National Nuclear Security Administration

A salute to NNSA’s aerial mission during National Aviation Week

August 15, 2017

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A twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter operated by NNSA in Nevada. AMS teams fly “low and slow” to survey large areas and provide real-time measurements of ground contamination.

NNSA’s award-winning aviation program supports the Department of Energy’s steadfast national security mission by providing technical expertise and capabilities to counter nuclear and radiological emergencies domestically and internationally .

As part of National Aviation Week, we take a moment to acknowledge the emergency response and preparedness professionals and technical resources that make up NNSA’s aviation program.

The Aerial Measuring System (AMS) is the Nation’s eye-in-the-sky team leading NNSA’s nuclear and radiological emergency response and preparedness mission. With state-of-the-art radiation detection sensors, AMS helps the department’s interagency partners to prepare for, respond to, and counter nuclear and radiological accidents and incidents.

“AMS is a signature program for NNSA that supports both national security as well as public health and safety missions. With on-call response duties, the aircraft and crew of this highly visible program are among the best in the Nuclear Security Enterprise” said Jay Tilden, NNSA’s deputy undersecretary for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation.

Employing both rotary and fixed-wing assets, AMS teams fly “low and slow” to survey large areas and provide real-time measurements of ground contamination. The ability to quickly and efficiently assess the consequences of a release of radiological material serves as the go-to tool that emergency responders use when making important decision about public protection and health. Additionally, the information provided to managers helps them make decisions of where to deploy local, state, and federal resources for additional ground monitoring and response teams.

NNSA’s AMS teams continuously soar within the department for their continued excellence in improving and sustaining the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of their aviation programs.

Read more about NNSA’s aviation program and the AMS mission.

An AMS fixed-wing airplane taxies in after a routine mission flight.