Building Tomorrow Now

Women in Science and Engineering Symposium

Commander, Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick Space Force Base, Florida

Colonel Katharine G. Branson

Colonel Katharine G. Branson is the Commander, Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick Space Force Base, Fla. AFTAC operates and maintains the United States Atomic Energy Detection System to monitor foreign compliance with various treaties limiting nuclear testing. The focus of AFTAC’s more than 1,000 professionals is to detect special events in the atmosphere, underwater, underground, and in space to determine if they are nuclear and to report them to U.S. senior decision makers.

Colonel Branson earned her commission through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Georgia in June 1997, where she earned Distinguished Graduate honors. She is a career intelligence officer with experience in airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, Air Operations Center operations and national-level intelligence programs. She has spent time at NATO, major command and unit-level intelligence support activities, and commanded at the squadron and group levels. She has deployed in support of several operations including Operation Allied Force; Operation Joint Guardian at the NATO Headquarters for Kosovo Forces in Pristina, Kosovo; and repeatedly in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Resolute Support at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Following her completion of the in-residence Master of Public Policy Program at Princeton University, she served as the Senior Duty Officer in the White House Situation Room. Prior to her current assignment, Colonel Branson was the commander of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center’s Space, Missiles and Forces Intelligence Group at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

1997 Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese Language and Literature, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
2003 Master of Arts degree in International Relations and Security Policies, St. Mary’s University College, San Antonio, Texas (Dean’s List)
2004 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2007 Air Command and Staff College (correspondence)
2011 Master of Public Policy degree, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.
2012 Air War College (correspondence)
2016 Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy, National War College, Fort McNair, Washington D.C.