Inspection Report: OAI-L-16-10

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May 18, 2016

Followup on the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Ability to Meet the Aircraft Requirements of the Joint Technical Operations Team

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science.  NNSA works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad.  NNSA’s Joint Technical Operations Team (JTOT) provides scientific and technical support to the lead Federal agency during all aspects of a nuclear or radiological weapon of mass destruction terrorist incident.  The JTOT’s response areas include, but are not limited to, foreign nuclear weapons, improvised nuclear devices, radiological dispersal devices, and recapture and recovery.

In our June 2003 inspection report on National Nuclear Security Administration’s Ability to Meet the Aircraft Requirements of the Joint Technical Operations Team (DOE/IG-0605), we found that NNSA was not prepared to meet its aircraft requirements for JTOT missions and there was no contingency planning for those occasions when NNSA aircraft were not available for JTOT missions.

Our inspection determined that NNSA had taken corrective actions in conjunction with Presidential Policy Directive 25 (PPD-25) Domestic Guidelines, dated January 17, 2014, that addressed the recommendations noted in our 2003 report.  In the 2003 report, we recommended that NNSA develop a formal written agreement with the Department of Defense (DOD) detailing the specific JTOT aircraft support responsibilities and establish contingency plans for JTOT aviation support when NNSA aircraft are not available.  Specifically, since our 2003 report, NNSA entered into several signed Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs) and Memorandums of Understanding within NNSA and with the DOD.  The purpose of these memorandums is to increase readiness response to emergencies and to provide clarification on the roles and responsibilities of both the NNSA and DOD with respect to aviation support.  PPD-25 and the NNSA–DOD MOA outline the contingency plans to ensure aviation support when NNSA aircraft are not available.

Topic: Management and Adminstration