Talk:School of Advanced Air and Space Studies

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“Educate strategists for the Air Force and the Nation.”

Home of the Master of Philosophy & Ph.D. in Military Strategy


A revolution in Air Force Professional Military Education (PME) began in the late 1970’s following the frustrations of the Vietnam War. Continuing into the 1980’s, this revolution led Air Force Chief of Staff General Larry D. Welch to charter a new graduate school, the School of Advanced Airpower Studies (SAAS), at Air University in 1988. The first class convened in the summer of 1991 and graduated in June 1992. SAAS was fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1999 and was re-designated the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS) in 2002. Since the graduation of its first class, SAASS has produced many of the US Air Force’s most influential airpower strategists and future leaders.

SAASS is a 50-week, follow-on school for selected graduates of intermediate-level Department of Defense PME schools. SAASS creates warrior-scholars with a superior ability to develop, evaluate, and employ airpower within the complex environment of modern war. Upon completion of all requirements and with faculty recommendation, graduates receive a Master of Philosophy in Military Strategy.

SAASS faculty members hold a doctorate or equivalent in their fields of academic expertise. The SAASS faculty consists of terminally-credentialed field-grade or senior officers and civilian scholars. The depth, breadth, and diversity of their expertise are demonstrated by their wide-ranging and internationally-renowned publications and presentations.


The SAASS curriculum is designed to accomplish two major objectives. The first is to enhance students’ ability to think critically about airpower and warfare through an extensive examination of both theory and historical experience. This examination leads to a reasoned synthesis that informs the question of how modern airpower can be best applied across the entire spectrum of conflict. The second objective is to cultivate students’ ability to argue effectively and responsibly about airpower. This objective is accomplished by having students introduce and defend propositions in graduate colloquia, produce interpretive arguments in prose that meets publication standards, and reduce complex formal arguments into comprehensible briefings.

Exceptionally well-qualified students are eligible to compete for the AU PhD program in Military Strategy: those selected may continue in a doctoral program recently approved by the Secretary of Education. Several doctoral candidates per year will be identified as AU PhD Fellows who can complete their dissertation in a one-year in-residence SDE program.


SAASS is the most selective of all Air Force schools. Approximately five percent of those eligible to volunteer for SAASS are selected to attend. To become a SAASS student, an officer must: (1) graduate from an intermediate service school, (2) be a volunteer, (3) possess a master’s degree from an accredited institution or have an undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.25 or higher, (4) have less than 16 years total active commissioned service, and (5) be selected by the central selection board held at the Air Force Personnel Center.



The renowned Muir S. Fairchild Library is arguably the largest and most comprehensive research facility devoted to the study of military art and science in the world. Its collection of over 2.6 million items includes 377,000 books and bound periodicals, 512,000 military documents, subscriptions to 2,000 current periodicals, 730, 000 microforms, 150,000 current and historical Air Force regulations, manuals, and directives, and 870,000 maps and charts. Of equal importance is a professional staff of exceptional quality totally devoted to helping the students fulfill their academic requirements.


Located immediately adjacent to SAASS, the Agency is the repository for the Air Force archives. The collection comprises nearly sixty million pages of material (expanding by nearly two million pages per year). It includes unit histories, historical monographs and studies, working papers of joint and combined commands, oral history interviews, personal papers, and special collections that document military aviation from the Civil War through the present.


Chartered to increase the understanding of the dynamics, planning, and decision process of warfare through war games and exercises, the Institute support manual, microcomputer and mainframe computer wargames. The supporting staff includes over 100 systems, intelligence, and operations analysts and technicians.

The School of Advanced Air and Space Studies

125 Chennault Circle Maxwell AFB AL 36112 DSN: 493-5155/COMM: 334-953-5155 FAX: DSN 493-7476/COMM 334-953-7476