Members of the National Guard recently received an overview of Sandia’s technologies related to the Guard’s warfighting and civil support missions.
National Guard Adjutants General from 20 states, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Air Force and Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) personnel, and other National Guard members were among those who were briefed on Sandia’s technologies. States represented included Hawaii, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Arkansas, Nebraska, and others.
"Several of Sandia’s existing technologies and capabilities could translate into high-tech equipment that many National Guard units could use in the continuing war on terrorism," says Phil Van Buren (9732), who helped organize the visit. "This was an excellent opportunity to showcase Sandia’s DoD programs and other defense and homeland security related technologies."
The visit included four major areas: facility and force protection; chemical, biological, and explosive detection technologies; decontamination, disablement, and disposal; and border area surveillance. A robotics demonstration was also given.
John Hoffman (12345) presented a discussion of Sandia’s WMD response activities, and Dan Rondeau (15301) gave an overview of Sandia’s DoD programs.
"The National Guard has a growing role in fighting terrorism overseas, protecting critical infrastructure in the US, and providing consequence management support to civil authorities," Dan says. "Accordingly, the National Guard mission has changed considerably and has unique needs for technology."
Sandia has responded to those needs by directly increasing the awareness of how technology can help them with their new responsibilities, says Dan.
"Sandia receives useful feedback on the utility and future course of its related technology development," Dan says. "This awareness and feedback were important dimensions of the recent visit, and we expect it to continue through future conferences and direct interaction."
Sandia also showcased several other technologies in Santa Fe as part of the five-day conference. This included a demonstration of the Hound II explosive detector, along with a demonstration of Sandia’s sticky foam for incapacitating hostile personnel.
John says it was important to showcase Sandia’s work to ensure that the National Guard has a full understanding of the level of technology available to potentially support its "First Responder" WMD mission.
"In addition to the significant technology contributions being addressed by the national laboratories," says John, the National Guard adjutants were able to gain a good understanding of the national-level off-site emergency response activities that national laboratories like Sandia contribute towards via the National Nuclear Security Administration component of the Department of Energy."
Sandia has a formal memo of understanding with the National Guard Bureau, USNORTHCOM, DTRA, and DOE for a technology partnership. Other participants include the Department of Homeland Security and five other national laboratories, with Sandia serving as the lead lab.
The visit to Sandia was a special activity associated with the National Guard Family Support Conference held in Albuquerque.
Brig. Gen. Kenny Montoya, the adjutant general for the State of New Mexico says: "The adjutants from across the nation viewed this as the highlight of their trip. It’s great to see national security taken seriously as demonstrated by the ingenuity of the people that work at Sandia National Labs."