Toxic Materials Handlers from the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot delivered the final 1,800 4.2-inch mortar rounds to the Pueblo plant May 25, for destruction in the main plant.
“This day was a long time coming,” said Walton Levi, site project manager, Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant, or PCAPP. “The safe transport of munitions has been a critical component of the demilitarization process. The partnership between the Pueblo plant and depot workforces has safely and successfully delivered more than 770,000 munitions to their final destruction.”
The last pallets were loaded onto 13 Modified Ammunition Vehicles, custom-designed cargo trucks equipped with monitoring and filtration ports to detect traces of chemical agent and provide early warning in the unlikely event of an agent release. The final mortar rounds were transported to a Munitions Service Magazine to await processing in the main plant destruction facilities.
“This milestone brings us ever closer to our goal,” said Kim Jackson, plant manager, PCAPP. “I couldn’t be prouder of the PCAPP team for their perseverance and dedication.”
Stored at the depot since the 1950s, the mortar rounds comprise the final destruction campaign at the Pueblo plant. The delivery of the last 4.2-inch mortar rounds is one of the few remaining steps toward completely eliminating the chemical weapons stockpile in Colorado, Levi said.
A final delivery of overpacked munitions to the Static Detonation Chamber complex is scheduled to occur mid to late-June. Destruction of all munitions is targeted to occur by the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty commitment of Sept. 30, 2023. U.S. Public Law mandates stockpile destruction by Dec. 31, 2023.