Proud to be Safe and Secure
At Pantex, we take special care in guarding our unique mission and protecting the people who help ensure our nation remains free. Safety practices were adopted early and remain a strong focus. Advancements in security over the year have enabled us to maintain and enhance global security.
A deeper dive into the history of security
Pantex Security Police Officers showcase their skills at team competition
At Pantex, Safety and Security are fundamental parts of our mission as we strive to uphold the commitment to maintain being the Nation’s nuclear deterrent. As a part of this mission, qualified officers jumped at the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to the continued betterment of their program through a little yearly, friendly competition. For 40 years, Security Police Officers (SPO) participated in the Security Protection Officer Team Competition (SPOTC).
Beginning in 1972 and lasting until 2012, the SPOTC courses featured events geared towards team engagement, encouraging unity throughout security teams and creating activities that would showcase the talent, skills, and hard work of the individuals and teams competing. Although the competition looked different in presentation each year, these goals remained consistent.
“Truly, I believe this competition gave sites the opportunity to send their best to represent their protective forces. It afforded the opportunity to benchmark, interact, and communicate with so many leaders within the organizations. It was a chance to show our leaders, to a certain degree, the competency of the training and protective force members’ ability to accomplish a goal with shared vision. Besides…who doesn’t like a good competition among family? It is the American Way!” said Steven Zuniga, former SPOTC competitor, course designer, and coach.
This four-day event was a chance for officers from multiple sites to compete with one another, but it was also a great means of engaging with personnel from various organizations. Originally held at the National Training Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, DOE sites such as Savannah River, Pantex, and Y-12 joined the rotation for hosting the competition. The range of people that attended these competitions was wide and included local law enforcement officers, U.S. Military personnel, Security Police Officers from all DOE sites, and teams from Canada and Britain. In a setting that would seem to cultivate rivalry, SPOTC has actually served as a means for sportsmanship and friendships to be built.
“Not only did this competition build camaraderie amongst our own team members and coaches, we also were able to meet new people, make new friends from other sites, and share ideas. It wasn’t uncommon to see sites cheering for other sites during their events. Sure, you had your rivalries, but in the end we always came together to celebrate ultimately what the competition stood for…teamwork,” said Zuniga.
The yearly occurrence of this event ended in 2012, but nonetheless, SPOTC had a lasting impact on Pantex and provided an opportunity for Pantex SPOs to challenge themselves, benchmark, and interact with other sites and organizations while showcasing their skills.