History - Air Force Technical Applications Center [AFTAC]
Soon after the end of World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower
recognized the need to monitor nuclear programs; in 1947 he directed the
Army Air Forces to be able to detect atomic explosions anywhere in the world.
In 1949 a AFOAT-1 air sampling mission aboard a B-29 flying between Alaska
and Japan detected debris from the first Russian atomic test, an event the
experts had predicted couldn't happen until the mid-1950s.
Since then the long range detection program, now assigned to AFTAC has
evolved into a unique resource that monitors compliance with nuclear treaties,
supports the nation's space programs, and helps protect everyone during
emergencies involving nuclear materials.
Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Created by John Pike
Updated Sunday, November 02, 1997 6:18:25 PM