When the Department of Defense needs bombs on target or fighters in the air, they reach out to any number of flying wings within the Air Force to task their squadrons to accomplish that mission. Yet when they need near-real time data of potential nuclear detonations, to include ballistic missile detection, radioactive plume debris collection, seismic activity or gamma ray emissions, there is only one wing within DoD that can meet that need.
Military Sealift Command missile range instrumentation ship USNS Invincible makes way during sea trials following a regularly scheduled yard period. The platform is designed to augment the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense sensor network by providing target discrimination information to U.S. Strategic Command. (U.S. Navy photo by Tommy Chia)