School of Advanced Air and Space Studies

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The United States Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies is the "Air Force graduate school for airpower and space power strategists".[1]


The school began as the School of Advanced Airpower Studies. It began operation on July 22, 1991, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.[2] The first class of 25 students was all-male, although later classes included women.[3] Most of the first class came from the U.S. Air Force's Air Command and Staff College.[4]

"We're going out to find the Billy Mitchells while they're still majors and captains."
Colonel William F. Fortner, First Director of SAASS.[5]

The first director of the school, Colonel William F. Fortner, stated that the school's goal was to "create the soldier-scholars for conflicts of the future".[6] Fortner likened the school to the U.S. Army's School of Advanced Military Studies, but stated that the new school's curriculum would go "much deeper into the study of air-power history, doctrine and strategy".[7] The curriculum, planned for a duration of 11 months, was taught by a faculty of nine civilian and military Ph.D instructors.[8]

The curriculum in the first years comprised two parts, focusing on "the past and present of warfare".[9] Students read about 150 pages per night, and wrote and defended a research paper.[10]

See also[edit]

United States Army School of Advanced Military Studies


  1. ^ U.S. Air Force Air University. "School of Advanced Air and Space Studies: SAAS History". United States Air Force. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  2. ^ West 1991. p. 10.
  3. ^ West 1991. p. 10.
  4. ^ West 1991. p. 16.
  5. ^ West 1991. p. 16.
  6. ^ West 1991. p. 10.
  7. ^ West 1991. p. 10.
  8. ^ West 1991. p. 10, 16.
  9. ^ West 1991. p. 10.
  10. ^ West 1991. p. 10.