INL News Release
July 06, 2011

Carisa Schultz, 208-351-3969,
Ethan Huffman, 208-526-0660,
INL security team wins national competition

IDAHO FALLS – A six-member team of Idaho National Laboratory security police officers recently won the 2011 Security Protection Officer Team Competition (SPOTC) in Texas.

Hosted annually at nuclear facilities across the nation, the competition evaluates the performance of security teams charged with protecting government and commercial nuclear facilities. A total of 20 teams, representing local and regional law enforcement and the U.S. military, competed in this year's event June 12 to 16 at the Pantex Plant Firearms and Tactics Facility in Amarillo, Texas.

Known by participants as one of the most realistic and difficult training competitions, the event began in 1972 as a way to gauge the mental and physical ability of security officers at U.S. Department of Energy facilities.

Each year, the five-day event challenges participants through a series of increasingly difficult obstacle courses and shooting exercises requiring the use of handguns and rifles. Each timed and scored exercise measures teamwork, shooting accuracy, physical endurance and communication skills, while incorporating realistic scenarios.

"Protecting the nation's nuclear research facilities from security threats is something we take very seriously," said Doug Evancic, INL's lead security trainer. "The key to this year’s victory was a well-trained team that shot consistently at each event."

Members of the winning team are Jay Blake (team captain), Bryan Cook (assistant team captain), Tyler Talbot, Matt Burchfield, Zach Yates and Bruce Jones.

INL’s protective force trains all year to protect the laboratory’s assets, maintain their skills and perform at events like SPOTC. The lab has participated in SPOTC for more than 25 years. Protective force teams from INL have won this competition five times since 1983 — in 1988, 1990, 1992, 1995 and 2011.

This win comes on the heels of another INL victory last month, when a different team took first place in the 2011 Snake River SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) challenge in Boise. INL-sponsored teams won first- and second-place awards over seven competing regional teams at that competition in Boise.


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