NNSA Launches New Military Academic Collaborations

Press Release
Mar 9, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that its Office of Defense Programs has created a new collaboration between NNSA’s laboratories and production sites and the U.S. Military Academies and Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs at universities throughout the country.

The new program, called the Military Academic Collaborations (MAC) program, will provide cadets and midshipmen from West Point, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy and the Coast Guard Academy, as well as ROTC candidates, the opportunity to engage in NNSA’s nuclear security mission.

“Enhancing collaborations between NNSA and the military is a great opportunity for us to showcase the work done by the talented men and women working across the nuclear security enterprise and an important part of our effort to recruit the next generation of nuclear security professionals,” said Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak, Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application at NNSA. “The Military Academic Collaborations program and initiatives like it will enhance our commitment to engaging top military talent in the effort to support the full range of nuclear security missions.”

The centerpiece of the program is a military academy cadet/midshipman and officer program that will reconstitute past military academic research programs conducted at the labs. The MAC program will place military academy cadets/midshipmen and officers in tours of duty within science, technology, engineering, national security and relevant fields at any of the NNSA sites. Participants from USNA, USMA, USAFA and USCGA will expand their understanding of the NNSA national security enterprise and Defense Department programs while working closely with nationally recognized staff and researchers on national security programs.

This summer, the first class of about 25 cadets and midshipmen will participate at two NNSA labs, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico as part of NNSA’s Military Academic Collaborations program. The future officers will intern at the labs and participate in a variety of activities at each lab.

In addition, several ROTC students from across the country will have the same experience with summer appointments to these sites. Students will work closely with a senior researcher or team and have the benefit of a dedicated mentor. Two academy faculty members will also spend a portion of their summers at these two labs contributing to ongoing research programs.

As the MAC program continues to develop, NNSA anticipates additional benefits for program participants, including: providing several-month long appointments at NNSA sites to recent graduates, ROTC internships, ROTC Days throughout the country, enabling experts at NNSA sites to take sabbaticals to teach at a service academy and providing reciprocal opportunities to service academy faculty, guest lectures at NNSA and academy staff visiting lectures, collaboration between the academies and NNSA sites on pilot initiatives, and strengthen existing collaborations.

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

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