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AFTAC’s new commander arrives

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Col. Aaron M. Prupas assumed command of the Air Force Technical Applications Center during a ceremony here June 16.

Col. Prupas succeeds Col. Lisa Ann Onaga, who commanded the center from August 2008 until May 2010.

The newest AFTAC commander previously served as deputy director for the Commander's Intiatives Group at U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
"We had choices, and we made the right one. This man has sand in his boots - and lots of it. Colonel Prupas has a fabulous record of leading Airmen in combat," said Maj. Gen. Bradley A. Heithold, Air Force ISR Agency commander. "He has the leadership traits, and it's easy to see them in him. I'm proud we're putting this man in charge of this organization."

As AFTAC commander, Col. Prupas oversees the center's worldwide mission to operate and maintain the U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System, which monitors foreign compliance with the treaties limiting nuclear testing.

The USAEDS is a global network of nuclear event detection sensors that record disturbances underground, underwater, in the atmosphere and in space.
The colonel is a career ISR officer and weapons instructor and has served in a variety of positions at the squadron, wing and combatant command levels.

His previous assignments include Offutt AFB, Neb; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Cheyenne Mountain Air Station, Colo.; Peterson AFB, Colo.; Holloman AFB, N.M.; Al Jaber AB, Kuwait; Aviano AB, Italy; Nellis AFB, Nev.; Spangdahlem AB, Germany; Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia; and Maxwell AFB, Ala.

"I'm humbled and honored to stand before you and join this team," Col. Prupas said. "I look forward to being your commander."