SecAF briefed on AFTAC role in nuclear explosions

Dr. Julie Gostic, a nuclear evaluator for the Materials Technology Directorate at the Air Force Technical Applications Center, displays an environmental sample to Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson (left) during the secretary’s visit to the nuclear treaty monitoring center at Patrick AFB, Fla., Feb. 8, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

Dr. Julie Gostic, a nuclear evaluator for the Materials Technology Directorate at the Air Force Technical Applications Center, displays an environmental sample to Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson (left) during the secretary’s visit to the nuclear treaty monitoring center at Patrick AFB, Fla., Feb. 8, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

First Lt. Drew Belk, Innovation Lab chief at the Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB, Fla., discusses ongoing innovation projects with Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson during her visit to the Department of Defense’s sole nuclear treaty monitoring center.  Wilson was in town to speak at AFTAC’s annual Women in Science and Engineering Symposium Feb. 8, 2018.  (U.S. Air Force photo by William M. Donelson)

First Lt. Drew Belk, Innovation Lab chief at the Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB, Fla., discusses ongoing innovation projects with Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson during her visit to the Department of Defense’s sole nuclear treaty monitoring center. Wilson was in town to speak at AFTAC’s annual Women in Science and Engineering Symposium Feb. 8, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by William M. Donelson)

Tech. Sgt. Donald E. Kramer II, noncommissioned officer in charge of Innovation Operations for the Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB, Fla., shows Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson a project he’s working on at the nuclear treaty monitoring center.  Wilson toured AFTAC to get a first-hand glimpse into the role the center plays in worldwide nuclear event detection. (U.S. Air Force photo by William M. Donelson)

Tech. Sgt. Donald E. Kramer II, noncommissioned officer in charge of Innovation Operations for the Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB, Fla., shows Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson a project he’s working on at the nuclear treaty monitoring center. Wilson toured AFTAC to get a first-hand glimpse into the role the center plays in worldwide nuclear event detection. (U.S. Air Force photo by William M. Donelson)

Maj. James A. Hansen II, director of operations, Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB, Fla., watches as Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson autographs a photo from Hansen’s U.S. Air Force Academy graduation ceremony.  Wilson sponsored Hansen when she was a U.S. representative for the state of New Mexico, and was pictured in the photo with Hansen and President George W. Bush.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

Maj. James A. Hansen II, director of operations, Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB, Fla., watches as Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson autographs a photo from Hansen’s U.S. Air Force Academy graduation ceremony. Wilson sponsored Hansen when she was a U.S. representative for the state of New Mexico, and was pictured in the photo with Hansen and President George W. Bush. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

Col. Steven M. Gorski (right), commander of the Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB, Fla., briefs Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson on AFTAC’s role in nuclear event detection.  Wilson visited the treaty monitoring center Feb. 8, 2018 to gain perspective into the Air Force’s largest sensor network and organization responsible for the U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

Col. Steven M. Gorski (right), commander of the Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB, Fla., briefs Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson on AFTAC’s role in nuclear event detection. Wilson visited the treaty monitoring center Feb. 8, 2018 to gain perspective into the Air Force’s largest sensor network and organization responsible for the U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson visited the Department of Defense’s sole nuclear treaty monitoring center Feb. 8, 2018 to get a first-hand glimpse into the role the center plays in worldwide nuclear event detection.

The Air Force Technical Applications Center hosted Wilson while she was in town for AFTAC’s annual Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Symposium. AFTAC commander, Col. Steven M. Gorski, briefed Wilson on current operations and ongoing analysis of recent nuclear events in the Korean peninsula. A robust question-and-answer session ensued, which provided Wilson a greater understanding of precisely how AFTAC operates the U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System and ensures signatory compliance to established global treaties.

After the briefing, Wilson toured the center’s operations floor, Clean Room and Innovation Lab, and met many Airmen who oversee the Air Force’s largest sensor network.

“I’ve been trying to get down here to see AFTAC for a long time,” Wilson said. “It was a pleasure to spend part of my day with these exceptional Airmen. I definitely could have spent several more hours here, especially in your Innovation Lab!”

This is the second time the sitting Air Force Secretary has visited the nuclear treaty monitoring center while in town for WiSE. In 2016, former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James was the keynote speaker for the symposium and also received a timely mission briefing in the wake of a purported North Korean nuclear detonation.