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A NNRRC Watch Officer wearing an official DoS mask is sitting and checking a computer. In front of him is a wall of large computer screens. Another Watch Officer is standing in front of the screens, and the Communications Officer is talking on the telephone in the background.

As a part of the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, the National and Nuclear Risk Reduction Center (NNRRC) is staffed by a 40-person team with skills ranging from linguists and foreign policy specialists to communications officers, software developers, and IT network architects. The team has decades of experience with arms control inspection regimes, secure communications operations, and translation and interpretation in multiple languages. Since its inception, the NNRRC has been housed in the Department of State due to the foreign policy function of its risk reduction lines. The Departments of State and Defense share responsibility for managing the Center and, to that end, the NNRRC Director is a State Department official while the Deputy Director is an active-duty senior military officer, traditionally from the Air Force.

The NNRRC maintains a 24/7 watch operation to process notifications transmitted over the various secure communications networks it manages on a variety of issues ranging from strategic nuclear arms control, ballistic missile and Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) notifications, conventional arms deployments, and international cyber incidents. NNRRC Watch Officers currently operate in seven languages (English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian) with a Russian linguist on duty 24/7. To accommodate a growing mission space and new secure communications networks, the NNRRC is in the process of incorporating a machine translation capability to supplement the linguistic capabilities of its watch officers.

Among the secure communication lines the NNRRC manages is the 24/7 bilateral NNRRC line with Russia, in operation for 35 years and currently used to transmit New Start Treaty notifications. As part of the responsibility to maintain the lines, the NNRRC has full operational capability at three independent locations, including the Center’s main worksite located in the Harry S. Truman building in Washington, D.C. To meet its unique and evolving IT needs, the NNRRC works closely with the Bureau of Information Resource Management (IRM) while also utilizing an in-house team of software developers and IT security experts. The Center’s approach to ongoing IT modernization ensures that it can fulfill its vital national security mission while positioning itself to quickly take on additional risk reduction roles in the future if called upon to do so. The NNRRC team is a tangible, ongoing example of Department of State and DoD staff from a variety of backgrounds working together to advance national and international security.

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