PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The U.S. Space Force gained its first professional military education center when the Forrest L. Vosler Non-Commissioned Officer Academy was transferred from the Air Force Oct. 21 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.
The academy previously fell under the command of Air University’s Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education. The education center now falls under the provisional Space Training and Readiness Delta, which serves as the parent organization for a number of education, training and test and evaluation units for the Space Force.
“Under Air University, Vosler has played a significant role in transforming enlisted professional military education into the student-centered collaborative it is today,” said Col. Kathryn Brown, Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education commander. “As with any organization, it’s the people who serve who are its beating heart, giving [the center] its vibrancy and expertise to accomplish its mission.”
The Vosler academy first opened its doors in 1994 as the U.S. Space Command NCO PME center to “make good NCOs better.”
Today, the NCOA provides training at the second level of enlisted EPME at PAFB for both Air Force and Space Force E-6s and is designed to prepare technical sergeants to become professional, war-fighting Airmen and Space Force members who can manage and lead units in the employment of air and space power.
This transfer to the Space Force is the first step for the new service to establish its own EPME system by Oct. 1, 2023, which will serve as the focal point for all resident Space Force profession of arms centered PME curriculum for the enlisted force at key points in their careers, specifically at grades E-4, E-6, E-8 and E-9. Space Force EPME will deliver curriculum focused on USSF doctrine, values and competencies to equip enlisted space professionals to enable the freedom of operation in, from, and to the space domain and enhance the lethality of the joint force.
Vosler will continue to serve the EPME needs for USSF and USAF E6s until the transition of the USSF EPME Center is fully established. Once the Center is established, USAF E6s who previously would have attended the Peterson NCOA will be absorbed back into other USAF NCOA schools, and USSF members will no longer utilize USAF EPME institutions except when accomplishing joint EPME opportunities.
“Over the years, the academy celebrated several firsts,” Brown said. “The first sister service graduate, the first female commandant and the first NCO preparatory course, which would become what we know as Airmen Leadership School.”
The academy’s most recent “first” is an important milestone for the newest military branch.
“Your benefit to the Space Force is already deeply felt,” Brown said, addressing members of the Vosler academy. “Over the past several months, you have helped develop space-focused curriculum to enhance existing curriculum to rapidly meet the need of space education. This transfer is a tremendous step toward the establishment of EPME for the Space Force.”
After accepting command of the academy, Col. Peter Flores, provisional STAR Delta commander, ended the ceremony with closing remarks.
“What a great day for the Space Force and for Vosler,” Flores said. “I’m a history buff, so I think of these things in terms of the context of the Profession of Arms. This is an incredibly exciting time for STAR Delta. We’re going to learn from this experience how [to improve] Space Force [specific] EPME and how to continue to partner with the Air Force, which we’re going to do for decades to come.”