By Ms. Rachel Newton (AMC)April 15, 2013
For the past six months, Pine Bluff Arsenal has been serving as the Defense Logistics Agency's East Coast and Central United States reception point for demilitarization of camouflage netting
and body armor components. These items come in from over 40-plus installations across the country, including Fort Hood, Texas, Fort Benning, Ga., Fort Drum, N.Y., Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and Camp Lejeune, N.C. Items from installations on the West Coast are taken to Tucson, Ariz.
These items, from all the Armed Forces, have been received and disposed of by the Directorate of Public Works Waste Management and Reclamation Division.
Since September 2012, approximately 92 loads have been received and approximately 67 have been demilitarized by the division. "This includes all the items we have received from the other installations," said Shane Marriott, former WMRD chief. Marriott recently moved to a general engineer position with the Engineering Plans and Services Division of DPW.
Chemical biological defense equipment has also been received by the division from the Arsenal's own shipping and receiving warehouse. "These are items inspected by PBA's Directorate of Chemical and Biological Defense deemed condition code H (unserviceable)," said C.D. Huggins, current WMRD chief.
The cost of shipping out the CDE items was very close to what it cost to dispose of the material, said Huggins. "Wehave been trying to get this type of workload to disposal of CDE for approximately three years," said Jerod Weilacher, with PBA's CBD. "Not only does it save DLA money, it saves TACOM money as well."
According to an article written by Jake Joy with DLA public affairs, a 2011 continuous process improvement study examined the way DLA was disposing of camouflage netting. It cost approximately $365,000 just to ship netting to a DLA center in Tucson for demilitarization in 2011.
This is where PBA comes into the picture -- instead of shipping the netting from East Coast installations all the way across the country; the netting is being shipped here at a major cost savings -- from approximately $4,200 per load to $1,800 per load -- a total savings of approximately $1,320 per pallet -- or about $60,000 a year.
"When the trucks come in we do the inventory on the items. Just recently, the installation sites started sending us electronic inventory sheets. I take those inventory sheets and match them to what was shipped," said Pat Hopkins, property disposal specialist. "We don't unpack the shipments, but we match the inventory paperwork on the outside of the box with what is sent to us from the sites."
Hopkins said the shipments are then put under secured storage until they are disposed of. "The camo nets are taken to the county landfill," she said. "The body armor is shredded here on site. These items are also taken to the county landfill for disposal. Demil certificates are sent back to the sites once each load is sent for disposal."