Shouts of joy and laughter followed loud crashes of bowling pins hitting the floor as 35 teams of Pantexans packed Amarillo’s Western Bowl to lace up (or Velcro) their bowling shoes for the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Bowl For Kids’ Sake “Hawaiian Luau” sponsored by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS).
More than 143 employees and their families took to their lanes, vying for that perfect score of 300, proving yet again how Pantexans care about the BBBS mission for our community. For the last 10 years, more than 182 Pantex bowling teams have helped provide the needed funding to serve hundreds of children in the Texas Panhandle.
“We couldn’t do it without our continued support from CNS Pantex,” explained Emily Shelton Nance, executive director of BBBS of the Texas Panhandle, Inc.
Bowl For Kids’ Sake is one of the agency’s largest annual fundraisers, which accounts for more than 40 percent of its annual budget. CNS is proud to support BBBS and its mission to provide all children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
“This was a great time for a great cause. I am privileged to have been a part of it,” said Mona Knox, Pantex Facilities Services.
Through fundraising efforts such as Bowl For Kids’ Sake, BBBS is able to fulfill an important role in the community. At absolutely no cost to the parent, the children (or “Littles”) are signed up and then matched up with a “Big” who agrees to spend a few hours a week with their match. The BBBS mission is to help children reach their full potential through professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships.
The Alley Oops weren’t hard to spot in this year’s event t-shirts.
Just past the mid-point of fiscal year 2016, production levels achieved at Pantex continue to increase. The result is that overall, weapon schedule performance through February came in within one percent of expected completions. Adding to the plant’s recent accomplishments, Pantex is ahead of schedule on several major programs, according to Pantex Deputy Site Manager Corey Strickland.
A Pantex production technician performs work on a W87. The W87 Limited-Life Component Exchange, or LLCE, is one of several programs on which Pantex is ahead of schedule.
Those programs include the W76-1 LEP program that enables Pantex to continue to meet critical U.S. Navy shipments; the W87 Limited‑Life Component Exchange, or LLCE , which is an Air Force Requirement; and the Dismantlement Program.
“Laser‑like focus each day has helped ensure that our critical DoD deliverables are met, the schedule margin is increased and that we are well positioned for FY 2017,” Strickland said.
Senior Director of Weapons Operations David Cole attributes the recent production success to “having the entire plant to focus on meeting the mission delivery.” He believes continued support from the dedicated professionals in all areas of the plant is what it takes to keep up the momentum.
“Receiving quick responses from our engineering team and the national laboratories on technical issues when they come up has contributed greatly to our success,” added Senior Technical Advisor Alonzo Everhart.
“Please stay focused. Our diligence is paying off,” Strickland said recently to Pantex organizational representatives.
Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS) celebrates Earth Day every day by recycling everything from regular office paper to electronic equipment and scrap metal. In 2015, employees at Pantex and Y-12 recycled more than 6 million pounds of materials, demonstrating their commitment to environmental stewardship.
Safeguards, Security and Emergency Services integrated, consolidated and standardized processes at Pantex and Y-12 in 2015. According to Gary Wisdom, SS&ES senior director at Pantex, “The exchange of information has been our greatest effort and our most valuable success. Integrating our knowledge, purpose and strategic initiatives can ultimately provide the greatest returns.”
Pantex Emergency Services members (from left) Maribel Martinez, Brenda Graham and Greg Roddahl learn how to use the Emergency Management Information System, or EMInS.
In many cases, the formalization and documentation of long‑established informal processes were major accomplishments. For example, in June 2015, the National Nuclear Security Administration Production Office approved consolidated rules of engagement and hostile intent policies for unmanned aerial systems at both CNS sites.
In July, essential elements terminology was standardized, and the organization decided to proceed with incorporating all governing documents into a single Requirement Management System, which assists with consolidating the flow down of Department of Energy requirements into site‑specific documents.
The enterprise infrastructure to facilitate and support these efforts is integral to their success. Training, Supply Chain Management, Document Control and other organizations must be integrated so that they can support integration at lower levels. Representatives from SS&ES, Transformation and Supply Chain Management developed a logistics plan to make it easier for SS&ES employees to get what they need to do their work on time and cost effectively.
“If we can reduce the time spent completing repetitive purchase paperwork, reduce the time it takes to get the items and services we need, that’s a big plus for everyone,” explained Brian Deorocki of SS&ES Integration Management. Items needed at both sites may be purchased in bulk, improving employee effectiveness and reducing costs.
The logistics plan simplifies these repetitive and multi‑year procurements of specialized supplies, parts and equipment, as well as maintenance, service and repair contracts. Protective Force personnel at both sites worked together to develop a statement of work for a firearms maintenance capability at Anniston Army Depot. The depot possesses machines, parts and tools to renovate and refurbish military firearm systems and restore them to current military specifications, a capability not available at Pantex or Y-12. Both sites have provided additional statements of work for other site‑specific weapons and have coordinated with Supply Chain Management for an integrated ammunition procurement process.
During the year, Emergency Services leadership developed a common vision for the Enterprise Emergency Services organization and shared processes. Y-12’s Exercise Builder software was implemented at Pantex, along with the Communicator NXT technology and the first phase of the Emergency Management Information Notification System. Y-12 personnel offered guidance and training on each system throughout implementation.
Personnel from the sister site served as evaluators, leading to valuable discussions afterwards where processes were compared and a common balance was agreed upon.
“We continue developing common approaches to various ways of reporting and doing business across both sites, but we also realize we need to enhance our performance in terms of communications, leadership, ethics, teamwork and job satisfaction,” Wisdom said.
SS&ES teams continue integrating the Pantex and Y‑12 programs. Ken Freeman, SS&ES vice president, said, “The integration effort has been challenging, but we are very pleased with the work our employees are accomplishing. Through their continued collaborative and cooperative efforts, we anticipate having even greater success in FY 2016.”
Consolidated Nuclear Security held a hiring event March 29 for maintenance craft workers at Amarillo College. The event was part of CNS’ effort to hire locally for Pantex positions whenever possible by attending local and regional job fairs and conducting hiring events.
Pantex Human Resources’ Anthony Acklin greets an applicant during the a Pantex Hiring Event held March 29 at Amarillo College.
“We saw a great response from people attending the event, and it gave us an opportunity to pre-screen a number of candidates,” said Heather Freeman, CNS Director for Workforce Strategies. “We had more than 400 people attend the event, which reinforced the interest our local community has in supporting Pantex and our national security mission.”
The event centered on filling new Pantex positions ranging from maintenance supervisors, to electricians, pipefitters, sheet metal workers as well as instrument and fire system technicians. The hiring event was linked to CNS’ larger hiring effort over the next 19 months for Pantex production workers, operations workers, trades workers, security personnel, administrative and support staff as well as science, engineering and technology professionals to meet growing mission requirements for upcoming fiscal years.
Qualified applicants had a chance to speak directly with Human Resources representatives and Pantex Maintenance Department supervisors during the four-hour event. Follow-up interviews are being arranged for those job seekers who might be potential candidates to work at Pantex.
“Today gave us the chance to meet many certified journeyman level workers and qualified supervisors who may be a good fit for Pantex,” said Steve Filipowicz, Pantex Infrastructure Division Director, and Pantexan with more than 20-years of service at the Plant. “The event gave us some good momentum in hiring skilled, qualified workers that will help us fulfill our maintenance needs for the future.”