The mission of maintaining our nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile has many moving parts – it demands precision and perseverance from hundreds of dedicated team members at labs, plants, and sites across the nation.
Each year, Defense Programs Awards of Excellence are presented to NNSA employees who have shown outstanding support of the Stockpile Stewardship program. All winners have made an identifiable and significant achievement by providing increased quality, productivity, cost savings, or enhanced weapon safety, security, or use control.
Six teams consisting of over 200 exemplary Y‑12 National Security Complex employees were recognized for setting the bar high with their work and significant contributions to sustain our nation’s nuclear deterrent in 2018.
“These awards recognize the extraordinary effort made by those in the nuclear weapons complex who work to sustain our nation’s defense system. What some might consider impossible, you make reality,” said Michael Thompson, Assistant Deputy Administrator for Major Modernization Programs.
165 Pantex Plant team members were recognized for their contributions to several Defense Programs projects, including support for the W80-1, W84, and W87 weapons programs, weapons trainer activity, and inspection and assessment of nuclear materials.
Geoff Beausoleil, NNSA Production Office manager, joined Scott Handy, NNSA Assistant Deputy Administrator for Stockpile Management, Roger Lewis, NNSA Associate Deputy Administrator for Stockpile Management, and Mike Thompson, NNSA Assistant Deputy Administrator for Major Modernization Programs in presenting the awards. “I enjoy these ceremonies because I get to celebrate the talent and determination of the people at these sites,” Beausoleil told the crowd.
More than 100 employees from seven teams at the Kansas City National Security Campus received recognition for their significant contributions to quality, productivity, cost savings, safety, or creativity in support of the nuclear weapons program. Michael Thompson and Kansas City Field Office Manager Mark Holecek recognized the team members in a special ceremony.
The Nevada National Security Site had four teams honored by Dr. Kathleen Alexander, NNSA Assistant Deputy Administrator for the Office of Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation.
“I recognize that I am here to give out specific awards, but I want to thank each of you for all you do,” Dr. Alexander said. “Important work happens here in Nevada. I am very proud of what we accomplish, and you should be as well.”
A special Exceptional Achievement award was presented to the team behind a waste shipment campaign completed ten months ahead of schedule, with a cost avoidance of more than $600 million.
Additional Defense Programs awards acknowledged the outstanding work of hundreds of employees including those who facilitated the U1a Complex upgrade from a Hazard Category 3 to a Hazard Category 2 nuclear facility in less than 12 months.
Five exemplary teams from Savannah River Site were recognized for their significant achievements in support of nuclear security by Scott Handy, NNSA’s Assistant Deputy Administrator for Stockpile Management. Awards of Excellence were presented to around 60 employees, with some of those being members of more than one team.