AFIT’s Nuclear College wins AETC Nuclear Deterrence Operations Professional Team of the Year Award

  • Published
  • By By Katie Scott
  • Air Force Institute of Technology

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The Air Force Institute of Technology’s Air Force Nuclear College located at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. received the Air Education and Training Command’s Nuclear Deterrence Operations Professional Team of the Year Award for 2022.

The award is sponsored by AF/A10 to recognize individuals and small teams within the nuclear mission for outstanding support and contributions to nuclear deterrence operations.

A component of AFIT’s School of Strategic Force Studies, the Nuclear College provides comprehensive professional continuing education that prepares Airmen to solve 21st century nuclear deterrence and assurance challenges. 

“I’m elated to see our Air Force Nuclear College team get recognized for their innovative work to propel nuclear education forward, “ said Col. Chris Landwehr, dean of the School of Strategic Force Studies. “Their courses are first class and have a real impact on supporting a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent while continuing to build nuclear thought leaders across the Department of Defense and federal government.”

The College executed the Air Force’s first-ever formative assessment study via daily quizzes that boosted Airmen learning in the Nuclear Fundamentals Course by 16 percent and pioneered AFIT’s first micro-credential program, writing policy and devising its first approved Advanced Nuclear Studies course. 

The College also innovated AETC’s foundational Secret Internet Protocol Router Network Distance Learning Professional Continuing Education course, graduating seven students in beta, and is poised to deliver recurring education to 60 Airmen each year. 

Faculty and staff created the College’s inaugural 367th Training Support Squadron-hosted nuclear certification course, training and preparing more than 1,940 Airmen for exercises, inspections, and evaluations. 

Despite Coronavirus constraints, the College set penultimate records, conducting 16 in-residence courses and 16 mobile education team courses, graduating 1,415 in-person and 2,075 distance learning students, bettering Headquarters Air Force production requirements by 17 percent while quadrupling Nuclear Certified Equipment course throughput over the previous year. 

Nuclear College team members include Earl Bennett, Jr., Landon Favors, Jared Granstrom, Nichole Gurule, Dr. Denver Johnson, Dr. Ian Kurtz, Brandon McDaniel, Eric Meiers, Jeffrey Nelson, Christopher Schaier, Christina Wells-Norris, and Michael Zink.