A team of pilots, scientists and technicians based at the Remote Sensing Laboratory at Joint Base Andrews conducted a training mission March 13 in the Aerial Measuring System’s (AMS) fixed-wing airplane.
AMS supports NNSA’s counterterrorism and public health and safety missions. The AMS system maps ground-surface radiation levels safely from the air, enabling rapid characterization of contamination that may occur as a result of an incident involving the release of radiological material.
“These proficiency training flights are performed on a regular basis to ensure the AMS aircraft and crew are able to support their on-call response duties” said Jay Tilden, NNSA’s deputy undersecretary for counterterrorism and counterproliferation.
Tilden accompanied the AMS crew to observe the procedures and gain a deeper understanding of the capabilities, assets, and teams under his purview.
The mission simulated a release from the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant near Raleigh, NC, and tested AMS’s rapid response and measurement capability. The twin-engine Beechcraft 200 aircraft is able to reach most points east of the Mississippi River within a few hours of departure from its home base.
Tilden also participated in a similar training exercise in February with the AMS team at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
Both AMS teams at Joint Base Andrews and Nellis Air Force Base maintain around-the-clock capability to respond to radiological or nuclear incidents in the continental United States within a few hours of notification.
Read more about NNSA’s AMS emergency response capabilities.