The Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC) recently celebrated a milestone in its work with NNSA's Office of Secure Transportation (OST) with the production and refurbishment of the high-tech vehicles used to ensure safe and secure transportation of nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons components, and nuclear materials throughout the country.
KCNSC personnel were instrumental in upgrading the SafeGuards Transporter (SGT), an advanced semi-trailer transport vehicle, at its New Mexico Operations. While the support of the OST mission began in Kansas City nearly 25 years ago, the program has resided in Albuquerque for the past 10 years. Since starting SGT work in November 2010, the KCNSC team in New Mexico has since refurbished 241 trailers, including completing all planned maintenance and delivering 18 trailers on time – even in the midst of the COVID pandemic – in 2020.
We applaud the KCNSC’s New Mexico Operations for its 10 years of dedicated service to this important mission. Their diligence and attention to detail has gone a long way toward making the transportation of nuclear materials and nuclear weapons components safer and more reliable.
“The relocation of trailer refurbishment activities from the Kansas City National Security Campus to the Albuquerque area has been an absolute success,” said Jeff Boyer, Director of the OST Engineering Systems Technology Division. “It has fostered teaming efforts and enhanced the strong partnership enjoyed between KCNSC and the Office of Secure Transportation.”
The KCNSC trailer team, consisting of approximately 30 employees, is responsible for the repair and refurbishment, including lifecycle maintenance for the secure communications systems and other hardware and software used in the vault-like SGT vehicles and the escort vehicles that shadow the trailers.
“We applaud the KCNSC’s New Mexico Operations for its 10 years of dedicated service to this important mission,” said Jeff Shoulta, Acting Field Office Manager for the NNSA Kansas City Field Office. “Their diligence and attention to detail has gone a long way toward making the transportation of nuclear materials and nuclear weapons components safer and more reliable.”
Dean Stoor, site leader for KCNSC’s New Mexico Operations, reflected on the dedication of the team that reached this milestone. “The SGT mission is so vital to the NNSA, it is very easy for our employees to rally around the importance of keeping the SGT trailers safe, functional and mission-ready.” Stoor said, “The SGT program has been a critical mission assignment to us from OST, and I believe the reason it has been so successful is because it has been such a great collaborative effort.
The teamwork became even more important in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our trailer technicians were away for seven weeks early in the year and did not return until the May timeframe,” said Mike Sargent, Senior Integrated Supply Chain Supervisor. “This challenged us to get the trailers done in a short amount of time when they returned.”
Despite the shortened timeframe, KCNSC was able to deliver the 18 trailers it was tasked with repairing and refurbishing in 2020. This also included the completion of three trailers that did not arrive to New Mexico until mid-July. Depending on the scope of the repair and retrofit, each trailer takes about eight to ten weeks to complete.
KCNSC is also partnering with Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) to design and produce the next generation of secure transport vehicles, called the Mobile Guardian Transporter (MGT). The MGT trailers are currently being designed and tested by SNL, which is collaborating with KCNSC to ensure a seamless transition from design to production. KCNSC will be responsible for producing the MGT trailers, while simultaneously refurbishing and repairing SGT trailers.
The addition of the next-generation trailer will lead to new challenges and opportunities for KCNSC’s New Mexico Operations, which has continued to exceed mission requirements throughout the program’s history in Albuquerque.