Ordnance technicians carefully reconfigure some mustard agent-filled munitions stored at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD) before processing in the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP).
“Munitions in their original packaging will require special handling called Baseline Reconfiguration,” said Jacob Torres, operations superintendent, PCAPP. “Baseline Reconfiguration is the process of removing energetics from boxed munitions.”
Thirteen percent of the stockpile, including 105mm projectiles and all 4.2-inch mortar rounds, are in wooden boxes and fiberboard tubes. To prepare these munitions for processing through the plant’s Projectile/Mortar Disassembly system, the 105mm projectiles are removed from the boxes and tubes. Once out of the tube, the projectile is ready for destruction. However, mortar rounds will require an additional step. Ordnance technicians will manually remove some components from the mortars, while a Twin Spindle Removal Machine will remove additional components, Torres said.
“We’ve been practicing for a while and we’re definitely prepared for Baseline Reconfiguration,” said Gilbert Rodriguez, ordnance technician, PCAPP.
The munitions are monitored for agent leaks throughout the reconfiguration process.
“We monitor at the igloo before we move the munitions; we monitor at the building before we unpack the rounds and we monitor before the reconfigured rounds are returned to PCD for storage,” said Michael Rondeau, project management engineer.
Baseline Reconfiguration started Oct. 3 to prepare these munitions for eventual destruction at the pilot plant.