Press Release

Space exec course reaches out to allies, Pentagon

By SpaceRef Editor
August 20, 2007
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by Capt. Catie Hague, Air Force Space Command Public Affairs

8/17/2007 – COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  — August is a month of firsts for the National Security Space Institute as the school opens its senior-level class to international students and takes the course on the road to Washington D.C.

Called SOC-E, the Aug. 2 Space Operations Executive-level Course included its first international students from Australia and the United Kingdom, while the Aug. 21and 22 courses will be held at the Pentagon for air staffers and joint/interagency attendees.

“The course was designed for senior major command staff, numbered air force and combat air force commanders, as well as senior-ranking individuals new to the space operations career field,” said Maj. Dan Logar, NSSI SOC-E course director. “It also targets those requiring a refresher course in capabilities, limitations and vulnerabilities of Department of Defense, national, civil and commercial space systems.”

Now, thanks to the efforts of the Australians, the exec-level course is open to our Australian, Canadian and UK allies.

“We have been aggressively pursuing these space courses,” said Air Commodore Graham Bentley, Royal Australian Air Force Air Attach. “We actively sought to make Space Fundamentals and the Space Exec Course available to us, and hopefully the Space 200 and 300 courses will follow soon.

“These types of classes not only provide us a better understanding of space capabilities,” he said, “but they also provide us the advantage of making contacts, which is important to us becoming a part of the coalition space arena.”

The United Kingdom’s interest in what the NSSI has to offer comes from the Chief of the Royal Air Force and his intent to understand space and its utility to the warfighter.

“We operate more and more in a coalition environment,” said Air Commodore Phil Goodman, Royal Air Force (UK) Air Attach, “so we need to know how best to exploit space capabilities for the warfighter. Space is an expanding — a growing — capability and will only become more integrated (into operations and daily life) as technology continues to improve.”

According to AirCdre Goodman, the exec course met his aspirations in that he was able to see the utility of the information provided. Both officers said they would recommend it to other Australian and UK leaders.

As for the first exec-course offering in the Pentagon, Major Logar explained that on Aug. 21 the NSSI team will teach about 31 air staff personnel ranging from colonels to major generals, and on Aug. 22 the team will instruct the Force Application Functional Capabilities Board.

The exec course is offered five to six times per year as a one-day class, where senior military leaders receive a better understanding of how space capabilities integrate and enhance current air and space operational missions, Major Logar said. “Space is another tool in their proverbial toolbox that they can reach for when they have to make decisions.

“It is an excellent introduction or refresher for anyone who attends,” he said. “As a matter of fact, most of our attendees are not career space professionals.”

Instructors, both contractor and military, provide information on space operations, the space environment, orbital mechanics, space law, satellite communications, global positioning system, the National Reconnaissance Office, space-based missile warning, space control and more.

“However … possibly the biggest benefit of this course is the students’ interactions,” Major Logar said.

“With all of the experience that sits in the room during one of our SOC-E offerings,” he said, “it is impossible to leave the classroom without having a better understanding of space and what it brings to the fight.”

For more information on the NSSI and what courses the institute offers, visit

SpaceRef staff editor.