Air Force enrolls in Cisco academy

Cisco Networking Academy Program

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The Air Force recently became the first active-duty military service to implement the Cisco Networking Academy Program, a 560-hour, eight-semester curriculum that teaches students how to build, design and maintain computer networks.

Scott Air Force Base in Illinois had been working on a pilot program for about two years. It is one of the first of more than 90 Air Force National Training Centers worldwide that will implement the networking academy by the end of October 2004, said Carroll McGillin, national initiatives manager in worldwide education for Cisco Systems Inc.

"They were testing the proof of concept for "structured on-the-job training' in networking," McGillin said. The first 16 bases began their deployment around October 2000, but the standard approval process delayed the official announcement until this week. "The plan is to do about 15 or 20 bases per fiscal year," McGillin said.

The Air Force does not require commercial industry certifications for its communication and information professionals, but it does require that all C&I employees be trained, qualified and certified in their tasks. The networking academy program will prepare Air Force personnel to manage, operate and maintain the service's communications network.

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be prepared to test for their Cisco Certified Network Associate certification, and then the Cisco Certified Network Professional certification.

The Air Force is focusing on specialized training, and each NTC location has unique training requirements, said Senior Master Sgt. Ted Crincoli.

"The curriculum offered in our NTCs helps increase the skill levels of all our C&I professionals, to ensure continued network availability and improvement through the next century," Crincoli said in a release.

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