The U.S. Air Force is adding a five squadrons of new surveillance planes designed to monitor suspected nuclear production facilities around the world. The new fleet will use advanced reconnaissance technology to detect if American adversaries are constructing production plants or testing nuclear explosions underground, underwater or in the atmosphere.
The Air Force Technical Operations Center was first created in 1959 under a different name with the goal of investigating whether other nations were conducting atomic tests, or otherwise violating nuclear treaties. Now, War Is Boring reported Monday, five new Air Force units will take to the skies to monitor current U.S. enemies, and friends alike.
Each squadron will include at least two aircraft. There's the Technical Surveillance Squadron, the Technical Operations Squadron, the Technical Support Squadron, The Technical Sustainment Squadron and the Cyber Capabilities Squadron. The Technical Surveillance Squadron will “no doubt” focus on North Korea, where at least two nuclear weapons have been tested underground since 2009, according to War Is Boring. Others will likely focus on ballistic and space bound rockets deployed over the past decade by China, Iran, India, Israel and Syria.
News of the plan coincides with a warning from South Korea that the North is again preparing for another nuclear test. The isolated regime last conducted a test in 2013, though similar displays are known to have occurred in 2009 and 2006.