Admiral James A. Winnefield, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff visited Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) recently. Winnefield is a four star Navy Admiral, and as Vice Chairman is the second highest-ranking U.S. military officer.
Winnefield was at LANL to receive a wide variety of classified briefings that covered the broad spectrum of national security science at LANL. Winnefield was briefed by the LANL’s senior leadership including director Charlie McMillan, and Principal Associate Directors Bret Knapp and Terry Wallace. The briefings included details of the LANL’s Nuclear Weapons Program and Global Security portfolio.
In addition to the briefings, Winnefield was given a tour of LANL’s Plutonium Facility at Technical Area 55.
As commander of Carrier Strike Group Two/Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, Winnefield led Task Forces support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and maritime interception operations in the Arabian Gulf. Winnefield also served as commander, United States 6th Fleet; commander NATO Allied Joint Command, Lisbon; and, commander, Striking and Support Forces NATO. Winnefield also served as the commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).
Anne Harrington, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, and Rhys Williams, NNSA Deputy Director, Nonproliferation and Verification Research & Development, visited Sandia National Laboratories on Nov. 15 to see the results of NNSA's Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development Program at Sandia.
NNSA’s Office of Nonproliferation Research and Development is the principal organization in the U.S. government that conducts long-term basic and applied research, development, testing, and evaluation into new nuclear nonproliferation, counterproliferation, and counterterrorism technologies. It work to reduce the threat to national security posed by nuclear weapons proliferation and illicit nuclear materials trafficking by developing new and novel technologies that can be translated into useful tools.
A select group of early-career safeguards professionals from across the NNSA enterprise came together in September for networking and a hands-on learning experience about safeguards inspection challenges and resources. The event at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and facilities in the surrounding area was designed to increase NNSA’s future capacity by building the diverse understanding young professionals need in nuclear safeguards. The activity, now in its third year, is an annual highlight of NNSA’s Next Generation Safeguards Professional Network.
Safeguards experts are responsible for ensuring that all quantities of nuclear materials are accounted for in nuclear processes, facilities, and equipment. Their success is crucial in ensuring that such materials are not lost, or diverted for nefarious use.
This highly specialized field requires nuclear engineers, statisticians, physicists, chemists, information technology professionals, analysts, and policymakers. “Because of the variety of backgrounds, many young professionals benefit from additional development opportunities to become well rounded in these disciplines,” said Melissa Scholz, Office of Nuclear Safeguards and Security.
For the four-day event, Scholz accompanied nonproliferation staff from six DOE national laboratories that support the NNSA mission. “We designed this experience to increase their familiarity with the facilities, capabilities, and resources available across the NNSA complex,” she said.
Participants saw the inner workings of nuclear production, reactors, reprocessing, and uranium enrichment in real and test facilities. A highlight was discussing real-life inspection challenges with PNNL staff members who formerly worked as inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“Participants came away with a much stronger understanding of how safeguards play into the entire fuel cycle,” Scholz said. “This is exactly what we’re aiming for—ensuring a sustainable safeguards capability for the global security mission.”
As your Chief Information Officer, I lead a talented and dedicated team in delivering the NNSA Network Vision (2NV) as a key element of the OneNNSA transformation strategy.
We must change the way we use and view information, and when leveraged effectively, information becomes a strategic asset which enables us to do our jobs faster and more effectively. But almost more important than the information itself, is the security of that information.
Cyber security has become a buzz word these days, but the funny thing is that you can’t just go buy some cyber security. Rather, increasing our Cyber Security posture is the result of an effective, well-managed architecture which combines our IT investments with cyber tools and talented professionals. Because we protect some of our nation’s most sensitive information, our network has to be managed unlike any other!
So in order to transform our computing environment, we developed 2NV, which has three strategic pillars 2NV, JC3, and CSL, and once delivered, will set the stage for a transformation in how we actually do our work!
Pillar one: 2NV 2NV “modernizes our current computing environment” by providing a secure, mobile, agile, and adaptive IT infrastructure which will allow the NNSA workforce to perform their duties from any device, anywhere, any time.
Pillar two: JC3 The Joint Cybersecurity Coordination Center (JC3) allows us to “understand the health” of our sytems, data and networks within our computing environment
Pillar three: CSL The Cyber Sciences Laboratory (CSL) provides a capability to “protect our future” by establishing a process through which theoretical research in IT and cyber security can be rapidly applied to operational computing environments.
We aim to leap from our current, desktop centric computing environment to a “best in class” mobile, capable and secure computing environment which will carry NNSA into the future.
Check back often to track our progress as we deliver this vision!