The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) safely destroyed the chemical weapons stockpile stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot, or BGAD. Located near Richmond, Kentucky, the depot provides conventional ammunition services, chemical defense equipment management and manufacturing capabilities for the Department of Defense. The Blue Grass Chemical Activity, a tenant of the 15,000-acre depot, was responsible for safekeeping the chemical weapons stockpile stored at the depot. Together, the U.S. Army and the community surrounding BGAD worked in a committed partnership to support the safe destruction of the stockpile.
The Blue Grass chemical weapons stockpile was originally comprised of 523 U.S. tons of weaponized blister and nerve agent in M55 rockets, 155mm projectiles and 8-inch projectiles. Destruction operations began in June 2019. The last munitions were destroyed July 7, 2023. The Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives was responsible for completing stockpile destruction operations by the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty commitment of Sept. 30, 2023. U.S. Public Law mandated stockpile destruction by Dec. 31, 2023.
8-INCH PROJECTILES, M426 (GB)
Campaign Status: Complete | First munition destroyed: Jan. 17, 2020, Last munition destroyed: May 11, 2020
On May 11, 2020, the last 8-inch projectiles were safely destroyed in Kentucky. Each 8-inch projectile weighed 203 pounds and was filled with approximately 14.5 pounds of liquified GB nerve agent. The agent was drained from the munitions and neutralized. Metal parts were decontaminated and recycled in accordance with all environmental laws and regulations.
155MM PROJECTILES, M110 (H)
Campaign Status: Complete | First munition destroyed: June 7, 2019, Last munition destroyed: Sept. 4, 2021
On Sept. 4, 2021, the last M110 155mm projectiles were safely destroyed in Kentucky. The M110 155mm projectile was made of forged steel and filled with 11.7 pounds of blistering agent H, also known as mustard. In total, the munition, which contained a burster, weighed more than 94 pounds. BGCAPP destroyed 155mm projectiles filled with mustard agent using the Static Detonation Chamber. Remaining metal parts were recycled after the munitions were destroyed.
155MM PROJECTILE, M121A1 (VX)
Campaign Status: Complete | First munition destroyed: Jan. 10, 2021, Last munition destroyed: May 28, 2021
On May 28, 2021, the last M121A1 155mm projectiles were safely destroyed in Kentucky. The M121A1 155mm projectile was made of forged steel and filled with six pounds of VX nerve agent. In total, the munition weighed more than 98 pounds. BGCAPP destroyed these weapons using neutralization. Metal parts were decontaminated and recycled in accordance with all environmental laws and regulations.
115MM CHEMICAL ROCKETS, M55 (GB or VX)
VX Campaign Status: Complete | First munition destroyed: July 9, 2021, Last munition destroyed: April 19, 2022
GB Campaign Status: Complete| First munition destroyed July 6, 2022, Last munition destroyed: July 7, 2023
On April 19, 2022, the last M55 115mm rockets containing VX nerve agent were safely destroyed in Kentucky. On July 7, 2023, the last M55 115mm rockets containing GB nerve agent were destroyed in Kentucky. The M55 115mm rocket consisted of a chemical agent filled M56 warhead attached to a M67 rocket motor. It had a diameter of 115 millimeters (4.44 inches) and together with its M441 shipping and firing tube container, weighed a total of 77.5 pounds. The warhead was filled with 10 pounds of VX nerve agent or 10.7 pounds of GB nerve agent. The majority of the rockets were destroyed using neutralization. Overpacked rockets and rockets not suitable for processing in the main plant were destroyed in the Static Detonation Chamber 2000.