Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) ordnance technicians are nearing another plant milestone with the reconfiguration of 105mm projectiles.
“As of Nov. 17, 80 percent, or 21,000 of the 28,374 projectiles, are reconfigured,” said Jacob Torres, operations superintendent, PCAPP.
Thirteen percent of the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical stockpile is made up of projectiles and mortar rounds in their original packaging. To prepare these munitions for processing through the plant’s automated system, trained ordnance technicians carefully remove the projectiles from wooden boxes and fiberboard tubes. Once out of the tube, the projectiles are palletized and returned to storage to await destruction. The process is called Baseline Reconfiguration, Torres said.
Torres said when reconfiguration activities began over a year ago, technicians did not know what to expect, but as workers have become more familiar with packaged munitions, process improvements have been made.
“You have to be very diligent with visual inspection,” he said.
A known liquid, lubricant used to seal the fuzes, is identified and monitored through visual inspection. Torres said the lubricant is a clear; whereas, mustard agent is brown.
Throughout the reconfiguration process, workers monitor the munitions for agent leaks and follow proper protocols for handling boxes potentially stained with mustard.
It is expected that the reconfiguration of 105mm projectiles will be complete in March 2018. In April, the team will begin reconfiguring 4.2-inch mortar rounds from the Pueblo stockpile.