Don Zecha, center, representative of the Savannah River Site R&D Assembly Load and Test Team, accepts the Defense Programs Award of Excellence from NNSA-Savannah River Field Office Manager Doug Dearolph, left, and NNSA Acting Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Brigadier General S.L. Davis. 

AIKEN, S.C. -- The National Nuclear Security Administration has honored six teams of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) employees for their outstanding contributions to the nation’s defense, with special kudos for one team’s “exceptional” achievement.

NNSA Acting Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Brigadier General S.L. Davis presented the employees with Defense Programs (DP) Awards of Excellence, which is given for “significant contributions the Stockpile Stewardship Program.”  The award recognized their roles in initiatives that increased efficiency, reduced potential for error, developed new approaches for future work, and enabled safe operations following an unprecedented weather event. Gen. Davis also announced that one of the six teams is among a small number of honorees that he personally selected from all DP Award winners nationwide for special recognition.

Gen. Davis praised all of the award-winning teams for their accomplishments on behalf of the nation’s security, saying, “The extra effort put in by these people is really remarkable.”

Read more about it at this link.

Nov 4, 2015 at 10:37 am


Everything was in motion in Kansas City recently as the National Security Campus’s M&O contractor, Honeywell, brought the award-winning, hip-hop physics education program, FMA Live! Forces in Motion, to more than 1,500 middle school students.

The show brings hip-hop music, dancers, larger-than-life demonstrations and audience participation to illustrate how physics plays a role in everyday life.

FMA Live! takes students on a journey through Newton's Three Laws of Motion and the Universal Law of Gravity. The program engages middle-school students in the wonders of science, technology and math, and demonstrates the relevance of the natural sciences to kids' daily lives.

Over the next decade, job opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math are expected to grow five times faster than other sectors. To meet this need, Honeywell and NASA developed this show to inspire students to pursue careers in these fields.

FMA Live! has been performed before 415,000 students in more than 1,100 schools in 48 states, as well as in Mexico and Canada, since its creation in 2004. 



Nov 4, 2015 at 9:25 am


Small Business Administration Region VI SBA District Director Calvin Davis and Regional Administrator Yolanda Garcia Olivarez recently presented awards to Pantex’s Supply Chain Management organization. Featured in photo, front row, from left, Kelly Delgado-Goudschaal, Olivarez and Davis. Back row from left, Frances Tillery, Barbara Smith, Teresa Albus, Jeff Gillmore, Tammi Pedro, Randy Lucas, Ashley Hayton and Diane Johnson. 

The Pantex Plant’s Supply Chain Management organization recently received three awards from the Small Business Administration, including:

  • SBA leader in the Lubbock-West Texas District and the SBA Region VI (comprised of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana),
  • Provider of outstanding stellar access to procurement opportunities for small businesses and
  • SBA Procurement All Star.

Pantex has a long history of working with small business. Kelly Delgado-Goudschaal, acting manager of Supply Chain Management said, “These awards are a direct reflection of the dedication and the commitment of the Procurement personnel at Pantex. We have had a long-standing tradition of supporting small businesses within our community. We also work with the West Texas Procurement Center to develop and mentor small businesses within our community.”

“It is an honor to be recognized by SBA as a leader for promoting small businesses. For the past seven years, we have consistently exceeded our small business goal. Pantexans continue to support SBA initiatives by identifying small businesses with which we can contract,” said Compliance team lead Barbara Smith.

Read more on the Pantex website.

Nov 3, 2015 at 10:00 am


The 2015 Leadership Oak Ridge class recently visited the Y-12 National Security Complex. Members had the opportunity to go on tour and get a glimpse of what employees do at Y-12.

The 2015 Leadership Oak Ridge class recently visited the Y-12 National Security Complex. Members toured and saw a glimpse of what employees do at Y-12.

“The majority of Leadership Oak Ridge participants have never been inside Y-12,” said Greta Ownby, Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Oak Ridge Program Manager. “So, it is always a highlight of the program year for them to be able to tour the facility.”

According to their website, Leadership Oak Ridge’s mission is to “inform current, potential and emerging leaders about Oak Ridge and its issues and provide them leadership skills development in order to empower them to identify and implement solutions to those community issues.”

“I’ve had the opportunity to visit Y-12 for the last several years, and it is amazing to see the changes that have been made to the site with the demolition of older buildings,” said Pat Fallon, City of Oak Ridge. “I am really looking forward to watching the progression as the Uranium Processing Facility is constructed and the inclusion of the historical buildings as part of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.”

Read more about their tour on the Y-12 website.

Oct 30, 2015 at 4:25 pm


Glenn Podonsky, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Enterprise Assessment, pays tribute to the atomic veterans who worked at the Nevada National Security Site and other sites across the enterprise during the Cold War. He also introduced the video tribute below from Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz as part of the National Day of Remembrance celebration October 30th at the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas.


Oct 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Thornberry hosts House Majority Leader at Pantex visit

Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, hosted Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, at both Pantex and Bell Helicopter in Amarillo recently to discuss the Texas Panhandle’s role in national security.

At Pantex, Thornberry and McCarthy viewed the High Explosives Pressing Facility along with the locations where nuclear weapons are assembled, disassembled and stored.

“I especially wanted him [McCarthy] to come to the Panhandle to see the contributions we make to national security,” Thornberry said in a statement to the press.

McCarthy is currently the second ranking Republican serving in the House of Representatives and was first elected to Congress in 2006. Thornberry has served continuously since 1995 and currently is the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, the first Texan to hold this position. 

Oct 26, 2015 at 11:00 pm

Current and former members of the Lab’s Protective Force gathered to reflect on and recognize the contributions ProForce has made to securing Sandia National Laboratory’s resources, facilities, and people. Over the past 65 years, the force has changed in size and structure but its mission has remained the same: To ensure the protection of accountable nuclear material, classified matter, and other Safeguards and Security interests from theft, espionage, and acts that may cause unacceptable adverse effects on national security or the health and safety of DOE and contractor employees, the public, or the environment.

Jim Armijo, a retired member of ProForce, and son Lawrence Armijo show pride in their collective decades of service to Sandia and the nation. 

Retired ProForce members Celso Montaño, left, Mario Garcia, Jim Armijo, and Ruben Garcia look on as Harold Garcia points out some highlights in photos from ProForce’s early days. 

Oct 25, 2015 at 11:00 pm

Mark Meyer, training coordinator and field engineer at Sandia.
Mark Meyer, training coordinator and field engineer at Sandia National Laboratories.

Over the past five years, Mark Meyer, training coordinator and field engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, has introduced thousands of people across the Department of Energy and Department of Defense nuclear enterprise to the inner workings of U.S. nuclear weapons.

Using Sandia’s realistic trainers for every enduring stockpile weapon, Meyer’s training provides the technical, hands-on information needed to operate, maintain, and securely store the weapons in the current U.S. nuclear stockpile. It focuses on orienting students to the nuclear weapons enterprise, on stockpile maintenance and sustainment and providing background information on stockpile logistics and operations.

Students include those serving in the U.S. Navy and Air Force whose responsibilities include operating and maintaining stockpile weapons, plus employees from a variety of agencies across the DoD and NNSA weapons enterprise.

 “They can’t train on actual stockpile weapons, so this is the best way to for them to improve their proficiency: non-functioning trainers,” Meyer said. “We strive to make our trainers as realistic as possible, including frequently updating them with new components when changes are made in stockpile weapons.”

Sandia has offered the Military Liaison Nuclear Weapons Training course in some form since the 1940s. Meyer estimated that he’s trained more than 6,000 people since he came to Sandia from a career with the Air Force, including support for missile operations at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.

Meyer also was lead field engineer for the W87 and backup field engineer for the W78, and led a team of technical experts to troubleshoot and repair a critical high fidelity Joint Test Assembly re-entry vehicle. His efforts kept the ICBM Joint Flight Test program on schedule and resulted in the first-ever successful launch on the Minuteman III.

Oct 19, 2015 at 9:00 am

The W80-4 mechanical team at Sandia National Laboratories reviews results.
The W80-4 mechanical team at Sandia National Laboratories reviews the results of thermal analysis. From the top center, counterclockwise, are Ryan Johnson, Bryn Miyahara, Alvin Leung and Matt H. Jones.

Sandia National Laboratories is doing what it hasn’t done in decades: extending the life of a nuclear warhead at the same time the U.S. Air Force develops a replacement cruise missile that will carry the weapon.

The goal of the W80-4 Life Extension Program (LEP) is refurbishing the W80 warhead with replacement components for aging technology and components that have limited lifespans. Sandia’s California site is responsible for development of non-nuclear components and subsystems and for systems integration. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is responsible for the refurbishment of the nuclear explosive package and joint development of detonators with safety features.

Read more.

Oct 16, 2015 at 9:00 am

Pantex engineers and scientists attended the event.
Pantex industrial engineer Natalie Waters, Ph.D., was a keynote speaker at the Louise Daniel Women’s History Luncheon. Pantex scientists and engineers attending the event included (from left) Rachel Ehler, Hannah Pemberton, Isela Galan, Erin Robinson, Raquel Barrera-Chavez, Halianne Crawford, Waters, Brandy Ramirez, Meagan Brown, Courtney Waddell, Karishma Myers, Jessie Phifer, Zelda Martinez and Ava Azores.

Since the 1940s when they traded in their aprons for coveralls and gas masks, women have played a key role at the Pantex Plant. To honor their past contributions and celebrate the work they currently perform, Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC was a corporate sponsor of the recent 2015 Louise Daniel Women’s History Luncheon and Women’s Equality Day Celebration.

The sponsorship was fitting because this year’s event highlighted the work done by women in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Natalie Waters, a Pantex industrial engineer, spoke about the history of local women in STEM and presented a vignette about female STEM professionals at Pantex.

“Young girls and women who live in the Panhandle today should be proud of the women pioneers who worked hard, paved the way and excelled in their STEM fields,” said Waters.

Read more about the joint resolution on the Pantex website

Oct 15, 2015 at 1:00 pm