SEPTEMBER 3, 2021 – Blue Grass Chemical Activity, a tenant on the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Kentucky, recently delivered the final mustard projectiles in storage to the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant for destruction, moving the United States one step closer to meeting Congressional and International deadlines.
“BGCA has worked hard the past two years to support delivery of mustard rounds to the destruction plant,” said Lt. Col. Edward Williams, BGCA’s Commander. “The dedication and resilience of every BGCA employee involved in the munitions movement ensured our success in this mission.”
Mustard munitions arrived at the depot in the 1940s. Since then, BGAD and BGCA personnel have kept those munitions safe and secure. Beginning in June 2019, teams of toxic material handlers, inventory management specialists, real time analytical platform operators, quality assurance specialists and ammunition surveillance inspectors have monitored, moved, strapped, counted, inspected and loaded mustard projectiles into enhanced on-site containers for transport to the destruction plant.
The partnership between BGCA and BGCAPP personnel is integral to the success of this mission. BGCA chemical crews are joined by BGCAPP personnel for movement operations and work together to eradicate the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile in Kentucky.
“Every time an igloo is emptied, it’s a visible example of being one step closer to completing chemical weapons destruction at the plant,” said Dr. Candace Coyle, BGCAPP site project manager. “Since the first mustard munitions were delivered in June 2019 until now, our mission success is not possible without our partner and teammates at the Blue Grass Chemical Activity.”
BGCA is one of two sites charged with the safe, secure and environmentally responsible storage and delivery support of the nations’ remaining chemical weapons stockpile. The other chemical stockpile is stored at the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado.
BGCA continues to support the delivery of VX rockets to BGCAPP for destruction and the return of drained rocket warheads. The final destruction campaign is slated to begin in summer 2022. Chemical weapons destruction at BGAD is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2023.
Story by Jana Felts
Army Chemical Materials Activity