ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The U.S Army Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) announced the safe destruction of the last VX nerve agent-filled M23 landmine in the Pine Bluff Arsenal (PBA) stockpile, marking the end of all VX-filled munitions stored at the site. The last landmine was destroyed at the Pine Bluff Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (PBCDF) on June 20, 2008, several months ahead of the project's baseline schedule.

CMA's Director Conrad Whyne said "This accomplishment reflects the ability of the Pine Bluff team to safely destroy the chemical weapons stockpile while optimizing the schedule and bringing us one step closer to fulfilling our national imperative to eliminate the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile."

With the elimination of the VX at PBCDF, CMA has safely destroyed approximately 85 percent of the original VX agent stockpile. Only four of the seven remaining storage sites have VX left to destroy.

The M23 VX landmine campaign began May 3 when the landmines were first moved from the PBCA storage area to the disposal facility. The last landmines were moved from the storage area to the disposal facility on June 17 where they were destroyed. Approximately 94,000 pounds of VX nerve agent in 9,378 landmines were safely stored, transported and eliminated by the Pine Bluff Chemical Activity (PBCA) and PBCDF. With the end of this campaign, the risk to the surrounding community has been greatly reduced.

PBCDF will undergo a changeover period during which the facility will be made ready for and personnel will be trained in the site's final campaign of mustard ton containers.

Mr. Whyne added, "CMA remains committed to the continued safe storage and destruction of the remaining U.S. stockpile. The elimination of yet another weapon is a testament to the dedication of the Pine Bluff team."

Prior to chemical weapons disposal operations PBA had safely stored 3,850 tons of chemical agent, 12 percent of the Army's original chemical weapons stockpile, for more than 60 years.

For more information on the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency please visit www.cma.army.mil.

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