ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Chemical munitions destruction operations at the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility concluded last week when the last tray of 72 mustard agent-filled 105mm projectiles exited the Metal Parts Furnace.
"We made a commitment to the people of Alabama and to the citizens who live and work near or on Anniston Army Depot," said Timothy K. Garrett, ANCDF government project manager. "We committed ourselves to the safe destruction of the entire chemical agent-filled munitions stockpile here.
Anniston Chemical Activity and ANCDF government and contractor employees have safely destroyed 661,529 nerve agent and mustard agent munitions and 2,254 tons of chemical agent. Destruction operations began Aug. 9, 2003.
"I am very proud of the contributions Anniston Chemical Activity employees made to the safe, professional, and overall efficient storage and destruction of our chemical munitions over the years. These men and women continue to meet and exceed my every expectation," said Lt. Col. Willie J. Flucker, ANCA commander.
"This is a great day for the U.S. Army, the people of Alabama and our Nation," said CMA director Conrad Whyne.
Whyne, the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency director and former Anniston site project manager, also said, "Thanks to the steadfast dedication of the Anniston team -- the United States Army, its civilian workers and contractors -- the Anniston community, the state of Alabama, and our nation are all safer. I could not be more proud of our work force."
ANCA's next mission is to conduct cleanup and closure activities in preparation for the eventual inactivation of the organization. ANCA employees are now surveying and testing the storage igloos that were used since 1963 to safely store the munitions. The igloos will be cleaned and tested for any measurable, residual chemical agent before they are returned to the depot for possible reuse.
Closure activities are expected to take 18-24 months. During closure, ANCA will continue to provide protective clothing to the depot and the ANCDF.
ANCA employees will also prepare their munitions handling equipment for turn in and possible reissue to the remaining two chemical munitions storage sites in Colorado and Kentucky.