By Mr. Michael Abrams (AMC)September 30, 2008
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. (September 29, 2008) - The team of Anniston Chemical Activity and Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility employees achieved another significant milestone Saturday. Working together, the team has now safely demilitarized more than 50 percent of the chemical munitions stored here.
Chemical munitions have been safely stored at this northeast Alabama installation since 1961. Safe disposal operations began in August 2003. Now, more than 331,100 nerve agent-filled rockets, artillery shells, and land mines have been safely demilitarized.
Timothy K. Garrett, ANCDF government site project manager, said, "It is good that we have successfully reached another milestone in our mission of safely demilitarizing the chemical munitions here. But we still have a long way to go.
"I am very proud of the work force we have and the accomplishments made to date. The success of the work force, and the commitment to safe operations, means we have safely eliminated the bulk of the risk that was associated with the storage of the chemical munitions here for so long."
ANCDF Site Project Manager Robert C. Love said, "We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go, and we can't lose sight of that fact.
"We have been able to operate safely for more than five years now by paying attention to detail, by applying many lessons learned and by looking out for each other daily. We must continue to do those things if we are to complete the second half of the process as successfully as we did the first half, and that is exactly what we plan to do."
All 142,428 of Anniston's GB (sarin) nerve agent munitions were demilitarized between Aug. 9, 2003, and March 2, 2006. Since July 23, 2006, more than 188,670 nerve agent VX-filled munitions have been safely processed.
VX land mine disposal operations are expected to conclude early next year. The last disposal campaign, involving mustard (blister) agent-filled mortars, artillery shells and containers, will begin later in 2009 following a planned maintenance and changeover period. The ANCDF is scheduled to be decontaminated and closed at the end of all chemical munition demilitarization operations.
Other notable milestones are:
A,A* February 29, 1996: ANCDF contract awarded to Westinghouse Anniston
A,A* June 1997 - 2001: ANCDF construction
A,A* August 9, 2003: ANCDF disposal operations begin
A,A* March 2, 2006: GB nerve agent munition processing concludes
A,A* July 23, 2006: VX nerve agent munition processing begins
A,A* September 26, 2008: Since August 2003, ANCA employees have safely made 6,492 munition deliveries to the ANCDF