Officials: Kentucky Depot Has Lasting Mission

Workers unpack conventional munitions for a diagnostic scan at the Blue Grass Army Depot.

The Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD), site of the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP), conducts a variety of missions now, and officials say that will continue after the destruction of chemical weapons is complete, nearly a decade from now.

“BGAD, which has been operational since 1942, will continue its mission of enabling homeland security and supporting America’s joint warfighters by safely and securely shipping, receiving, storing, renovating, maintaining and destroying conventional munitions long after the BGCAPP mission is complete,” said Col. Norbert A. Fochs, commander, BGAD.

As a tenant, BGCAPP occupies approximately 19 acres of the depot’s 15,000-acre footprint, Fochs said. Depot conventional munition activities continue unabated around the chemical munitions destruction site at its warehouses, maintenance and shipping facilities and earth-covered munitions bunkers known as igloos.

Upon closure of the BGCAPP site, currently scheduled for 2026, the depot will receive back land responsibility, said Jeff Brubaker, site project manager, BGCAPP. The building that will have processed the chemical weapons must be destroyed per public law. He said the current igloos housing the chemical weapons will be returned to use as conventional munition bunkers.

“The Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives will provide for the site to be returned to a green-field status after the chemical weapons are destroyed or will release buildings and infrastructure not exposed to chemical agent contamination for appropriate reuse,” said Brubaker. “A reuse decision will be up to Commonwealth of Kentucky and Department of the Army officials, according to public law.”

Currently, BGAD is one of Madison County’s largest employer sites, with approximately 2,000 personnel working on the depot as either employees of BGAD or its two largest tenant organizations: the Blue Grass Chemical Activity and BGCAPP. After the chemical munitions-related tenants are gone, BGAD’s workforce will number between 700 to 800 workers, Fochs said.

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