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This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog authors serve as moderators. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Security?

Anonymous said...

After years of maintaining an internal protective force, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is planning to open up its security work to subcontractors for the first time. The lab was the site of an embarrassing security blunder in April of 2008, when a team of mock terrorists were able to steal a cache of special nuclear material during a force-on-force practice exercise, drawing criticism from Congress and government watchdog groups. A spokesman for Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, the Bechtel-led consortium that assumed management of the laboratory in October of 2007, said the potential change had nothing to do with the recent security problems, however. The lab announced its intentions to solicit protective forces bids in a May 12 notice. "This has been under discussion since the contract to manage the lab was put out to bid," LLNL spokesman Don Johnston said.

“The thinking is that having a contractor would provide business advantages and flexibility in terms of being able to bring in people when you need them when the security requirements change.”

The University of California, which was the sole manager of the lab up until 2007 and remains a part of the LLC, provided security for the laboratory for decades, leveraging assets across the entire UC system for equipment purchasing, training and staffing. That changed in October of 2007, and the lab's transition to private management was partially blamed for the security slip-up last April, according to the Government Accountability Office. The lab developed a corrective action plan to address the 54 security deficiencies identified after the Department of Energy's Office of Independent Oversight and completed 74 percent of the milestones included in the plan as of December, including the institution of more extensive and more frequent force-on-force exercise.

RFP Slated for June

Without revealing details, Johnson said the lab performed "quite well" in a follow-up review by the Office of Independent Oversight last month, but he conceded that the protective forces change could lead to security improvements. "We're hoping that over the long term it'll strengthen our security," he said. "All of the areas that were pointed out [in the review] have been addressed. Of course it takes some time to complete all of those. We hope to have all of that done by the time a new [security] contractor comes in."

According to the solicitation, work will be performed at the lab's main campus in Livermore, Calif., as well as at its Tracy, Calif., testing site, and security services for Sandia National Laboratories' Livermore site could also be included in the scope of the contract. Sandia's California campus shares a border with Livermore's main site. The services that will be provided include the monitoring of alarms and dispatch of security personnel, tactical response to alarms, traffic safety, law enforcement services, explosive detection, vehicle searches, site-wide access control and security personnel training. Johnson said a Request for Proposals is likely to be released in June with an award scheduled for October.

May 18, 2009 1:17 PM

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

You mean to say we won't have the keystone cops protecting our special nuclear material anymore? I am amazed these guys haven't accidentally shot themselves (unless they have and never told anybody).

So who we gonna get now? Blackwater and the merry band of testosterone fueled mercenaries or perhaps Security Eye with pimple faced kids with cans of mace. Either way it is clear that the current security force has screwed up for the last time.

Anonymous said...

rumer has it two organizations are up for the contract ALMAMEADA SO AND WACKINHUT;Im betting wackinhut gets the contract becuase they are part of the RECHTEL machine.

Anonymous said...

Well, at LANL you have PTLA (Protection Technologies Los Alamos). And you've got Wackenhut - I know they're at the NTS and Pantex. And I'm not so sure that Wackenhut is part of the Bechtel machine - they've been at the NTS since even before Bechtel Nevada took over the NTS M&O contract way back in January 1996.

Anonymous said...

LLNL armed security forces were one of the best rated in the DOE complex. The SWAT team has won or finished in op places of several annual SWAT competetions against both military and civilian police SWAT teams. A subcontractor taking over site security will not improve things - more like bring a "Mall Cop" view to security. Do you think Wackinhut managers/staff from other DOE sites will actually relocate to the high cost Bay Area? They will probably bring in a new Security head from one of their other sites, hire all the exisiting officers - cutting their pay - and bill LANS more than the cost of the current security force. We'd be better off if UC took over the security force and made then sworn police offices again like thery were in the 1970s.

Anonymous said...

The current exercises are set-piece drills that are poor tests at best. Which makes the failure of recent tests even sadder. If you had a pro who thought out of the box running the tiger teams DOE would be more than embarrassed.

Really doubt any rent-a-cop companies out there are up to the task. Supply bases in Pakistan get infiltrated all the time and US equipment stolen or destroyed. If the US military can't guard items properly anymore, why would you think some two-bit outfit is going to be able to protect our SNM?

Best to stop pretending LLNL is capable of protecting anything and get rid of the attractive materials and classified areas altogether.

Anonymous said...

Protective Forces may have a fantastic SWAT team but they have goofed up leadership (Believe me, I have seen them in action). They are still trying to put the pieces together from that force on force fiasco and not doing a very good job at it.

Anonymous said...

"...but they have goofed up leadership (Believe me, I have seen them in action). They are still trying to put the pieces together from that force on force fiasco and not doing a very good job at it."

I'd appreciate some specific examples, since I helped put some of those pieces together. Were you around for the last FoF, or are you just throwing out flame bait?

Anonymous said...

"Best to stop pretending LLNL is capable of protecting anything and get rid of the attractive materials and classified areas altogether."

That's the plan, isn't it? Security Cat 1 and 2 SNM from LLNL by FY2012 (or sooner).

Anonymous said...

So we have someone ( 6:31 ) who claims to have put together the FoF.

When I see a exercise that includes OPFOR using feints, gas, RPGs, and satchel charges then it's a real test. Otherwise the LLNL swat team is just doing a dog and pony show.

Placing well in competition also mean nothing aside from you are good at doing competition.

Anonymous said...

May 18, 2009 8:10 PM

You're an idiot. Most of these guys are far better then you'll ever be and I'll bet they can shoot your ass off on any given range at any time. You must be one of those anti-gun / anti- nuclear nut jobs they have working within our gates. I wish blackwater would get it. They have even better skills in many areas of which you'd want no part of during an interrogation process.. Even better is they look just like everyday joes totally harmless until such time their skills are needed to be used. The last thing LLNL needs is a security force as those who work the walmart parking lot.

Anonymous said...

"No layoffs, no outsourcing..." following in the LLNS model it will probably cost more too.

Anonymous said...

"I'd appreciate some specific examples, since I helped put some of those pieces together."

You would know better than anyone what sort of problems still face Protective Forces if you are that intimately involved. Why don't YOU site some examples unless you are going to claim none exist (which would be expected).

Anonymous said...

9:28;

Didn't claim I put together the FoF, just helped put some of the pieces back together.

You can just say "no" to the question of being there for the FoF. Had you been, you would realize what nonsense your response is.

Anonymous said...

"...OPFOR using feints, gas, RPGs, and satchel charges..."

Such a force attacking LLNL would be a waste of effort. There are hundreds of more prime targets (Congress, WH, Nuclear Power Plants, Disneyland, Airports, Malls, school/college campus, Super Bowl, etc.) that a force of this type could easily overwhelm and make a bigger statement, and kill people.

Why waste whole bunch of training, men, and equipment attacking a small building with research quantity amounts of SNM.

Anonymous said...

May 20, 2009 6:49 AM

"Why don't YOU site some examples unless you are going to claim none exist (which would be expected)."

I wasn't the one throwing the flame bait, in case you hadn't noticed. The burden is on those making idiotic statements....

Anonymous said...

May 20, 2009 9:30 AM Research quantities? Duh...

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with the protective forces, but....why waste a whole bunch of training, men, and equipment protecting a small building with research quantity amounts of SNM at the current cost? Does this really make any sense?

Anonymous said...

May 20, 2009 8:06 PM

Cat I/II SNM will be gone from LLNL in less than 3 years. The current ammount is less than half what was at the lab five years ago. The only reason LLNL protective forces exist is to protect Cat I/II SNM. Look up the DOE deadly force policies on the web. Also the lab is not considered a high probability target by DHS and other national security entities. Yes it would be a mess if attacked, but there are many other more attractive and less defended targets in California. Add all this together, and we're looking at out of shape mall cops (albeit better armed) guarding the lab in a few years.

Anonymous said...

9:30 sez...
Such a force attacking LLNL would be a waste of effort. There are hundreds of more prime targets (Congress, WH, Nuclear Power Plants, Disneyland, Airports, Malls, school/college campus, Super Bowl, etc.) that a force of this type could easily overwhelm and make a bigger statement, and kill people.

Why waste whole bunch of training, men, and equipment attacking a small building with research quantity amounts of SNM.
Fair question. The answer is to think like a terrorist.

1. Striking at what many concider to be the heart of the weapons complex, a weapons lab, has a lot of psychological impact. Same effect that bringing down the Trade Center had. Most of the alternates you suggested would not be as dramatic.

2. A terrorist may not care about kill-death ratios. But that does not mean they'll be stupid in how they plan an attack.

3. Terrorists do have access to enough heavy weapons to make a serious play for the Superblock. Once those miniguns run out of ammo ( about 1-2 minutes of burst fire ), what else is LLNL going to use to stop them?

4. The loss on any SNM would be a huge problem. Amounts less than critical mass still have usage as radiologic weapons or as toxins.

The Tet offensive was a military failure, but many historians believed it broke the will of America to continue the Vietnam war. In all likelyhood a strike at the Superblock would be equally bad.

Anonymous said...

Well, to steer this back on track a little, I for one really hope Alameda County S.O. wins the bid.

The level of skills, training, and professionalism that they would bring with them would be a real asset to site security.

If you are at all familiar with that organization, and the man that made it what it is today, I think you would agree.

And no, I do not work for PFD, but I am very familiar with ACSO.

Anonymous said...

The amount of protection at the Lab reminds of the 7 ELevens of the 80s when 7 Elevsen introduced an advanced surveillance equipment (for that time) to protect twinkies and potato chips!

Anonymous said...

May 21, 2009 9:24 AM

If Alameda wins not only will the pay be better but so will the retirement and medical benefits. I wish all of you luck and I hope wackinhut the walmart aka the keystone cops lose. Us LLNL employees got screwed under LLNS big time by losing our UC retirement, no need to screw the security forces. Go gettem girls and guys.

Anonymous said...

All, how about placing this into historical context.
Our Protective Force started off as Peace Oficers who were trained to be responsive to a gate crasher. They carried snub nosed .38 pistols. They evoled to Protective Forces,hired lots of local's friends, lab custodians, and were then challenged with large demonstrations and had to kick in the training. Now I believe we have Federal Protective Officer and our SWAT folks carry firearms 24/7. The threat to our lab changed, training requirements evolved which in fairness always lacked behind regulatory and mission just like all the research programs do, and S&S adapted.
Not then not ever is it credible to have FoF using live weapons. FoF tests are slanted in favor of the OPFOR (I was OPFOR in the USArmy and its always been that way).
What has troubled me is a rumor that the big gun failed to fire, which if true is an embarresment to the ULM in S&S.
Over all it appears to me, a not involved Security type, the level and tempo of training is high, the folk look quite professional, and though its a low probability those Protective Force co-workers are in a high consequence situation for a living and they need better then good management.
I view them like the Fire Department. Best to have very well trained ready to go folk you never need.
Lastly, Russ was a good guy, I interacted with him. Professional, cared about his staff, worked to protect them from ULM. He was the right man for the job. I believe Leary's assignmnet to S&S is due to making him put his money where his mouth was.

Anonymous said...

6:45 AM has a lot of good points, especially about the history.

Unfortunately since 9/11 the most worrisome threat to the Lab is not someone from Tri-Valley CARES jumping the fence and tossing documents out a window. Overall the rank and file PSO's are good people and good at what they are assigned to do - checking badges and responding to alarms.

But the overall stategy for protecting the Lab sucks. The gun mis-fire, if it happened, would not be the first failure of new defense systems. A couple years ago two flat-bed trucks run the Echo-1 checkpoint. The barriers were not raised and both trucks made it all the way past B-111 before being swarmed. Given where they got to before being stopped, those drivers would have had a reasonable chance of getting deep into the lab if they had wanted to.

There should be doubts about the whole SWAT team concept. By and large such teams are offense units meant to deal with a holed-up opponent. But going up against a highly-trained infiltration team requires a different set of skills than markmanship and building clearing techniques typical of SWAT. For one thing you need a lot more combat leadership from higher ups.

BTW - even if SNM goes away aren't they still talking about doing DHS work involving a Biosafety Level-4 lab capable of working on fun stuff like Ebola? If so we are still going to need more than mall-cops at LLNL.

Anonymous said...

Alameda County took over the Labs Fire Department several years ago, and no one has noticed any drop in service. In fact it has improved since the Lab now has automatic access to all of the equipment and personnel in the County's Fire Department. If a truck is out of service for repair they just move a backup from another Alameda Fire Station. If a firefighter is calls in sick, there is a large pool of Alameda County firefighters - with DOE security clearences - to pull a temporary replace. So I think if the Alameda Sheriff Department took over armed physical security at the Lab, the level over service/protection would also improve. If Wackenhut gets it, they will milk it and turn Protective Force Officers in to underpaid rent a cops. I would rather have real sworn peace officer Sheriff Deputies protecting the Lab and not a bunch of pretend guards.

Anonymous said...

"Once those miniguns run out of ammo ( about 1-2 minutes of burst fire ), what else is LLNL going to use to stop them?"

Perhaps the Mk-48 belt-fed weapons they procured over the last year???

"I believe Leary's assignment to S&S is due to making him put his money where his mouth was."

Actually, it was to get a good resume in front of NNSA to replace yet another key team member that left. Very simple.

Anonymous said...

"Once those miniguns run out of ammo ( about 1-2 minutes of burst fire ), what else is LLNL going to use to stop them?"

Perhaps the Mk-48 belt-fed weapons they procured over the last year???
Mk-48 is souped-up SAW, warts and all. A number of troops overseas have had to resort to using duck tape to hold their SAW together. Good choice of backup for a jammed minigun.

"I believe Leary's assignment to S&S is due to making him put his money where his mouth was."

Actually, it was to get a good resume in front of NNSA to replace yet another key team member that left. Very simple.
Yes, so simple. It's a political move that implies S&S is just being used as a stepping stone to further a manager's career. How does that make LLNL a safer place?

Anonymous said...

"Yes, so simple. It's a political move that implies S&S is just being used as a stepping stone to further a manager's career."

I'd like to hear how moving from Deputy Director to head of Security is furthering one's career.

Anonymous said...

DL has made it no secret that he is retiring this fall. He is certainly not using S&S as a stepping stone to advancement. He gave up his positon ad Deputy Director when LLNS took over and then gave up his job as Business AD to pick up the pieces when RM bailed out after only 3 months into the job--before DOE came to inspect. If there was ever someone who took it for the team, it is he.

Anonymous said...

And how does being a Deputy Director qualify you to run a security organisation?

Police chiefs are beat cops first, generals are combat team leaders first. Yet at LLNL you could run the Lab shipping department and end up head of S&S. Does DL have any degrees in law enforcement or military science? Can he even shoot a gun?

We don't need a guy who is planning to leave in couple months either. He won't be around to follow through on anything he started, much less develop any trust from the rank and file in that short a time. Go get a real security leader with commitment, not a guy looking for one more line on his resume to read off at the retirement luncheon.

Anonymous said...

"Does DL have any degrees in law enforcement or military science? Can he even shoot a gun?"

You post indicates how little you know about DL.

Anonymous said...

May 25, 2009 9:47 PM

DL received his master’s degree in police science and administration from Washington State University, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Illinois State University.

Anonymous said...

"And how does being a Deputy Director qualify you to run a security organisation?"

Actually he does have a degree in law enforcement.

If you were around a couple of decades ago, you would have seen DL as the head of security. He eventually moved on to bigger things. However, when the Lab had its key fiasco in 2003, GM asked him to come back and straighten out the mess. Once that was done, he went on to be the LSD AD, then DD. He's back in Security now because GM asked him again to fix the issues.

He's not there just for a couple of months. He's been there a year and a half, and has been clear all along that this fall would be his last.

Try looking up some facts before writing.

Anonymous said...

I am proud to say that I have been a Security Police Officer for almost a decade now. What I have learned in that time is that we protected some of the dumbest smart people on the planet. Countless times have I had to yell at you to get back in the crosswalk you wandered out of. Or had to take accident reports because you rode a bicycle into a barricade designed to stop at semi at 60 mph. I am the one that gives you CPR in the central cafe when you have a heart attack. I have stood guard over a kidnapped child that escaped her captors. I am who you call when you feel threatened at work, and one day the only thing between you and certain death will be my body. I am the guard that says good morning to you every morning, and get nothing but a glare in return. Because I am beneath you and your acknowledgement.

Let me tell you the background of some of us "Keystone Cops". We mostly come from the military. We have former Navy Seals, Marine Force Recon, Army Special Forces and Rangers, Air Force PJs, and enough infantry (Marine/Army) to form a company. Many of us are multi tour vets to Iraq and Afghanistan. Infact we had a staffing problem in 2003 because of how many of us were in OIF. Those of us that are not military come from Police Departments all over the country (NYPD, LAPD, ST.Louis). We have Masters and Bachelors Degrees, some of us are even Mensa members.

We are tested in the most retarded, unrealistic Force on Forces any of us have ever been in. Our Adversaries get a week to get into the nooks and cranies of the battle space. They get hours of briefings on our Tac plans and capabilities, by our own planners. They use .50 cal sniper rifles that can shoot through buildings, RPG's that fire 5 rockets with a single trigger pull, and body armor that requires close to an entire 30 round magazine of AP ammo to penetrate. Oh, they use faints and gas, they also use 5000 lb truck bombs and run through the blast area seconds after detonation. They get to tell us where our Officers start. They set their plans based on absolute knowledge of where we will be.

Maybe you should notice your surroundings a little more before you make a judgement. And the next time you come through a post remember that the man in blue checking your badge not only protects you, but there is a good chance he has already fought for you in a nasty crap hole half way around the world.

Anonymous said...

I don't know DL? I heard today that most of the security was being outsourced. Any truth to this?

Anonymous said...

Someone mistakenly believes GM likes DL; that is a mistake. Like countries they don't have friends, they have interests.
DL caused RM to walk out the door and was sent in to clean up the mess he caused. DL was the cause of Snowstorm too. We're dealing with a manager who hired a loser informer, placed them in with employees, and removed empoyees based on info provided by the informer. No arrests and the whole thing backfired onto DL which is why he left Security.

Anonymous said...

"DL caused RM to walk out the door..."

You are clue-less. DL had nothing to do with RM leaving. RM was having issues with the new LLNS "dream team" not living up to their commitments.

Anonymous said...

"Someone mistakenly believes GM likes DL."

As stated, you are totally clueless. GM could have had any DD he wanted prior to the Rectel folks arriving in Oct 07. Why did he pick DL?

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