- Program Director
An event consists of a broad range of threats or incidents that may involve WME or natural characteristics. To meet the challenges associated with such a broad range of events, LANL scientists and engineers must work in nontraditional ways to provide the most useful information and solution for national, state, and local response. This out-of-the-box approach requires a broad understanding of science, engineering, and applicable technologies. This approach also inspires innovative and efficient approaches toward solving technical problems.
Since its inception during the Manhattan Project, LANL has been charged with developing and delivering scientifically sound solutions to the most urgent and technically challenging security issues facing the nation. Los Alamos has developed a variety of unique core competencies that are well suited to address event response needs. LANL’s Event Response Program provides technical expertise to the following agencies: U.S. Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Activities range from threat identification to mitigation, consequence management, and forensics in support of attribution. Key capabilities include the following:
- Sophisticated Training for Responders: LANL deploys subject-matter experts to respond to highly technical threat scenarios, as well as maintaining home-team or reach-back support. Los Alamos staff members also train responders from a variety of agencies and apply their technical expertise to develop tools, techniques, and procedures designed to counter chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives scenarios. LANL support during these potentially catastrophic situations can directly and fundamentally impact the outcome.
- Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Nonproliferation Expertise: LANL has a uniquely broad and deep history in the nuclear weapons program and the nuclear nonproliferation program. This experience base includes testing nuclear weapons; performing design and engineering; preparing nuclear materials; conducting characterization and chemistry; detecting, identifying, and diagnosing nuclear materials; gathering intelligence; and conducting criticality experiments and health physics. All this expertise is brought to bear on effectively and efficiently responding to nuclear emergencies.
- Addressing Natural and Chem-Bio Threats: As part of the Field Intelligence Element, LANL uses analysis and export-control techniques to anticipate, identify, understand, and mitigate natural and chem-bio threats. Los Alamos areas of expertise include chemistry, biochemistry, data-management/ analysis, laboratory analysis, and hazardous materials (HAZMAT) field experience. LANL’s broad technical underpinnings provide a unique combination of talent that can be used to detect, measure, and model chem-bio threats both remotely and on the ground.
- Multispectral Surveillance Technologies: Such LANL capabilities enable standoff, real-time identification and tracking of threats. They also enable users to assess immediate consequences and improve situational awareness. These capabilities are widely recognized and applied in areas such as bio-defense, but there remain opportunities for broader use.