Air Force officials at Maxwell AFB, Ala., are merging the two existing developmental education venues for lieutenants and captains into a single in-residence program for company grade officers that will debut in early 2012. Under the new program, Air University will transfer some of the content of its air and space basic course to the squadron officer school, or SOS, in-residence program; ASBC will cease to be after this summer and the revamped SOS program will grow from five weeks to eight weeks. “Our senior leaders decided to have today’s junior officers focus first on learning their individual specialties,” said Col. Terrance McCaffrey, AU’s Squadron Officer College, or SOC, commandant. “After these officers have mastered their specialties, SOC will help them to build upon their technical and experiential foundation with the expanded understanding of Air Force operations and processes, leadership, and joint operations that will be core to the new SOS course.” The changes are projected to save the Air Force roughly $12 million in Fiscal 2012. The current five-week SOS course will continue through September and then will temporarily stand down while officials rework the curriculum. (Maxwell release by Phil Berube)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.