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Search Response Team

Search Response Team logoNNSA's Search Response Team (SRT) is a national level capability that provides assets for complex search operations using both technical and operational expertise.  SRT is a full-response asset, which includes the manpower and equipment to conduct aerial, vehicle, or search operations by foot to locate a potential radiological source.  In addition to the field team, a "home team" provides additional support to the field team, and any NNSA search response operation.  The team is based out of the Remote Sensing Laboratory in Las Vegas, Nevada.


The SRT's mission is to search for possible radiological devices or weapons in urban or rural environments, overtly or clandestinely.  When necessary, the team supports the Radiological Assistance Program (RAP) teams during their search response operations.  SRT may also be called upon to search for lost or stolen radiological material that may not involve a terrorist nexus.  Lastly, the SRT will serve as the search information conduit to NNSA command, control, and coordination elements during response operations.

Steps in the SRT response

SRT will be activated by NNSA upon the receipt of actionable intelligence that a radiological device is present in a targeted area or notification that radiological material has been lost or stolen.  General response procedures include:

  •     Coordinate with law enforcement agencies to select particular target areas.
  •     Map the areas in a Geographical Information System (GIS) formatted database.
  •     Implement search operations.
  •     Detect and identify radiological material or devices.
  •     Capabilities

The SRT's operational capability includes a seven person response team.  However, the composition of the team can vary depending on the mission.  The team carries hand-held gamma and neutron detector systems to immediately detect a radiological source in the environment.  SRT can deploy both within and outside the continental United States to conduct long-term field operations, if necessary.  The Search Home Team provides scientific, technical, and logistical support to the SRT members in the field.

SRT members may also be involved in developing and conducting first responder training, to benefit other NNSA search assets and can provide assistance to federal, state, and local governments in their search response operations.  Additionally they identify, and evaluate new equipment to enhance search response operations.