The Air Force has split the space and missile career field in an effort to ensure more focused development for officers performing these critical missions in increasingly complex operational environments, Air Force officials announced Feb. 15.
Under the old construct, more than 50 percent of space-coded company grade officers’ development time was spent as a missileer, said Col. Joseph Prue, career field manager for space operations officers.
“Space and Missile Operations have become more and more technical in application and execution–each in their own unique ways,” said Prue. “This split will enable each career field to continue cultivating technical expertise via separate, yet equally important, avenues in order to be more effective and efficient in meeting current and future AF needs.”
This change will allow the Air Force to further strengthen the nuclear enterprise, said Col. Zannis Pappas, the new career field manager for “Nuclear and Missile Operations,” or AFSC 13N.
“Over the past four years, we have created distinct training and development tracks for our space and missile officers to further ensure that our Airmen are prepared for the unique challenges of these missions,” said Pappas. “The transformation of the career field will allow for deliberate development of specialized skills, technical depth, and experience to prepare for emerging challenges.”
The change affects approximately 3,100 officers coded as either “Space Operations” or “Nuclear Missile Operations” within the former 13S career field. Those officers previously coded as “Space Operations” will remain in the 13S career field and those officers previously coded as “Nuclear Missile Operations” will have their AFSCs changed to 13N.
All new Air Force officer accessions headed for careers in the former “Space and Missile Operations” AFSC will be classified as either a “Space Operations” (AFSC 13S) officer or “Nuclear and Missile Operations” (AFSC 13N) officer.
Affected officers should contact their career field managers for more information about how the change will affect them, said Prue.
“The transformation of the career field will give space and missile officers opportunities to develop the depth and breadth they need for command, as well as the opportunity for career-long development in specific mission areas,” said Prue.