History of the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies

  • Published
  • By School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS)
  • Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL

General WelchA 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 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 redesignated 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 degree in military strategy.

SAASS faculty members hold a doctorate or equivalent in their fields of academic expertise. The SAASS faculty is equally divided between 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.