by Susan A. Romano
AFTAC Public Affairs
10/16/2015 - Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. -- The
Air Force Technical Applications Center here activated five
newly-designated squadrons this week as the center takes steps to
reorganize after becoming a wing equivalent in August 2014.
The ceremonies were historic events for the center as well as the Air
Force. AFTAC was first organized in 1959 as the 1035th U.S. Air Force
Field Activities Group. For the next several years, five technical
operations squadrons carried out specific portions of the nuclear treaty
monitoring mission. In 1980, the 1035th was renamed the Air Force
Technical Applications Center and became a direct reporting unit to
Headquarters Air Force. The squadrons were deactivated at that time.
Now that AFTAC falls under Air Combat Command (major command) and 25th
Air Force (numbered Air Force), leadership reasoned that as a wing
equivalent, the squadron structure should be revived and returned to
AFTAC's unit composition.
A squadron is the Air Force's most basic unit, responsible for critical,
day-to-day operations - it's where the job gets done. Each new
squadron held an activation and assumption of command ceremony, with an
Air Force field grade officer respectively taking command.
Two of the squadrons will be aligned under AFTAC's Directorate of
Operations; the remaining three will align under the Directorate of
The new squadrons and their associated missions are as follows:
Technical Surveillance Squadron (TESS) - this squadron, now commanded by
Lt. Col. Ehren Carl, provides the nation with persistent surveillance
to monitor treaty compliance through AFTAC's 24/7 Operations Center and
the U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System to detect, identify and locate
nuclear explosions underground, underwater, in the atmosphere or in
Technical Operations Squadron (TOPS) - this squadron, led by Lt. Col.
Robert Light, conducts Olympic Titan (mobile maritime platform foreign
missile and space activity operations) and worldwide reconnaissance
missions via technical sensors radar systems and aerial sampling
operations to provide national authorities quality technical
measurements to monitor treaty compliance involving weapons of mass
destruction that threaten national security.
Technical Support Squadron (TSUS) - this squadron, under the command of
Lt. Col. Dennis Uyechi, provides a broad range of world-class operations
support to AFTAC, including intelligence support, training,
standardization and evaluation, command staff and operations support to
17 worldwide locations employing more than 1,000 personnel executing the
center's nuclear treaty monitoring mission.
Technical Sustainment Squadron (TSMS) - this squadron, with Maj. Patrick
Carpizo at the helm, empowers AFTAC with quality sustainment of the
U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System and innovative global logistics and
maintenance support to the Department of Defense's sole nuclear treaty
Cyber Capabilities Squadron (CYCS) - this squadron, commanded by Lt.
Col. Brian Hippel, provides AFTAC with decisive and assured cyberspace
capabilities through innovative and robust global network architecture,
data management, systems engineering and integrations services with
unrivaled expertise and commitment.
"As an organization, AFTAC is changing rapidly and we must embrace these
changes to ensure our continued success," said Col. Jennifer P. Sovada,
AFTAC commander. "All of our officers taking command have the
responsibility to lead and take care of their Airmen while still
executing the mission. I have full confidence in their abilities to do
just that and to carry on with the rich legacy of excellence at AFTAC."