Nuclear Matters Organization


The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters fulfills the nuclear weapons roles, responsibilities, and functions for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs (ASD(NCB)).


The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs/Nuclear Matters (OASD(NCB/NM)) serves as the focal point for Department of Defense (DoD) activities and initiatives related to the dual missions of sustaining a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent and countering the threat from nuclear terrorism and nuclear proliferation. In this capacity, Nuclear Matters also serves as a primary point of contact for Congress, the interagency, and the public. Nuclear Matters is comprised of representatives from all areas of the nuclear community, to include the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, the Kansas City National Security Campus, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Nuclear Matters has responsibilities in each of the following functional areas: nuclear physical security; nuclear weapon incident response; nuclear weapon surety; nuclear weapon enterprise oversight; nuclear assessments; and nuclear threat prevention, protection, and response. As part of these responsibilities, the Nuclear Matters office provides support to management and oversight groups responsible for each of the functional areas. Additionally, the office supports the completion of other nuclear-related responsibilities within the Department of Defense, to include developing congressional testimony, advising on arms control and treaty issues, and participating in budgeting and planning activities.


The Nuclear Matters organization is comprised of four functional offices: Survivability and Nuclear Weapon Development; International Nuclear Programs; Nuclear Safety, Security and Response; and Readiness and Support.


OASD(NCB) Organization

Survivability and Nuclear Weapon Development (SNWD)

Survivability and Nuclear Weapon Development leads Nuclear Matters’ engagement and activities related to the joint Department of Defense (DoD)-Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Weapons Council (NWC), the Council on Oversight of the National Leadership Command, Control, and Communications System (the Council), and the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Survivability Oversight Council (CSOG). As such, it is responsible for providing comprehensive support to the NWC, the Council, and CSOG, including meeting logistics and administrative planning, action item coordination, and support in drafting and coordinating department and congressionally-mandated reports. On behalf of the NWC, SNWD provides DoD oversight for the development of nuclear weapons by coordinating with departmental stakeholders and the interagency (including Joint Staff, the military services, and the DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration) on requirements, acquisition, sustainment, and logistics, retirement, and dismantlement. SNWD performs analysis on survivability, command and control, and nuclear weapon matters, and provides leadership and participation in transformational nuclear initiatives and department wide review efforts, including Nuclear Posture Reviews.

International Nuclear Programs (INP)

International Nuclear Programs is the Department of Defense point of contact for efforts related to international programs of cooperation on issues related to atomic energy between the United States and its allies. INP is also responsible for the coordination of Department of Defense countering nuclear threat (CNT) efforts, both internally and across the U.S. government. INP plays a role in prevention and response efforts related to CNT.

Nuclear Safety, Security, and Response (NSSR)

Nuclear Safety, Security, and Response spearheads Nuclear Matters efforts related to: nuclear weapons surety; accident, incident, and response; and Physical Security Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E). Among its many direct responsibilities, NSSR ensures the currency of all DoD policies regarding safety, security, and control of DoD nuclear weapons and systems. NSSR is also responsible for chairing the DoD Physical Security Enterprise and Analysis Group (PSEAG), which provides programming, planning, and RDT&E funding support for Physical Security Equipment (nuclear and conventional) materiel requirements; leads and coordinates with the Department of Energy, and the greater interagency on the Security Policy Verification Committee (SPVC) addressing security policy across the enterprise; oversees the Nuclear Weapon Technical Inspection program; addresses nuclear weapon logistic transport safety issues; and, oversees nuclear weapons accident/incident response and related exercises. Additionally, NSSR supports the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) through its engagement in the Joint Theater Surety Management Group (JTSMG) and assists ASD(NCB) serving as the NATO High Level Group Vice-Chair for Safety, Security, and Survivability.

Readiness and Support (R&S)

Readiness and Support provides the organizational and operational foundation upon which Nuclear Matters relies. R&S is responsible for day-to-day staff action and administrative support as well as broader office transformation efforts. In addition to these duties, R&S participates in and coordinates Nuclear Matters’ role in the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution process and administers Nuclear Matters resources.