The Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, or PEO ACWA, is responsible for the safe and environmentally sound destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot, Kentucky, and the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot, Colorado. Critical to preparing the workforce destroying those munitions is the use of simulated munitions known as ACWA Test Equipment, or ATE.
ATE munitions are described as both dummy and inert. In ATE terminology, a “dummy” can be either solid or hollow and resembles the shape of a munition without moving or internal parts. The term “inert” means the pieces contain no energetic or explosive materials.
ATE are used to test processing systems, assist in validating procedures and train workers for both the main plant and the Blue Grass Static Detonation Chamber before actual chemical agent munitions are processed. Either empty, filled with water or filled with ethylene glycol, they look, weigh and handle like real chemical weapons, but do not contain explosives or chemical agent.
During training, these simulated munitions are handled with the same care as real munitions and will make for safer working conditions. During training, some ATE munitions are destroyed while others are refurbished or recycled for repeated use.