Officials from U.S. Special Operations Command will break ground Thursday on a new Joint Special Operations University campus inside the gates of MacDill Air Force Base.
The new 90,000 square-foot campus, being constructed for about $34 million, will replace the current facility that was set up in an old bank building outside MacDill's Dale Mabry gate.
JSOU "will serve as the hub for joint and combined Special Operations Force education for U.S., international and interagency personnel," Navy Lt. Cmdr. Li Cohen said in a media release. "The new facilities will include 16 classrooms, an auditorium, two lectionaries, a research library and rooms certified for classified briefings."
The university's course list includes Counter Threat Finance Educational Seminar, Irregular Warfare Course, Joint Civil-Military Operations Campaign Planning Workshop, Joint Contemporary Insurgent Warfare Course, Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Intelligence Leaders Orientation Seminar and Joint Special Operations Irregular Warfare Advanced Course.
Not all the participants are military. Some are from the State Department, CIA and the United States Agency for International Development.
In addition to providing courses on campus and elsewhere, the university commissions publications for special operators, with titles such as "Innovate or Die: Innovation and Technology for Special Operations."
JSOU was created in September 2000 "to develop SOF and enablers for operational and strategic leadership; educate military and civilian leadership in the employment of SOF; and to conduct research on national security issues critical to the SOF community," Cohen said.
Last year more than 8,200 special operations, interagency and international students, from enlisted members to executive leaders, participated in the more than 150 seminars and courses offered by the university, said Cohen.
The university "is working to earn accreditation as a degree-granting university to better serve the needs of the nation's special operations forces," Cohen said.