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News | July 7, 2009

Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate Gets New Director

By Nancy Koreen Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate

QUANTICO, Va. – Colonel Tracy J. Tafolla assumed duties as Director of the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) on July 7 during a Change of Directorship and Retirement Ceremony for outgoing Director Colonel Kirk W. Hymes at Harry Lee Hall, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

The JNLWD, based at Quantico, oversees the day-to-day operations of the DoD’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program (JNLWP). The overarching mission of the JNLWP is to outfit today’s warfighter with operationally effective and suitable non-lethal weapons systems, ultimately enhancing warfighter capabilities across the range of military operations. Since its inception in 1997, the DoD program has endeavored to refine operational requirements; conduct applicable research and development of Service needs to enable procurement, testing and training; and ultimately inform policy decisions.

Col. Tafolla, from Oelwein, Iowa, most recently earned his Masters of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He also attended the Defense Acquisition University Senior Acquisition Course. Prior to that, he served as the Program Manager for Infantry Weapons Systems at Marine Corps Systems Command.

Col. Hymes, a native of Altoona, Pa., is retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps after 26 years of service. He has spent the last three years as JNLWD Director. During his tenure, Col. Hymes led the effort that resulted in Joint Requirements Oversight Council validation and approval of a Non-Lethal Effects Joint Capabilities Document and two Initial Capabilities Documents. He also chaired the System Analysis and Studies Task Group 060, which received the NATO 2008 Scientific Achievement Award for its groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of nonlethal effects within an operational context.

“Helping the Services develop their non-lethal weapon capabilities has been a unique and rewarding opportunity,” said Col. Hymes. “These non-lethal tools help our warfighters escalate force without having to rely solely on lethal weapons. That’s important when we realize that accomplishing our mission in today’s complex environment doesn’t mean killing our way to victory.”