MILITARY OCEAN TERMINAL SUNNY POINT, N.C. - The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville, Ala., kicked off its newest building demolition program with the removal of four 10,000 gallon above-ground diesel fuel tanks that had been unusable and taking up space for years.

The Directed Demolition Service program, a part of the Army Corps of Engineers' Huntsville Center's Facilities Reduction Program, provides Army installations with an easy way to eliminate small excess structures, like the tanks and associated structures at Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU).

"It's great to see the tanks finally go," said David von Kolnitz in MOTSU's Department of Public Works. "Working with DDS has been wonderful. All I had to do was send them the plans and take care of the necessary forms."

The old diesel fuel station was used in the past to refuel locomotives at this major port for the Army on the Atlantic Ocean.

Tightening of temporary explosive storage regulations made the location of the tanks unacceptable and they became unusable. They became giant concrete rectangles taking up space along the installation's main road.

That's where DDS came into play.

DDS is a centrally managed and centrally funded program that provides for the demolition of relatively small structures, like storage bunkers or observation towers, at continental U.S. Army installations.

Installations that need these structures removed can contact either Huntsville Center or Installation Management Command to get their projects into the program. The demolitions are funded by IMCOM, so costs to installations are minimal.

"DDS gets rid of the things that are hard to get rid of through normal demolition channels because they might not have building numbers or square footage associated with them," said DDS program manager Amber Martin of Huntsville Center. "It's harder to get funding for these kinds of projects. With DDS we can fund these. We can come out and get them done quickly and cost effectively and help the installation get rid of their unneeded structures."

DDS simplifies the demolition process by cutting overhead and administrative costs by using already set up demolition contracts with certain small businesses that can mobilize for projects throughout the country. Crew day prices are already fixed into the contracts and specialized equipment costs are added on a case-by-case basis.

For this project, Huntsville Center used an existing contract to mobilize a team from GEM Technology based in Knoxville, Tenn., to clear the diesel fuel station. GEM is the DDS demolition contractor for the southeastern region of the country.

The MOTSU project was the first test for the DDS program and Martin said while she would have liked it to go a bit quicker, it was an overall success.

"The MOTSU demolition was a success, and we learned a lot of lessons here that we'll be taking into account as DDS continues," Martin said. "All in all, we completed the job pretty quickly and at a much lower cost than if it had been done without DDS."

Martin estimated the MOTSU demolition cost about 30 percent less than it would have cost without using the DDS program. The work took about half a day longer than originally planned.

She also said 100 percent of the waste from the project was recycled, including more than 404 tons of concrete that was surrounding the fuel tanks and 25 tons of steel from the tanks and associated piping.

Even the chain link fence that was around the station was saved for use elsewhere on the installation.

The cleared area will likely be used for a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection station, von Kolnitz said.

The MOTSU project was the first of many DDS projects already planned throughout the country. DDS is only geared for Army installations now, but could include projects for other branches in the future.

Installations interested in DDS should contact Amber Martin at for more information.