I am mission success: Curtis Chamberlain
Take five minutes and learn about CNS's Curtis Chamberlain, production manager, at Pantex. All views and opinions are the employee’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of CNS.
Curtis Chamberlain has spent his entire Pantex career in Production and says it is the only mission he has known. He got his start as a production technician almost 21 years ago working on the W62 and W87 programs and then was promoted to Production section manager of the W62, W78, B53, W80, and Joint Test Assembly (JTA)/test bed activities. For the past 11 years, he has served as a production manager and in his daily role oversees his departmental activities within Weapon Operations. He has worked on almost all of the weapons systems and support systems.
He says Production must work together to ensure everyone crosses the finish line.
Recently, the Pantex Production Optimization effort was commissioned to lead and establish a path forward to deliver and maximize our production throughput this year and into the future. The focus of the effort is on both tactical and strategic improvements that will further optimize weapon production activities at the site and position the plant to deliver production output on significant increases in future work.
“If one weapon system doesn’t meet their deliverables, we all fail as a team,” Chamberlain said.
One thing that stands out for Chamberlain during his time at Pantex are times when he’s had the opportunity to see the JTA final product in use.
“It was an honor and a privilege to see all the effort, activity, and collaboration that was needed to ensure a successful flight occurred.”
When asked what he sees as the most important part of his role in the mission work at Pantex, Chamberlain said “getting our product to the military with the best quality possible to ensure the defense of our nation.”
What daily task (specific meeting, report, etc.) lets you know you’re helping achieve the CNS mission? How/why does that task let you know you’re working toward the mission?
I like helping my Production section managers with their work problems, getting a hold of the right people and removing anything that may be in their way causing them frustrations, and trying to ensure they can do their job and not worry about anything else.
Are you doing what you envisioned as a young adult? If so, describe how you got here.
I honestly didn’t know what I envisioned as a young adult. I joined the Air Force at 18 to figure it out but that didn’t help. When I left the military, I started working as a diesel mechanic which helped me get my diesel technician certification. I worked at Caterpillar for a few years before applying at Pantex and obtaining a PT position, and I have been here ever since.
What is your favorite aspect about your work environment? How does that aspect make you know the mission is being met?
My favorite part is working together as a team with many Pantex and external entities to set and meet schedules with the military and DOE, knowing that the product we are working on is making our country a safer place by maintaining our nation’s stockpile.
What’s your top bucket list item and why?
I would like to complete hiking all 53 14,000+ ft. mountains in Colorado with a friend—I am over half way there, even though the actual number is a bit of a controversy. I enjoy the challenge of hiking the mountains. It is a beautiful environment, and it is me against the mountain; nobody can help me get to the top except for myself.
What’s your favorite outside-of-work activity and why?
I enjoy spending time with my family on vacations, visiting new breweries and restaurants at those locations with my wife, and experiencing new things. I have also started working towards obtaining my private pilot’s license; it is another way to work on overcoming some of the challenges I have with heights.