The Squadron Officer College at Maxwell AFB, Ala., is shortening the Squadron Officer School course from eight to five weeks to give more captains an opportunity to attend, according to an Air Education and Training Command release. The shorter course, which will allow the SOC to increase the number of students from 3,600 to 4,700 a year, will go into effect on Oct. 1. That should enable all Active Duty captains to attend the school and open more slots for Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, Defense Department civilians, and international officers, states the release. The change also is expected to save $1.9 million annually. The shorter course will be a modification of the existing curriculum, which focuses on leadership, communications, warfare, the profession of arms, and international security studies. “Changing the class length will not hinder the opportunity for students to learn more about themselves and how to function as leaders within our Air Force, today and tomorrow,” said Col. Gerald Goodfellow, SOC commander and SOS commandant.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.