Keesler AFB introduces space weather training in support of Space Force
US Air Force | Nov. 9, 2021
KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS): As the Air Force continues to maximize America's air, space and land power, Keesler Air Force Base initiated the new Space Weather Support Course to apply knowledge of the natural environment on space systems.
The graduates of the course will take weather forecasts beyond the atmosphere by understanding the weather effects on terrestrial systems in support of multi-domain operations.
“The knowledge gained will enable our Airmen and Guardians to apply this environmental intelligence to combat planning and execution and will contribute to a more lethal, agile force,” said Arthur Nelson, 335th Training Squadron instructor meteorologist and Weather Support Course instructor. “This will result in an asymmetric advantage to help negate adversary capabilities.”
The six-week blended learning course will graduate around 75 students annually and be split into two parts: three weeks of online learning focusing on environmental impacts, and three weeks of an in-residence capstone space weather support scenario, in which the students will apply their knowledge of combat planning and execution.
“We are meeting the needs of the new and evolving Space Force,” said Nelson. “We strive to be very dynamic and responsive over time and grow to exploit our knowledge of operations and use our environment to our advantage.”
The first class is made up of 11 weather journeymen from across the Department of Defense, including Staff Sgt. Kayla Sanders, 2nd Weather Squadron weather journeyman, Offutt AFB, Nebraska.
“Taking the Space Weather Support Course is like stepping on the moon for the first time,” said Sanders. “We are setting a precedent that not only other DoD members will follow, but commercial entities as well.”
The first of its kind, the space weather course demonstrates the importance of the space domain and furthers Joint All Domain Command and Control capabilities.
“We can formalize and professionalize space weather into the future,” said Col. Chance Geray, 81st Training Group commander. “To stay competitive against pure threats, we need to operate, defend and fight through all contested domains, including space. Formalizing and exploiting space weather capabilities is a key enabler for the U.S. Space Force and the defense of our nation and ensures we can keep that competitive edge now and into the future.”