A security police officer with a Savannah River Site (SRS) contractor has received an award that recognizes members of a team equivalent to the Defense Department’s special operations forces, who exhibit exceptional performance and qualities during their training, assignment and support of security assessment activities within the DOE complex.
An employee of security services contractor Centerra-SRS since 2007, and a member of the site’s Special Response Team, Security Police Officer III Brad Hicks was honored with the Colonel Elliott P. Sydnor, Jr., Memorial Award in a ceremony conducted at SRS. Anthony Taylor, director of the DOE Office of Safeguards Assessments and federal program manager for the Composite Adversary Team (CAT), presented the award to Hicks.
“SPO III Hicks is an exceptional employee and has helped improve the security posture both locally and at other DOE nuclear facilities,” said Mark Bolton, Centerra’s general manager at SRS.
Unlike conventional security forces, CAT operators train to think like terrorists. Acting covertly, they find ways to challenge DOE’s security measures at nuclear weapons facilities, and as a result, help improve security throughout the complex by promoting excellence within security operations.
CAT members are the cream of the crop of security police officers within the DOE complex. Only a select few are recruited to join the team, and they must have physical and mental toughness.
Once selected, they train in tactics and techniques that replicate terrorist and adversary capabilities to challenge DOE security measures at nuclear facilities. They use a wide array of simulated explosives, specialized equipment and weapons, and tactics to assail DOE facilities and create simulated security threats and events. With a mission to challenge physical security systems and protective forces at DOE facilities, the program has been recognized for its excellence worldwide by the nuclear security community.
Award recipients are selected by a panel chaired by the CAT program manager and includes primary instructors and the team coordinator.
Sydnor enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1945, and served aboard the attack submarine U.S.S. Raton with the Atlantic Submarine Fleet until his discharge from active duty in 1948. He later received his commission in the U.S. Army through the Army ROTC Program at Western Kentucky State Teachers College and served in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his role as ground commander in the November 1970 raid on the Son Tay prison in North Vietnam. Sydnor was inducted in the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame in 1992. He was instrumental in establishing the CAT program as a means to enhance security of nuclear facilities.
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