Monday, December 2, 2013

1973, McClellen Central Laboratory for the Eniwetok Radiological Survey


The Technical Operations Division is the second largest associate unit on McClellan Air Force Base, Calif., and the largest subordinate unit of the Air Force Technical Applications Center at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.

TOD's vision is to be the lead global organization performing nuclear and environmental trace minerals analysis and systems support while conducting an effective transition.

Their mission is to provide timely, accurate products and services for nuclear and environmental materials collection and analysis to enhance U. S. military preparedness, national policy making and treaty monitoring while planning and implementing transition activities. The unit also supports all material collection functions of the U. S. Atomic Energy Detection System.
TOD is comprised of three directorates:

•  McClellan Central Laboratory
•  Mission Resources and Systems
•  Logistics and Engineering

The McClellan Central Laboratory provides trace-level analyses of nuclear and environmental samples.

The Mission Resources and Systems Directorate manages the communication and computer operations, contracting, facilities, budget management, security and information management support functions.

In the Logistics and Engineering Directorate, personnel conduct engineering, maintenance and supply operations for the laboratory systems and the sampling equipment in the worldwide U. S. Atomic Energy Detection System. They also manage the base closure-related transition planning team.
The unit's support functions include environmental protection, radiation safety, ground safety, training, manpower, personnel, information and facilities management and first sergeant involvement to ensure successful operations and compliance with regulations.

Although TOD's main customer is AFTAC, other customers include the worldwide detachments, Department of Energy laboratories, the Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations and Great Britain's Atomic Weapons Establishment. The unit will be transformed by the July 1995 Base Realignment and Closure Commission decision to close McClellan Air Force Base by July 2001. Although timetables and transition details are still being developed, TOD will continue to provide quality products and services while effectively transitioning the process and equipment that AFTAC needs to continue its treaty monitoring missions.

TOD mission operations began in 1948 with the 1009th Special Weapons Squadron and established to detect nuclear weapon tests worldwide. Between 1948 and 1950, the 1009th sent personnel on temporary duty to McClellan Air Force Base to work with the 55th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron on airborne sampling missions using WB-29 and WB-50 aircraft. This was the beginning of TOD's worldwide aerial sampling operations.

In 1950, the Western Field Office, a permanent branch of the 1009th SES, was created at McClellan Air Force Base to conduct laboratory analysis of airborne debris. During the 1960's, the growing worldwide mission of the 1009th
was transferred to the 1035th U. S. Air Force Field Activities Group. The Limited Test Ban Treaty in 1963 resulted in an enormous expansion of workload, and WFO, renamed the 1155th Technical Operations Squadron in 1960, reached its peak strength of 1,500 people.

By the late 1970's, technology and a reduced workload enabled the 1155th to streamline operations and eliminate redundant systems; manpower decreased to approximately 500 personnel. Major modernization programs were undertaken to exploit modern, sophisticated instrumentation and lab techniques. Recognizing the increasing complexity and importance of the unit's mission, the Air Force upgraded the unit to a division in 1984 and named it the Technical Operations Division. In 1988, the Russell Building was dedicated as a modern facility to house the McClellan Central Laboratory and the Operations, Computer-Communications Systems, Logistics and Executive Support directorates. The $18 million building won an award for architectural design for building aesthetics in the Air Force's annual new building facility design competition. For nearly half a century, TOD has sustained a reputation for producing world class results. Notable among its many accomplishments was the division's participation in sampling and analysis of debris from the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor accident.

The division has been a dedicated member of McClellan Air Force Base and the Sacramento community. For over 28 years, TOD people have sponsored Child-A-Smile, a program which helps physically and mentally challenged children in Sacramento schools. TOD's blood drives have received awards form Sacramento county officials and the Adopt-A-School mentoring program enables the unit's highly trained and educated members to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with community youth. Acknowledging these efforts, Sacramento civic leaders presented TOD with the Sacramento Volunteer Activist Award, the first time the award was given to an Air Force unit.

Today, the 309- member unit continues to provide logistics support for complex systems around the world, laboratory analysis to support treaty monitoring commitments and worldwide atmospheric sampling support.

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