The Department of Energy and its contractors are responsible for protecting materials and facilities critical to the Nation's nuclear defense program, as well as those used to support scientific, research, and environmental-related missions. While the security of Department sites has been a priority for many years, in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11,2001, the Department took action to enhance security at its facilities. One important aspect of this initiative was an increased need for additional protective force personnel. For example, at National Nuclear Security Administration sites, authorized positions increased by 17 percent, to 2,319 officers. Once all positions are filled, annual security force costs for those sites are expected to exceed $251 million for the current fiscal year, an increase of 67 percent.