VX LANDMINE DISPOSAL OPERATIONS BEGIN AT PINE BLUFF ARSENAL
May 5, 2008
PINE BLUFF ARSENAL, Ark. - Employees at the Pine Bluff Chemical Activity (PBCA) and the Pine Bluff Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (PBCDF) successfully transported and destroyed the first VX nerve-agent filled landmine of the Arsenal's stockpile.
The morning of May 3, PBCA safely transported the first enhanced onsite container (EONC) carrying VX-filled landmines to PBCDF, and later that afternoon PBCDF destroyed the first VX landmine.
"The VX landmines are the third of four disposal campaigns for us," said Lt. Col. Cliff Johnston, PBCA commander. "We are excited to be this far along in our operations."
Chemical weapons disposal operations began at the Arsenal in March 2005 with the GB nerve-agent filled rockets. The second disposal campaign was the VX nerve-agent filled rockets, which ended in February 2008.
"We have begun landmine disposal operations safely and several months ahead of schedule," said Mark Greer, PBCDF site project manager. "Current estimates place the end of landmine disposal operations at later this summer."
Following the completion of VX landmine disposal operations, there will be a changeover period during which the facility will be prepared for and personnel will be trained in mustard ton container disposal operations. The mustard blister-agent filled ton containers will be the last disposal campaign.
"Our employees are committed to continue their outstanding record of safe disposal operations as we now have the opportunity to focus on mines for the first time," said David Reber, project general manager for Washington Defense Group, EG&G Division of the URS Corporation, which built and operates the plant for the Army.
Prior to chemical weapons disposal operations, the Pine Bluff Arsenal safely stored 3,850 tons of chemical agent or 12 percent of the Army's original chemical weapons stockpile for more than 60 years. With the completion of the GB rocket and VX rocket campaigns, PBCDF has eliminated more than one million pounds of chemical agent, 15 percent of the total chemical agent in the Arsenal's original stockpile.