By Mrs. Jaime Thompson (AMC)June 3, 2008
The Defense Ammunition Center hosted the 16th annual Global Demilitarization Symposium and Exhibition at the Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown, Utah, May 5-9.
More than 400 military, civilians and contractors attended the event, with representatives from 17 international countries. Various U.S. Department of Defense organizations and government contractors participated as exhibitors, with more than 30 display booths present.
The agenda for the symposium focused on ongoing demilitarization/disposal; resource recovery; recycling and reuse operations and programs; sale of recovered demil materials; demil research and development efforts; transitioning technologies; and environmental, safety and policy issues that affect the demil business.
Brig. Gen. William Phillips, commanding general, Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command and Program Executive Office - Ammunition, served as the keynote speaker for the event.
"Our demil stockpile is growing," said Phillips. Currently the percent of stocks in the demil account is 30 to 35 percent and our mission is to reduce that stockpile by six percent annually."
"We must continue to show our Army leaders the importance of demil and request resources against requirements," Phillips stressed. "Demil is a life-cycle responsibility."
During his time as commander, Phillips has let his actions speak for him, demonstrating a strong commitment to resource and execution of demil by reprogramming over $12 million dollars into demil.
"Every dollar against demil is value added," said Phillips. "Process improvement is critical to demil."
More than four million dollars has been reinvested back into demil through the resource, recovery and recycling program of scrap metals.
Phillips concluded his speech by stressing the importance of safety in all operations. "Safety is the key to a successful operation. Leaders are responsible for safety - all leaders are safety officers."
Larry Nortunen, associate director of the DAC Technology Directorate, received a PM Demil Award from Phillips for his 37 years of civil service. During his time as a civilian employee, Nortunen has provided support to the warfighter in the United States and various foreign countries. Nortunen received the Army Civilian Superior Award for his leadership efforts in retrograding 300,000 tons of munitions in Saudi Arabia in 1991.
"Larry has dramatically improved the munitions operations during his time in service," said Phillips. "He has served the JOCG with distinction as the DAC member."
Phillips presented the distinctive John L. Byrd, Jr. Excellence in Munitions Demilitarization Award to Mr. Wilfried Meyer, program manager for General Dynamics - Ordnance Technical Systems.
The finale for the symposium was a tour of the Tooele Army Depot May 9. More than 160 participants toured the demilitarization and equipment facilities including the Ammunition Peculiar Equipment Fabrication, Small Arms Pull-Apart Machine, Explosives Test/Engineering, CAD/PAD Hydrolysis, and Supercritical Water Oxidation facilties.
"This was the first year for DAC to solely host the symposium," said Dottie Olson, chief of research and development division within the DAC Technology Directorate. "I believe it was a success and I look forward to hosting future symposiums."