industry, academia, legislators and the American people.”

    In his message in the strategic plan, Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, president and commander of Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, wrote: “What will change is how we go about the business of training and educating Airmen for the challenges of this dynamic era. We must be focused on outcomes, ensuring that we are constantly analyzing, assessing and improving all that we do to be more relevant to Air Force and stakeholder needs even as we continue to become more effective and efficient. In short, we will rethink conflict, reimagine airpower and build agile leaders.”

    The 37-page strategic plan states that Air University “must become something more than a teaching university or a research university.” The university must “embed itself fully” in the Air Force operations to provide new solutions for air power and cyber. The university “must become an educational institution” that combines research and teaching for problem solving.

    “Once leaders recognize Air University as the thought leader on intellectual and leadership development, the prestige of the university and those who serve it will undoubtedly rise,” according to the strategic plan.

    In addition to the five lines of operation, the strategic plan also includes six principles that will guide Air University’s transformation:

    > Embracing the university as a military organization with an academic mission.

    > Investing in people.

    > Aligning resources, responsibility, authority and accountability “to support decentralized execution.”

    > Sharing information “to build an AU-wide shared consciousness of actions and opportunities.”

    > Focusing on outcomes.

    > Ensuring that university programs are relevant and responsive to the Air Force.

    “We must also lean forward to analyze and address the challenges facing our Airmen and our leaders, providing well-researched, thoughtful recommendations that directly support the defense of our nation and its freedoms that are at the heart of our calling to serve,” Kwast wrote.

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