Information Papers

Chemical Demilitarization Program

What is it? 
The United States Army Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) manages the execution of this nationally important and internationally significant program to safely store and destroy all U.S. chemical warfare materiel.  The Army Secretariat provides oversight through the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology).  In accordance with Public Laws 105-261 and 107-248, the Office of the Secretary of Defense manages chemical demilitarization disposal activities at sites in Colorado and Kentucky.

What has the Army done? 
More than 50% percent of the U.S. stockpile of chemical weapons has been safely destroyed since entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).  This progress was achieved while compiling a recordable injury rate comparable to that of offices of real estate agents and brokers.  Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities in Toole, UT; Anniston, AL; Umatilla, OR; Newport, IN; and Pine Bluff, AR; safely destroyed 3,488 U.S tons of chemical agent in calendar year 2007and reduced the risks posed by storage of the weapons at all locations, with risk reductions greater than 95 percent at four of the five sites.  Risk has been eliminated with the complete destruction of chemical stockpiles at Johnston Atoll, in the South Pacific, and Aberdeen, MD. 

On June 18, 2007, CMA completed destruction of 45 percent the Category 1 U.S. chemical stockpile since entry into force of the CWC.  This milestone represents more than 1.6 million Category 1 chemical weapons and 13,755 U.S. tons of chemical agent.  The Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel Project (NSCMP) demolished the final former production facility on December 28, 2006, and completed the destruction of all binary chemical weapons on November 27, 2007.  All these milestones were achieved ahead of schedule. 

What continued efforts does the United States Army have planned for the future? 
The Secretary of Defense notified Congress that complete destruction of the chemical stockpile will not be achieved prior to the CWC deadline of April 29, 2012; however, the United States Army, as executive agent of the chemical demilitarization program, will continue to safely store the nation’s stockpile of chemical weapons and material and complete its destruction mission as close as practicable to the CWC deadline without sacrificing the safety of the workers, local populations and environment.

Why is it important to the Army? 
Title 50, United States (U.S.) Code, Section 1521 directs the Department of Defense to destroy the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile and provides for the establishment of a management organization within the Department of the Army to carry out this mission.  In addition, the United States is a state party to the CWC. Therefore, the United States Army provides critical technical and management leadership in this important program.

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