By Michele JewettMarch 11, 2009
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency announced today the impending reassignment of one of its successful site project managers.
Jeffrey Brubaker, who has been the site project manager for CMA's Newport Chemical Agent Disposal Facility in Newport, Ind. for the last six years, will begin similar site project manager duties at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant located on Blue Grass Army Depot, Richmond, Ky.
Brubaker is expected to be released from his current position at the Newport Chemical Depot and arrive in Kentucky in mid-July 2009.
The Blue Grass facility is one of two projects headed by the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program, which falls directly under the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
"This is one of those bittersweet moments in the history of any program," said Conrad F. Whyne, Director of CMA. "On one hand, we applaud and thank Jeff and his family for many years of dedicated service not only to the Army and the agency, but to his country as well.
"Without Jeff's untiring efforts, it is fair to say that the Army and CMA would not have encountered the success we have in eliminating the Newport stockpile and ridding the threat that stockpile posed to the surrounding communities. Jeff's efforts maintained the high regard to safety that we impose in this program, and he is to be rightfully commended for it.
"The bitter part is that CMA loses a tremendous asset," Whyne continued. "But with our loss comes ACWA's gain. I am certain that Jeff will bring tremendous, valuable operational experience gained in those years at Newport, and that experience can be applied to the continuing ACWA mission. I am certain the success Jeff enjoyed with us here in CMA will continue with our brothers in arms disposal over on the ACWA side of the house."
Brubaker was the second of two site project managers in Newport's history, replacing Chuck Galloway in 2003. His tenure included completion of the construction of the facility and its eventual operation. The plant finished its construction and systemization phase and began agent destruction operations in May 2005. The plant employed a neutralization technology and completed destruction of its VX nerve agent bulk stockpile in August 2008. The plant and depot continue progress toward total closure.
"ACWA will get itself a dedicated and thorough site manager," said COL Robert B. Billington, CMA's Project Manager for Chemical Stockpile Elimination and Brubaker's immediate supervisor at CMA. "Jeff shepherded the NECDF project through varied and difficult challenges. Jeff enjoyed success not only on the project and on the depot itself, but he was intricately involved with all publics -- from local citizens to Congressional delegations to oversight organizations and beyond.
"He was and remains a valuable asset to this nation as we move toward eliminating this stockpile of obsolete weapons. It is a good thing that he has chosen to take that expertise and make it available to our colleagues at ACWA. ACWA is gaining one very experienced operator and one very good manager."
Between 2005 and 2008, Newport safely neutralized approximately 1,690 bulk containers of VX nerve agent using a sodium hydroxide and water mixture. The resulting 1.6 million gallons of caustic waste water was trucked without incident to Veolia Environmental Services in Port Arthur, Texas, where it was incinerated and ultimately destroyed. Efforts at Newport and Veolia were eventually credited toward U.S. international treaty requirements and helped the U.S. achieve its 45 percent destruction deadline of December 2007.
"I have enjoyed my six plus years managing the Newport, Ind. chemical weapons disposal project," said Brubaker. "I feel proud to have worked with so many dedicated professionals to make the surrounding community a safer place with the completed destruction of over 1,200 tons of nerve agent VX."
"The Army asked me to consider what role I wanted to have in our continuing efforts to rid this country of stored weapons of mass destruction," Brubaker continued. "I chose to continue that service by accepting the Blue Grass position and look forward to the challenges of accomplishing success there."
The Blue Grass facility is currently under construction. For more information on the ACWA program, please contact Kathy DeWeese at 410-436-3398. For more information on NECD, please contact Ms. Terry Arthur at 765-245-4475.