Six people representing the NNSS and NNSA stand with three award plaques.

NNSS teams presented with three Defense Programs Awards of Excellence

Six people representing the NNSS and NNSA stand with three award plaques.

Sixty-eight Nevada National Security Sites (NNSS) team members were presented with top Defense Programs recognition during the Defense Programs Awards of Excellence ceremony Nov. 29 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Now in their 41st year, the Defense Programs Awards of Excellence recognize achievements in quality, productivity, cost savings, safety, or creativity for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)’s nuclear weapons maintenance and modernization program.

NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Dr. Marvin Adams congratulated the asay window diagnostic development, Cygnus operations refurbishment and PULSE (U1a) facility availability improvement teams for their exceptional contributions to national security.

“One of the most rewarding things I get to do is participate in handing out these Defense Programs Awards of Excellence,” shared Dr. Adams. “It highlights for me the outstanding work that goes on across our enterprise, including here in Nevada.”

The first award for Asay window diagnostic development marked a five-person team’s ability to fabricate, build, assemble, and deploy a diagnostic that will further shape the understanding of data required to support future subcritical work for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the NNSS.

The second award celebrated milestones to bolster operations for Cygnus, a primary subcritical experiment diagnostic that fired its 5,000th shot in early 2023. Seventeen NNSS team members collaborated to develop solutions that included addressing vendor supply chain shortages and creating innovative safety training that will serve as a standard for future PULSE (U1a) complex procedures.

The third award was presented to 46 employees who enabled significant infrastructure capabilities for the PULSE facility. These include performing a U1a Complex Enhancement Project milestone 17 months ahead of schedule and $4 million under budget, as well as several testbed enhancements at the NNSS’ underground laboratory.

During the event, Dr. Adams recognized the role the NNSS plays in supporting NNSA mission areas, from maintaining a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear stockpile, to creating and delivering solutions that enhance global security and stability.

“NNSA meets emerging challenges by applying a lot of unique capabilities and knowledge skills,” he said. “Quite a few of those are represented here in Nevada. A lot of unique capabilities across the U.S. — and the world, in fact — are housed here, and you are a huge part of that.”

NNSA Nevada Field Office Manager Dr. David Bowman, NNSS Technical Manager Dr. Marylesa Howard, NNSS PULSE Facility Manager Brian Conway, NNSS Senior Principal Project Manager Mark Fiscus, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Dr. Marvin Adams, MSTS President Garrett Harencak
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