Blue Grass, Pueblo Teams Recognized by Arms Control Group

Two Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant workers move one of the final GB nerve agent M55 rockets onto a conveyor to start the destruction process in the Unpack Area July 7, 2023. The last weapon was destroyed that day, and the plant is now in the closure phase.
Two Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant workers move one of the final GB nerve agent M55 rockets onto a conveyor to start the destruction process in the Unpack Area July 7, 2023. The last weapon was destroyed that day, and the plant is now in the closure phase.

Workers and technicians at the U.S. Army’s Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado and the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky were named 2023 Arms Control Persons of the Year by the independent, nongovernmental Arms Control Association.

“The successful work of the people and community watchdogs in and around the Pueblo Chemical Depot and the Blue Grass Army Depot is an important reminder that even after a major treaty, like the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, is concluded, there is hard, behind-the-scenes work to be done in order to ensure full implementation and ongoing compliance,” said Daryl Kimball, Arms Control Association executive director, in the news release announcing the recognition.

The honor was announced Jan. 12, 2024, after a month of voting by thousands of participants from dozens of countries, according to the association. The contest has been held each year since 2007.

“This is a well-deserved tribute to the workers’ years of hard work, dedication and commitment to safety,” said Shannon Pendergrass, site project manager, Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. “Everyone involved had a part in making the world a safer place.”

“This award definitely is a much-deserved honor for our workforce,” said Walton Levi, site project manager, Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. “Given the history and track record of the PCAPP team, this award validates and recognizes what we accomplished for the nation and the world.”

Under the supervision of the Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, the last mustard munition was destroyed by the Pueblo crew June 22. The Blue Grass team destroyed the last GB nerve agent M55 rocket July 7. The work fulfilled the U.S. commitment to the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention treaty. It marked the end of not only the declared U.S. stockpile but also declared chemical weapons stockpiles across the world.

Nine individuals and groups were nominated by the Arms Control Association staff and board of directors for the annual honor. To learn more about the recognition, other nominees and past winners, view the association’s website.  

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