The U.S. Army and its contractors use the utmost care when handling chemical weapons in order to protect workers, the public and the environment. A major part of this commitment to safety and security is the Army’s Personnel Reliability Program (PRP). The purpose of this program is to ensure that each person who performs duties involving chemical agents meets and maintains the highest standards of reliability.
Many of the workers who currently store and safeguard chemical weapons at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot are in jobs that require them to maintain PRP standards. Many of the employees at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) and the PCAPP Static Detonation Chambers facility will also have to meet the strict requirements of the PRP.
Determining whether a person qualifies to work in a PRP position includes initial evaluations at the time of hiring and regular evaluations once the person is employed. This evaluation includes medical tests and an extensive background investigation.
The Army uses the following standards, not all-inclusive, and strict requirements to determine if an individual is suitable for the PRP:
- Physical competence, mental alertness and technical proficiency commensurate with duty requirements
- Evidence of dependability in accepting responsibilities and effectively performing these responsibilities in an approved manner
- Flexibility in adjusting to changes in the working environment
- Evidence of good social adjustment, emotional stability and ability to exercise sound judgment in meeting adverse or emergency situations
- Positive attitude toward chemical duties and the PRP
To determine if an individual is suitable for the PRP, the Army looks for potentially disqualifying information. This includes any information regarding, but not limited to, a person’s physical, mental or emotional status. Conduct or character, both on and off duty, and at any time during employment, which may cast doubt about an individual’s ability or reliability to perform chemical duties, is also taken into account.
The PRP helps ensure that workers employed at the chemical weapons destruction plant are reliable, effective and competent to perform the important mission of safely destroying the chemical weapons stockpile.