Munitions handlers started training with inert projectiles in the Blue Grass Explosive Destruction Technology (EDT) Service Magazine in September to support upcoming operations.
The projectiles, known as Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives Test Equipment (ATE), will be used to test the equipment, processes and handling techniques of both the main plant and EDT project. This delivery will allow EDT crews to begin training on the placement, movement and other handling of these projectiles while the facility is being completed and tested, said Terry Staggs, EDT plant support specialist, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass.
“The receipt of the ATE accelerates our schedule to begin operator training and certifications earlier,” said Staggs. “This allows us to train longer, allowing the crew to get more hands-on experience and proficiency before the munitions destruction begins.”
“This activity is important progress toward the start of EDT agent operations we expect in late 2017,” said Jeff Brubaker, site project manager, Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. “Having well-trained personnel is essential to our mission to destroy the Blue Grass stockpile.”
The EDT project has taken possession of 496 155mm ATE projectiles and six empty Department of Transportation storage bottles, said Staggs. Technicians will train on several functions involving the ATE, including munitions warehousing and stacking within the EDT Service Magazine, munitions inspection and accountability duties, over-pack training, processing and feeding projectiles into the Static Detonation Chamber and handling processed scrap steel projectile bodies.