Adapting Space and Cyber Learning at Nellis

Unlike many of the platform-specific courses at the Air Force Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nev., the 328th Weapons Squadron is faced with turning out “patch wearers” for both the Air Force’s space and young cyber community. The “domain-focused” approach in both these curriculums has meant a careful balancing act between building up specific skill sets and being able to integrate these unique tools along with the rest of the force. Lt. Col Richard Bourquin, commander of the 328th WPS, who oversees the Weapons School’s space superiority and cyber warfare operations courses in his squadron, told Air Force Magazine that even though the school has shortened its post-sequester curriculum, “we still want to do as much integration as possible.” As the 328th has worked to preserve these integration activities, early academics in the old course “fall off the table” and must be addressed in three-week “spin up courses” for students before they arrive at Nellis (for space students, this occurs at Peterson AFB, Colo., and for cyber warriors intermediate instruction happens at the 39th Information Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla.). Now, “we have to assume the student comes to us with as much knowledge as possible,” Borquin said, and then we can refresh knowledge gaps on a “case-by-case basis” when needed.