For the first time, NNSA’s Sandia National Laboratories is hosting a student in the prestigious U.S. Air Force “Education With Industry,” a highly selective program that pairs military personnel with industry leaders in their career field. Sandia is hosting Capt. Antonio Gallop, also the Air Force’s first 21M Munitions and Missile Maintenance officer ever selected for the program.
Antonio has been in the Air Force for just more than eight years, joining after graduating and commissioning in 2011 from the University of Florida with a history degree. During Antonio’s military career he has had assignments on multiple continents including Asia and Europe. His last assignment before coming to Sandia was as a major command-level evaluator on the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Inspector General team, stationed in Germany.
“Understanding the acquisition and the lifecycle management process of the deterrence mission of the nuclear weapons enterprise is phenomenal,” Antonio said. “It’s invaluable to understand how the process works and how I can bring that knowledge back to the Air Force.”
NNSA’s nuclear security enterprise is comprised of a nationwide network of government-owned, contractor-operated national security laboratories and nuclear weapons production facilities. These facilities provide the necessary research, development, testing, and production capabilities needed to carry out stockpile stewardship.
While at Sandia, Antonio has gained hands-on experience with a B83-1 Type 3 trainer, assisted with facilitating and training over 500 students from all over the U.S. nuclear enterprise, and taken the lead to conduct nuclear stockpile orientation training for the new commander of the 377 Air Base Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base.
“We are very fortunate to have Capt. Gallop and want to welcome him to the Sandia team,” said Systems Engineer Mark Meyer with Sandia’s Military Liaison group. “Our goal is to immerse Antonio into a wide range of Sandia mission areas such as stockpile sustainment, annual assessment, as well as research and development for life extension programs here and at other locations such as Pantex and the Kansas City National Security Campus. When he returns to the Air Force after 10 months, Antonio will have a much better understanding of how his military requirements for weapons, test gear, handling gear and publications are translated into operational stockpile systems.”
As a 21M munitions maintenance leader, Antonio will be able to leverage this “Education With Industry” experience to enhance mission readiness and combat capability for the land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and air delivered systems –two-thirds of the U.S. nuclear triad deterrent mission.
The “Education With Industry” program is administered by the Air Force Institute of Technology on behalf of the Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. The program started in 1947, the same year the Air Force was established.
The program sends Air Force officers, enlisted and civilian personnel on a 10-month career broadening tour with a company to learn leading-edge technology and innovative management processes. In this 72nd “Education With Industry” class, 45 companies – including Boeing, Delta Air Lines, Inc., and Google – will support 74 students. Graduates return to the Air Force following the program and provide first-hand knowledge of how leading firms are accomplishing bes