History - Air Force Technical Applications Center [AFTAC]

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AFTAC History

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.


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http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/aftac/history.htm
Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Created by John Pike
Updated Sunday, November 02, 1997 6:18:25 PM