The first of four crews processed explosive rounds in the Static Detonation Chamber at the Blue Grass plant Feb. 15.
“The process went very smoothly, from gathering the B586 conventional ammunition from the service magazine to boxing them for placement into the automated destruction process,” said Chad Hieronimus, shift plant manager, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “C Crew processed six individual rounds Feb. 15 and the crew and equipment each performed as expected.”
Since the chamber will destroy mustard munitions 24/7, four different crews will operate equipment using conventional ammunition for training. The crews had previously trained with inert test munitions and took a step closer to operations with the processing of these rounds, Hieronimus said.
“The activity is two-fold,” Hieronimus said. “The first round processed, or test shot, will provide information to commission the equipment for use in operations and then the four crews will each get a chance to follow operational procedures with explosively configured munitions before handling chemical-agent munitions.”
This testing is scheduled to conclude by the end of February. The next step for the Static Detonation Chamber will be at the end of February when crews begin operating the plant on a day-to-day basis exactly as it will be run during agent operations, which are currently scheduled to begin in June.