The Program Planning & Assurance team conducts strategic and tactical planning for the newly formed Security and Emergency Services directorate. This organization is structured to provide analysis, planning, testing, and assurance for a total site response to incidents identified in both the Safeguards & Security and Emergency Management (EM) programs.
Tonya Moon, Performance Assurance Division Manager
In this role, Tonya is responsible for a multitude of performance assurance and readiness assurance functions. The performance assurance functions range from performance testing of uniformed Protective Force — including alarm response, limited scope performance testing and comprehensive force-on-force (FoF) exercises — to security systems testing from an effectiveness standpoint, as well as Nuclear Material Control & Accountability and all levels of EM exercises.
Tonya’s career started at the Pantex Plant. During her 18 years there, she gained knowledge of a variety of organizational areas within the Department of Energy (DOE), including Safeguards and Security. In January 2018 Tonya was offered the Chief of Staff position for the former SOC Protective Force contract at the Nevada National Security Sites (NNSS). She knew it was a great opportunity, so she packed up and moved to Las Vegas. During her time with SOC she was responsible for not only her Chief of Staff duties but also for overseeing the local Human Resources group and the Personnel Security/Human Reliability Program. She held this role for nearly five years and then applied for a position with Mission Support and Test Services — the NNSS management and operating contractor — as the Readiness Assurance Supervisor within the Security and Emergency Services (SES) group. This was a brand-new program in need of a leader, and Tonya was the right fit.
Tonya became the acting Performance Assurance Manager in June and was officially named Manager in July. In just her first month and a half her team conducted: the first North Las Vegas Facility FoF exercise in over a decade, successfully and safely meeting all objectives; the first Device Assembly Facility FoF in over 18 months; a U1a full-scale EM exercise; and a U12u tabletop exercise.
Tonya has worked hard to get where she is today, including breaking barriers as a woman in leadership in a male-dominated industry.
“Never think you can’t, and never let anyone tell you otherwise,” said Tonya. “If you think you can’t, you won’t, but if you think you can, you will!”
Toni Davenport, Readiness Assurance Section Supervisor
Toni’s position entails compliance with EM and security policies, programs, and procedures in accordance with established criteria. The Readiness Assurance Section (RAS) is responsible for ensuring assessments/surveillances and EM readiness activities are conducted to ensure compliance, and that all issues and corrective actions assigned to SES are addressed in a timely manner and tracked to completion. Additionally, the RAS has recently implemented a “Conduct of Exercise” process in which they evaluate compliance and effectiveness of established pre-planning, execution, and post execution activities for security and EM exercises.
Toni is no stranger to the DOE. She has spent the past 34 years as a DOE contractor supporting records management, document control, quality assurance/performance assurance, training, and security. For the past 20 years she has been supporting DOE security, which has allowed her to become knowledgeable of topical areas and policies related to Safeguards & Security. She has also supported management with development of metrics and improvement programs to enhance capabilities within SES.
“I’ve led teams in the past for technical support contracts, but following the SOC transition, the Readiness Assurance Section scope expanded. With additional personnel, I was excited for the opportunity to lead a team and enhance our surveillance/assessment programs. In addition, getting more involved with readiness activities for Security and EM exercises was a large part of me joining the SES leadership team,” said Toni.
Lauren Heslin, Performance Assurance Supervisor
Lauren is responsible for the people, equipment, and exercises in conjunction with EM. Her background with the previous contractor, SOC, includes: training, FoF exercises, training classification, EM, and plans and operations. Prior to joining SOC, Lauren served her country as a First Sergeant in the U.S. Army in the military police corps.
Transitioning from military to civilian life is never easy, but when Lauren met some NNSS leadership at a military retirement ceremony she felt at ease and ready to continue contributing to the nation’s security.
“It was fairly easy to get onboarded and understand the processes here at the NNSS since so many folks are former military,” said Lauren. “It is an embracing environment for all individuals from all walks of career.”
Lauren is a natural leader, earning her leadership role at a young age in the military, and has thrived in male-dominated industries from the start of her career.
“As a female leader in a male-dominated industry, you always have to carry your weight and then some,” Lauren said. “You need to know the ins and outs of everything and be prepared as a subject matter expert for all aspects of performance testing and assurance, and not be afraid of the challenges you face daily.”
Gabrielle Lang, Senior Security Specialist, Nevada Field Office
With over 30 years of Safeguards and Security experience, Gabrielle has expertise in evaluating and assessing FoF exercises.
Gabrielle attributes her success to the leaders she has had over the years.
“I would refer to my leaders as servant leaders – they take care of their people. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those leaders who groomed me to be an ethical leader and always looks for out the people in the organization,” said Gabrielle. “Our mission is vital, but we cannot meet our mission if we don’t take care of our people.”
Gabrielle has the utmost respect for the MSTS Program Planning & Assurance leaders.
“The people I get to work with are experts in their field, and they just happen to be a female-led department. I have a great deal of respect for them; they are remarkable leaders who work hard and have earned their roles with their dedication and work ethics. I am proud and honored to work alongside them,” said Gabrielle.
Are you interested in joining the SES directorate? Learn more about the current opportunities at the NNSS on our website.