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Protective Forces

NNSA has some of the best trained and best equipped forces protecting its nuclear weapons and material.  Since the events of September 11, 2001, NNSA has hired additional armed security police officers.  It has also shifted towards a paramilitary, “tactical response force” that utilizes a robust mix of offensive and defensive qualified officers who are well-trained in small team and weapons tactics.  It has improved its training capabilities by expanding training ranges and support facilities, developing additional tactical training courses, and hiring additional instructors.  NNSA has also increased the survivability and lethality of officers by providing armored vehicles, heavier caliber weapons with greater firepower and armor-penetrating ammunition, and outlining ballistically protected fighting positions.

Some examples of these improvement are below:

The Oak Ridge Central Training Facility (CTF), located at NNSA's Y-12 National Security Complex, has an indoor firing range facility, the largest within the Department of Energy.  The range broadens indoor weapons training capabilities and enables security police officers to train under a variety of scenarios.  The range permits training 24 hours a day and enables night qualifications to be completed during daylight hours, reducing training downtime and overtime costs.

A Pre-Event Discovery Program (PEDP) was also developed at Y-12.  This program trains local law enforcement agencies to recognize and report potential terrorist activities.  This training is specifically designed to improve liaison and coordination with local law enforcement and airfield managers as a defensive resource in the overall protection of Y-12.  The major objective of PEDP is to increase the probability that terrorist and criminal threats to Y-12 will be identified so that interruption by law enforcement can occur before an attack is initiated against NNSA resources.

The Nevada Test Site (NTS) completed major facility improvements at its Central Training Academy, including:

  •      The new Carlos N. Saenz Memorial Live Fire Shoot House;
  •      A new six-story live fire training tower that replicates the Device Assembly Facility environment;
  •      Moving target system upgrade on its outdoor range facility;
  •      Additional instructional classrooms and staff work space;
  •      Expanded ammunition storage site; and
  •      Upgraded weapons storage and repair armory.

Los Alamos National LaboratoryDillon M-134 7.62 mm Mini-Gun and Y-12 joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in fielding the Dillon M-134 7.62 mm Mini-Gun.  Livermore developed an innovative qualification course for the Dillon Dillon M-134 7.62 mm Mini-Gunwhich not only facilitates evaluation of weapon manipulation skills and accuracy on target, but enables significant cost savings by reducing massive expenditures on ammunition and travel costs to other agencies’ range facilities.

Y-12 introduced fragmentation grenades and the M203 grenade launcher to its defense posture, while continuing efforts to reduce its target footprint.  Y-12 also deployed three second-generation Advanced Concept Armored Vehicles (ACAV) II and has five LENCO BearCats.  These tactical, up-armored, four-wheel drive vehicles will be equipped with a Dillon 134D Mini-Gun.

The NTS successfully established two full-time Special Response Teams (SRT).  Defense of the DAF will include: ACAV II with .50 caliber remotely-operated weapons, LENCO BearCats, the SR-25-7.62 mm rifle with optics, HK-69 grenade launchers, and Polaris 500 all terrain vehicles.

The Pantex Plant, which assembles and disassembles nuclear weapons, also researched, purchased, and tested the Vinghog weapons mount for the MK-19 grenade launcher, which will enhance the weapon’s accuracy and fighting capability.