Date(s) - 03/21/2019
8:00 am - 10:00 am

Sands Regency Hotel

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If you find you are unable to attend the presentation, please

email Patty at We are charged for no-shows.

Please RSVP for this upcoming National Security Forum Program

Sand’s Regency Hotel Casino

345 N. Arlington

“Energy Security and Grid Resilience”

Diversifying and securing energy supplies nationally and locally

A Presentation and Discussion With

Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, USN (ret)

Vice Chairman, CNA’s Military Advisory Board

Thursday March 21st 9:00 am at The Sands Hotel & Casino

“The trends are clear. The current way Americans produce and distribute electricity is at increasing risk, while over the next half-century the way we produce and use energy will radically change…Assuring that we have reliable, accessible, sustainable, and affordable electric power is a national security imperative.”
(National Security and Assured U.S. Electrical power, CNA Military Advisory Board, Nov 2015)

Securing and transmitting energy supplies has emerged as a major national security issue, one with direct impacts to the economy and well-being of communities in Nevada. Reliable electricity is an essential component our way of life in America. At present, this critical element of the American economy is dependent on an electrical distribution system (AKA “the grid) that was designed over a century ago. Unlike other developed countries, our grid still relies on antiquated designs that have evolved incrementally and are not inherently designed to resist current and emerging threats posed by both local and global adversaries. Vulnerabilities to our national grid pose significant risks to the functioning of our local and national economies and to the health, well-being, and livelihoods of the American public.

Understanding these vulnerabilities and identifying solutions to diversify energy sources and distribute grid functions was the focus of a recent study by the CNA Military Advisory Board, “National Security and Assured U.S. Electrical Power” (CNA 2015, Available for download at:  The NSF is honored to have Vice Adm Lee Gunn, USN (ret) and Vice Chair of CNA’S MAB, join us to discuss key findings from this report and how these concepts apply in the context of Nevada’s growing need for more reliable and distributed energy supplies.

Many questions from earlier NSF events, including at Lt Gen Richard Zilmer’s talk last June, indicated a strong interest among the NSF community in understanding electrical grid vulnerabilities and potential areas for strengthening energy security, nationally and locally. Adm Gunn is a leading authority on these topics and will share his knowledge about threats to our current grid technologies and potential solutions to enhancing the resiliency of electricity production and distribution. A premise of his presentation will be that energy and economic security are inherently linked: ensuring safe, secure and reliable energy can provide benefits economically as well as building resilience in communities.

Nevada has the opportunity to lead the nation in renewable energy production with the highest solar energy resource potential of any state in the nation, according the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA Dec 2018). Producing solar, hydrothermal or hydroelectric energy in Nevada is the easy part: transmitting that energy to a large consumer base poses significant challenges. In addition, critical national security operations in the Silver State depend on safe, secure and reliable energy supplies. Threats to the national grid system in Nevada have the potential to disrupt critical military and homeland security operations. Nevada is uniquely positioned to respond to these threats by implementing robust renewable energy production and distributed energy solutions.

Given that the loss of just nine nodes in our grid could result in regional and national power outages lasting for weeks to months, it is critical that we understand both the challenges and opportunities to build more resilient electrical supply networks. Adm Gunn promises a spirited discussion about why our dependence on assured and reliable electric power has become a national security imperative and how the U.S., in general, and Nevadan, in particular, can take actions to increase energy security and enhance grid resilience.

Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, USN (Ret.), Vice Chairman, CNA’s Military Advisory Board, served for 35 years in the U.S. Navy. His last active duty assignment was Inspector General of the Department of the Navy where he was responsible for the Department’s overall inspection program and its assessments of readiness, training, and quality of service. Serving in the Surface Navy in a variety of theaters, Gunn rose through the cruiser/destroyer force to command the Frigate USS Barbey, then commanded the Navy’s anti-submarine warfare tactical and technical evaluation Destroyer squadron, DESRON 31. He later commanded Amphibious Group Three. As Commander of PHIBGRU THREE, he served as the Combined Naval Forces Commander and Deputy Task Force Commander of Combined Task Force United Shield, which conducted the withdrawal of U.N. peacekeeping forces from Somalia. Adm Gunn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Experimental and Physiological Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Science in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

A full breakfast will be served ($20 Members, $30 Non-Members, and $10 for students with ID and military personnel in uniform; free for WWII Veterans). We recommend that you arrive by 8:30 to enjoy some breakfast, coffee, and conversation. Breakfast service and registration open at 7:45 a.m.

Please RSVP below. Membership forms will be available at the forum, though you can also access the application form by clicking HERE. For your convenience, we accept cash, check and credit card payments for both the breakfast and membership fees.


Bookings are closed for this event.