RICHLAND, Wash. -- Scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will train U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors to identify and halt smuggling of weapons of mass destruction during a special training course this week in Richland. The course marks the start of a second year for the training program, which is being conducted by PNNL with the newly created Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.
In a three-day course, U.S. border inspectors receive comprehensive training to detect, identify, interdict and investigate the illicit movement of materials, commodities and components associated with the development or deployment of weapons of mass destruction.
The course is the first government-sponsored program that educates U.S. border inspectors specifically about weapons of mass destruction. About 25 inspectors participate in each course. PNNL and the CBP share instructional responsibilities. The National Nuclear Security Administration's Second Line of Defense program sponsors the training.
"Our class is designed to supplement training the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection already provides its inspectors. The NNSA-sponsored training has become even more important in light of the growing need to protect against weapons of mass destruction coming into our country," said Bill Cliff, PNNL program manager. "Our goal is to ensure that the inspectors, who represent the first line of defense along our borders, have the knowledge and familiarity with weapons of mass destruction needed to be successful in their jobs."
Since June 2002, nearly 300 inspectors have completed the training course. The curriculum includes classroom instruction and hands-on demonstrations and exercises designed to familiarize inspectors with the materials and components associated with weapons of mass destruction and dual-use items.
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Contact: Staci Maloof
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
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