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A force with a global view

We are America’s nuclear watch dog, dedicated to monitoring, detecting, and reporting data from foreign nuclear explosions or accidents.

North Korea’s recent nuclear tests and provocations are in the news. We’re the group that detected and analyzed data from our monitoring and sensing stations around the world that confirmed a nuclear test.

Simply put, AFTAC performs nuclear treaty monitoring and nuclear event detection by operating and maintaining the U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System (USAEDS). Consisting of a global network of more than 3,600 sensors monitored around the clock, USAEDS is the largest sensor network in the U.S. Air Force.

AFTAC provides quality technical measurements to monitor nuclear treaty compliance and develops advanced proliferation monitoring technologies to preserve our nation’s security. 

Once a disturbance is detected underground, underwater, in the atmosphere, or in space, the event is analyzed for nuclear identification and the findings are reported to national and command authorities.

Our mission extends beyond nuclear testing and includes nuclear accidents. After the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant accident in Japan we monitored the extent of the radioactive releases and collaborated with Japanese and other international authorities to analyze and monitor the disaster.

AFTAC also performs research and development of new proliferation detection technologies to enhance or assist treaty verification to limit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Our advanced array of sensors, monitoring stations, and technological advances is manned by a team of 1,000 dedicated and highly educated professionals, scientists, engineers, and trained specialists. Thinkers, innovators, analysts, administrators—all at the service of our national security in this age of nuclear proliferation.

Technicians in a clean room

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