Pantex Blog

Pantexans Honor Veterans

Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 00:00

Amarillo home receives gift from CNS

Pantexans are saluting area veterans this week by participating in community events to honor Veterans Day and the men and women who have served our nation.

CNS was a proud corporate sponsor of a Saturday, Nov. 8, front-lawn Veterans Welcome Home Celebration at the Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center in Amarillo, Texas. There, Pantexans volunteered at a dessert booth serving up treats for Celebration attendees. The afternoon Celebration capped off a full day of events which included an all-you-can-eat breakfast and a downtown Veterans Day Parade.

Veterans Welcome Home Celebration

Veterans Welcome Home Celebration

Veterans Welcome Home Celebration

Photos: Pantexans serve up treats at a CNS-sponsored dessert booth during a Saturday, Nov. 8, front-lawn Veterans Welcome Home Celebration at the Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center in Amarillo, Texas.

Pantexans also visited the Ussery-Roan Texas State Veterans Home in Amarillo on Monday to present four bread making machines on behalf of CNS. The home provides long-term nursing care for nearly 120 Texas veterans and family members.

“Providing care for our veterans is important,” said Pantex Deputy Site Manager Todd Ailes. “When we learned the smell of fresh bread baking helps stimulate appetite, we knew the machines can make a positive impact for the residents”.

CNS will also sponsor a December, Veterans Holiday Party at the home.

Todd Ailes and Debra Halliday present bread machines

Photo: Pantex Deputy Site Manager Todd Ailes and Debra Halliday, Pantex community relations coordinator, present bread machines to the Ussery-Roan Texas State Veterans Home.

Connecting with the Next Generation

Posted: Friday, October 31, 2014 - 00:00

Pantex employees supported the recent Top of Texas Career Expo for juniors and seniors across the Texas Panhandle. Professionals from various specialties, such as information technology, engineering, security and communications, shared job prospects, necessary education and skills, salary ranges and personal experiences. More than 800 students attended the event at West Texas A&M University.

Sean Usleton, Amanda Helker, and Kennith Springs

Sean Usleton, systems architect, Amanda Helker, process engineer, and Kennith Springs, security police officer, talk to students about the variety of careers at Pantex.

Pantex, Y-12 prepare for flu season

Posted: Monday, October 20, 2014 - 00:00

Tiffany Shadle administers a flu shot

​Pantex nurse practitioner Tiffany Shadle administers a flu shot during opening day of the annual Flu Clinic.

Pantex and Y-12 employees have been taking advantage of free flu vaccine shots offered at each site in preparation for the upcoming winter months. The practice, which has been an ongoing service for decades at each site, is also good for the community because fewer residents are susceptible to the bug, which means they aren’t spreading it to coworkers, friends or family members.

Melissa Davis gives the flu vaccine

Nurse Melissa Davis gives the flu vaccine to one of the more than 2,300 employees who took advantage of Y-12's "Flulapalooza."

Pantex Fire Department trains to ensure readiness, personnel safety

Posted: Friday, October 17, 2014 - 00:00

The training helps support the site and the surrounding communities

Knowing how to enter a burning building filled with smoke while battling a blaze requires continuous training to keep people safe. Pantex Fire Department’s recent training helped personnel stay familiar with their equipment and prepared for emergency situations they may not often see.

Bill Ho-Gland, Pantex Assistant Fire Chief, says the training helps support the site and the surrounding communities that may need Pantex assistance during an emergency. Pantex maintains Memorandums of Understanding with the counties surrounding the Pantex site and renders aid when requested.

Members of the Pantex Fire Department maintain certifications so they are ready to respond to any emergency that arises. This year’s training scenario involved an interior structure fire. The team had to bring the fire under control using effective water application practices, firefighting posture and attack techniques.

The Pantex Fire Department is certified through the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) and regularly trains to ensure it meets or exceeds TCFP continuing education requirements. During recent emergency training, members of the department refreshed their training in the use of self-contained breathing apparatus and other personal protective equipment.

Wild Pantex – Southbound Swainson’s

Posted: Monday, October 6, 2014 - 00:00

Article by Jim Ray, Pantex Wildlife Biologist/Scientist

While relocating a bull snake that had decided to bask in the warm sunshine right on the back steps of one of our buildings, a Swainson’s hawk perched atop a power pole captured my attention. It was apparent that the beautiful raptor was sporting one of our GPS Platform Transmitter Terminal (PTT) backpacks, which allow us and our collaborators from West Texas A&M University and the U.S.G.S. Texas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Texas Tech University to gather data from the hawks on a year-round basis. The antennae stretching upward from the PTT was quite visible and, at that distance, I could even see the leg bands that all of our study birds wear.

Hours later, I arrived by commercial airline in Corpus Christi, where, over the next four days I had the privilege of interacting with fellow wildlife biologists at a conference focusing on birds-of-prey. The Raptor Research Foundation 2014 Conference was a well-run meeting and featured presentations on research from around the globe. Topics ranged from ecology, conservation and monitoring of species; to effects of wind energy development and electrical infrastructure on species; as well as evaluating techniques for the safe study of these magnificent creatures. It was a great opportunity for the world’s top researchers of birds-of-prey to share ideas and, in some cases, form new partnerships.

Pantex played a role in the conference in a couple of ways. First off, at our/Pantex’s recommendation, the U. S. Department of Energy (headquarters in Washington, DC) joined six other sponsors in providing financial support for the conference. This was well within the spirit of Executive Order 13186, Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds, which directs federal agencies to promote research, partnerships, and information exchange related to the conservation of migratory birds. How perfect of a fit was that? Those three goals were met through one action!

Besides sponsorship and participation in the conference (attendance and networking), Pantex and collaborators with the U.S.G.S. Texas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Texas Tech University presented a poster, “Movement rates of Swainson’s hawks migrating from Texas to Argentina.” Graduate student Laurie Groen did a great job with the preparation and presentation of that poster.

When I returned to work at Pantex the following Monday morning I looked online and I was excited to find that one of our PTT-marked Swainson’s hawks was making a southerly move. Its initial movement was southeast, which has been characteristic of many of our birds, and was currently in the Wichita Falls area. Soon, it will turn to the south, sail by Corpus Christi where the world’s raptor researchers had just gathered, and be off to Argentina.

It is truly great that Pantex has built a program based on partnerships, and consistently demonstrates a role in the conservation of migratory birds. Funding for the projects is provided by the U. S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration in cooperation with Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC.

-Please feel free to share with others-

 A PTT-marked Swainson's hawk captured on camera north of Panhandle, TX

Photo: A PTT-marked Swainson's hawk captured on camera north of Panhandle, TX. The inset map shows the typical migration route of Swainson's hawks from our area, once into the interior of Mexico, from the entire breeding range of the species. Photo courtesy of Mark Elliot.