ANNISTON, Ala. -- Not many operations finish ahead of schedule and under budget, but the destruction of chemical munitions at Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility here accomplished just that.

On Oct 19, the Anniston community formally recognized the end of an era; Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility's successful completion of the disposal of its chemical weapons stockpile nearly a month earlier.

Timothy Garrett, ANCDF government project manager and Alabama native reminded the audience of a term and era he considered disgraceful to Anniston, the term 'toxic town.'

"When these munitions were finally processed that term should never be used in a sentence with Anniston, Ala. [again]," Garrett said.

The original inventory of chemical weapons stored at ANAD included 661,529 nerve agent and mustard agent munitions and 2,254 tons of chemical agent. Destruction operations began August 9, 2003 and concluded Sept. 22, 2011.

Ann Dunwoody, AMC's commanding general came to tell the Anniston community thank you and congratulations.

"When was the last time you've heard 'ahead of schedule, under cost and very safe'? But you did it and you did a very dangerous business. I am just so proud of what you've accomplished," Dunwoody said.

"During those eight years, the men and women of ANCA safely completed 20,257 deliveries of chemical weapons to the ANCDF, leaving 138 empty storage igloos as a testament to their quiet professionalism," said Conrad Whyne, director of the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency.

"I am proud to say that the steadfast dedication of more than 1,000 Anniston workers, the support of the Anniston community, and the cooperation of federal and state regulatory agencies have helped make the world a safer place," Whyne said. "You are a prime example of how team work and perseverance leads to success. You have made a safer community that you can rightfully take pride in calling home. You got it done. You got it done right. You got it done safely."