Air Force gives information officers their own school

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The Air Force is rolling out two new personnel initiatives aimed at better training and preparing airmen in the future.

Last week, the service announced the creation of an information operations technical training school, which is expected to open in 2019.


Information operations focus on electronic warfare, computer network operations and other high demand skills the Air Force is currently focusing on.

“Information Operations is not new to the Air Force,” said Col. Ziggy Schoepf, 14F career field manager in a March 5 press release. “However, this is the first time that the Air Force has codified this capability in a dedicated officer career field. With the creation of the career field and a dedicated schoolhouse, the Air Force is acknowledging the importance of Information Operations to the future of warfare.”

Before the Air Force had a designated specialty code for information officers, the service had trouble retaining airmen in those positions because they had to return to their previously assigned jobs after finishing their service as information officers.

The specialty code enabled the Air Force to standardize education and training for information officers, which is culminating in the technical school.

The school will have an initial skills course that will integrate intelligence integration, military deception, operational security and psychological operations. The course is about 15 weeks long and will begin late 2019.

“The course will provide students with cohesive training rooted in social science. Graduates will have the skills to build strategies and plans that sustain or change perceptions and attitudes driving the behavior and decision making of relevant actors,” Schoepf said.

More planning time

The Air Force is also trying to give officers and their families more time to prepare for moves.

The service is transitioning to a two-cycle officer assignment system. The new timeline will start this month and allows for more time for interaction and communication between officers, billet owners, commanders and assignment teams, the Air Force said.

The new system will have summer report days from June to September and winter report dates from October through May.

The two cycles, instead of three, give officers a longer period of time to be notified of new assignments and therefore more time to prepare to move.

“The transition will not change the assignment process, but it will expand the assignment advertisement windows to the field and increase the amount of advanced notification officers and their families receive prior to their moves,” Maj. Derek Rankin, assignment programs deputy branch chief at Air Force Personnel Command said in a March 2 press release. “With expanded windows of assignment advertising, Airmen now have more time and a wider spectrum of visibility to make decisions that impact both their family lives and careers.”

The new cycle was created by fifty subject-matter experts from a cross section of Air Force specialty codes.

The 2018 cycles will be slightly truncated because the rollout is in March.

Read more of the DoD Personnel Notebook.