NNSA Highlights Conclusion of Training Program at 10th Annual Central Asia Nuclear Security Conference

Press Release
May 16, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – Today in Astana, Kazakhstan, representatives of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Kazakhstan Atomic Energy Committee announced the completion of a five-week Fixed Site Security training course for protective force specialists at nuclear facilities in Kazakhstan. The announcement came at the start of the 10th Annual Central Asia MC&A Conference, which brings together specialists on nuclear material control and accounting from Central Asia, the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“The completion of this course and our participation in this year’s 10th Annual Central Asia Material Control and Accountability conference show that our nations share a commitment to investing in a sustainable infrastructure for securing and eliminating weapon-usable material,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington.  “Together, we are working to implement the unprecedented nuclear security agenda outlined by President Obama and President Nazarbayev.”

This three day conference promotes the sharing of information and best practices related material control and accounting, and the maintenance of an effective program for protecting highly sensitive nuclear materials from theft or diversion.  More than 70 experts from NNSA, NNSA’s national laboratories, the IAEA, and the nuclear enterprises in participating countries are participating in this year’s conference, the largest in its 10-year history.

During opening remarks, Maia Gemmill of NNSA’s Office of Weapons Material Protection announced the conclusion of the Fixed Site Security Course, which was conducted at the Department of Energy’s National Training Center (NTC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Conducted under the auspices of the U.S.-Kazakhstan Energy Partnership Agreement, it provided training to representatives from Ministry of Interior Protective Forces on advanced skills in support of their mission to protect highly sensitive nuclear material at fixed nuclear sites in Kazakhstan. 

The specialized training program was crafted to develop advanced skills in support of their mission to protect highly sensitive nuclear material at fixed nuclear sites. During the course, protective force commanders, team leaders and shift leaders from Kazakhstan underwent training in firearms use and safety, deployment, alarm assessment, response, tabletop modeling, and protective force performance testing (force-on-force exercises), utilizing the NTC's Live Fire Ranges and Modular Simulation Training Center.

This conference and training are supported by NNSA’s Office of International Materials Protection and Cooperation, which works in Russia and other countries to secure and eliminate weapon-usable material and develop sustainable infrastructure and is part of the agency’s continued efforts to work with our international partners to implement President Obama’s nuclear security agenda.  

For more information on the NNSA’s IMPC program, click here.