Nuclear materials couriers (NMCs) may need one of many hardest and most secretive jobs within the transportation business: hauling nuclear bombs and different harmful materials.
The drivers who make up the covert fleet transporting nuclear weapons to places throughout america are operated by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a company established in 2000.
The NNSA is a part of the Workplace of Safe Transportation (OST) within the U.S. Division of Vitality (DOE).
Curtis Johnson, the lead federal agent recruiter for NNSA, stated in some methods the job is like different trucking jobs.
“Just like different truck driving jobs, the NMC place does have its share of routine and monotonous lengthy hours over the street,” Johnson advised FreightWaves. “Nevertheless, not like most different trucking careers, these long-haul journeys are half of a bigger operation and each car within the convoy is manned by a number of federal brokers who share the driving, communications and safety.”
The DOE constantly recruits and hires nuclear couriers year-round, Johnson stated.
“We sometimes promote the NMC place on www.usajobs.gov three or 4 instances per yr, with every job announcement being open to new candidates for one or two weeks at a time,” Johnson stated.
After finishing the hiring course of, NMC candidates will spend roughly 18 weeks of coaching at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. The 18-week-long course is known as nuclear supplies courier fundamental (NMCB) coaching and is a requirement for all new NMC candidates.
“I don’t consider that evaluating NMCB to a army boot camp can be the perfect comparability,” Johnson stated. “Our company’s NMCB coaching would higher evaluate to the specialised education that army service members attend after graduating from boot camp, comparable to infantry college or safety forces coaching.”
The NMCB coaching runs two to 3 lessons per yr and candidates will need to have both army or regulation enforcement expertise.
The NMCB has three main phases of coaching through which candidates develop the requisite information, expertise and talents to turn out to be an NMC, together with:
- Driver coaching gives candidates with the elemental expertise to function OST transport automobiles. Candidates should safe a CDL and move all driving efficiency exams.
- Firearms coaching is supplied for OST’s main weapons and candidates should qualify with them on DOE-approved programs below each day and night time situations.
- The ultimate part of coaching is particular person and small-unit techniques tailor-made to OST mission operations. Candidates should move all techniques efficiency evaluations. Moreover, they obtain instruction on the Superior Radio Enterprise System, federal agent authorized authorities and regulation enforcement management techniques.
All through the NMCB program, candidates should move a bodily health check, quite a few written examinations and a number of efficiency exams.
After commencement, candidates who’ve efficiently obtained a DOE safety clearance take part in over-the-road mission operations with an energetic federal agent unit and endure intense efficiency testing in convoy operations force-on-force workout routines.
The DOE tries to carry three NMC coaching lessons per yr, with every class containing 20 NMC candidates.
“The numbers fluctuate, however very often solely 45 to 50 of the 60 trainees will graduate every year,” Johnson stated. “The highest three causes for candidates not graduating are voluntary resignations, accidents and failing to satisfactorily full a portion of the coaching.”
The wage vary for an NV-01 (fundamental) federal agent NMC is $48,682 to $76,981.
As soon as a candidate turns into an NMC, she or he is allowed to make warrantless arrests and use deadly power if mandatory throughout missions, Johnson stated.
Mission journey is usually carried out year-round and is sort of all the time preplanned. The place doesn’t require nuclear couriers to be on name always.
Missions are all the time transporting both nuclear weapons, nuclear weapon elements or particular nuclear supplies, comparable to uranium, to safe army websites throughout the U.S.
Listening to the radio or music is allowable as long as it doesn’t intrude with convoy communications, Johnson stated.
“Although the journey component of the job will be lower than thrilling, NMCs prepare year-round when they don’t seem to be on the street doing missions,” Johnson stated. “The mission tempo adjustments from month to month, however most journeys happen each different week with the opposite weeks being devoted to coaching (taking pictures vary, bodily health, computer-based coaching, techniques).”
Extra articles by Noi Mahoney