By Dr. Ron Tuttle AFIT/ENP (12/28/2010)
The Center for Measurement and Signature Intelligence Studies and Research at Air Force Institute of Technology recently held its thirty first certificate completion ceremony to honor graduates of the Fall 2010 class of the MASINT Certificate Program.
The ceremony culminated the ninth year of the highly successful program which grants a MASINT certificate to students upon completion of five math- and physics-based graduate-level courses. Dr. Ron Tuttle, Director of the Center, hosted the ceremony. During the ceremony, Dr. Tuttle remarked that the value of MASINT to the intelligence community was highlighted by successful applications of MASINT information during the Global War on Terror.
Speaking to the group, Dr. Brian Tsou, Research Scientist from the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Not only is Dr. Tsou a professional in the field, but he is also a fellow graduate of the ACP program. Dr. Tsou graduated from the ACP in Spring of 2008 and was able to give the graduates insight on how he applied his knowledge learned from the ACP to his work as a physicist in the 711th Human Performance Wing.
According to Tuttle, MASINT is a highly technical intelligence discipline "which measures various aspects of targets or events of interest (like a radar or chemical trail) that uniquely identify them with a kind of footprint, or signature." It provides the ability to supplement other forms of intelligence collection with unique information about adversary activities. The Department of Defense, State Department, and Homeland Security officials recognize this capability, making the demand for additional personnel educated and experienced in MASINT grow exponentially.
To keep pace with the growth, the AFIT MASINT program will expand the availability of the Program beyond the Wright-Patterson Campus. The MASINT Certificate Program is also offered via Distance Learning. Through online tools students are able to take four courses, one lab and the one seminar course over a one year time period. Once everything is completed online students will then come to AFIT to take the other three required labs during a two week time period. During the Fall 2010 Graduation Ceremony the program was honored to reward its first Distant Learning Student with a certificate of completion. Mr. James Murphy collected his certificate along with fellow graduates, Mr. Brian Perlik from the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Mr. Paul Torka student from the Advanced Technical Intelligence Center and Lt Ruben Varona from the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.
The AFIT MASINT Certificate Program was first offered in the Spring of 2002. Since that time, nearly 213 students have graduated from the program. Several graduates are working at the Department of Defense, to include: National Air and Space Intelligence Center, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and throughout the Army, Navy, and Air Force, in various positions. The graduates of the MASINT Certificate Program provide invaluable support to operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The next offering of the ACP will be during the Spring 2011 quarter. For more information, visit the ACP Web site at http://www.afit.edu/en/cmsr/acpprogram.cfm, or contact the ACP program coordinator at 255-3636 ext 7287