ADMC hosts French Parliament committee
ADMC Commander Lt. Col. Randall DeLong (center) meets with members of the French National Assembly, left to right, Deloras Clement, Capt. Charpenter Etienne, Michele Grall and U.S. Army Missile Command's Larry Gunter.

ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - A delegation from the French National Assembly recently visited Anniston Defense Munitions Center.

Michel Grall, a deputy of the French National Assembly, along with Capt. Charpenter Etienne, the deputy defense cooperation attachAfA from the French Embassy, visited ADMC to observe missile demilitarization and recycling operations.

The French National Assembly is similar to the United States Congress and Grall's role is similar to the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. The main focus of the visit was to get a close look at the missile recycling operations performed at ADMC.

The French Government is currently planning to establish a missile recycling program due to current stocks of expired missiles in their military stockpile.

In April of 2010, the French Government tasked Grall to establish an end-of-life program for the current missile stocks.

"This is an increasingly important topic for the French Parliament and also the French people," said Grall.

In his efforts to gather information relating to the demilitarization of missiles and other ammunition, Grall has travelled to Germany, the United Kingdom and now the United States.

While in the U.S., Grall and his entourage have traveled extensively. By his own account, he had covered over 22,000 kilometers, or 13,670 miles, in the week prior to his ADMC visit.

The group's main goal while in the U.S. was to see the "cooperation between the Army, Navy and other services while taking into account the sheer size and complexity of the U.S. military operations."

Upon arrival at Anniston Army Depot, Grall was greeted by ADMC Commander Lt. Col. Randall DeLong and Larry Gunter from the Army Missile Command G3 office.

After a welcome brief by DeLong, Gunter briefed the guests on current and future Army missile projects. The group was then given a safety briefing and boarded the VIP shuttle for a trip to the ADMC Missile Recycling Center.

The visit to the MRC was especially helpful to the guests, due to the fact that it is a one-of-a-kind facility specializing on destroying outdated missiles, while focusing on environmental protection.

"The priority for environmental protection is extremely important to me and the French government. We must observe the laws governing protection of the environment, while also finding safe, efficient and cost effective ways to destroy these missiles," said Grall.

The group then proceeded to ADMC's new Multiple Launch Rocket System recycling facility. This facility is still under construction, but the guests were still able to get an idea of the work that will be done here in the near future. Gunter gave an overview of the almost completely automated process, which takes a complete MLRS missile and breaks it down to basic components using a combination of conveyor belts and state-of-the-art robot technology. This was of great value to the guests, since MLRS will be one of the main missile systems the French Military will be demilitarizing.

The day ended with a question-and-answer session at ADMC Headquarters.

Grall was also presented a folded American flag and an ADMC Commander's coin from DeLong on behalf of Team ADMC.

Grall presented DeLong with the "Commision De La Defence Nationale De Forces Armes" medallion, which is given by the French National Defense Committee to allies for their superb cooperation to advance French national defense. When asked what this visit meant to ADMC and the U.S. Army, Delong said, "This was a great opportunity to reconfirm the relations of two countries that have had such an enduring partnership for many years. Frankly, while Grall was here to observe our methods of munitions demilitarization, it was also valuable for us to gain an understanding of how other countries are coping with the increasing worldwide stockpile of obsolete munitions."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16