By Tony Lopez (AMC)June 27, 2018
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- The Joint Munitions Command's Army Contaminated Equipment Retrograde Team supports radioactive decontamination readiness during military operations worldwide.
The ACERT was developed and created due to the U.S. military's challenges with its radiological response to incidents involving depleted uranium munitions which include various types of battle-field damaged vehicles.
The team is governed by Army regulations and is part of the JMC low-level radioactive waste mission group and operates out of the Morris Consolidation Facility at the Rock Island Arsenal.
These prepositioned response milvans have been retrofitted to provide a self-sustained unit work environment for radiological contamination remedial operations.
"The containers have been equipped with high-efficiency particulate air filtration vacuums; portable electrical generators; tools; soil sampling kits; work lights; and various personal protective equipment such as Tyvek coveralls, respirators, boots, gloves, and safety glasses, as well as empty drums, vermiculite and other supplies normally associated with radiological clean-up operations in remote areas," said Paul Grooms, Health Physicist, Joint Munitions Command.
Originally put into service in Kuwait, South Korea and Germany, the containers provided the team the ability to respond to depleted uranium contamination involving battlefield damaged vehicles. Upon response, the team evaluates the condition, and safely contains or decontaminates the vehicles and prepares them for shipment back to the United States.
Recently, the team's overall responsibility was extended to include radiological contamination events for additional radioactive sources and not just for depleted uranium mishaps. The original mission was to have the equipment and materials stationed in different areas across the globe to quickly respond to contamination events. However, the milvans fell into disrepair over the years and were recently refurbished and restocked and are now ready to be redeployed, wherever needed, across the world.
"This was a great effort by our Risk Management Division team," said Mike Kurth, team lead. "These refurbished response milvans will provide the ability to quickly and effectively support the decontamination operations and reduce the radiation exposure to our deployed Warfighters."
Joint Munitions Command produces small-, medium- and large-caliber ammunition items for the Department of Defense. The primary mission of JMC is to manage the production, storage, issue, and demilitarization of conventional ammunition for all U.S. military services. JMC is the sustainment and logistics integrator for life-cycle management of ammunition and provides a global presence of technical support to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed.