Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) enhances national security by destroying the remaining United States chemical weapons stockpiles at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD) in Pueblo, Colorado, and Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD) in Richmond, Kentucky, in a safe and environmentally sound manner.
Established by Congressional legislation in 1996, PEO ACWA reports directly to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment through the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs. PEO ACWA is responsible for pilot testing selected alternative technologies and accelerating destruction of the chemical weapons stockpiles located at PCD and BGAD.
PEO ACWA is specifically responsible for managing the construction, systemization, operation, closure, and any contracting related to the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) and the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP). Bechtel Pueblo was selected as the systems contractor to design, construct, systemize, pilot test, operate, and close the PCAPP. Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass was selected as the systems contractor to design, construct, systemize, pilot test, operate, and close the BGCAPP. Construction of the main facilities at both sites is complete, and operations to destroy chemical weapons are underway. BGCAPP is operating one Static Detonation Chamber (SDC), a type of explosive destruction technology, while adding a second, larger unit. PCAPP is preparing to start operations using three SDC units. At both sites, the program is using this technology to destroy rounds deemed unsuitable for processing in the highly automated main facility.
BENEFIT TO THE SOLDIER
Resources allocated for the safe, secure storage of the obsolete U.S. Chemical Weapons Stockpile and the demilitarization of these weapons will be reallocated for other Department of Defense programs.
- Destroy Mustard Agent in 4.2-in mortars, and 105 mm and 155 mm projectiles
- Operational Concept: Neutralization followed by biotreatment, pilot plant augmented by SDC units to destroy rounds deemed unsuitable for processing in the highly automated main facility
- Destroy Mustard and Nerve Agents in 155 mm projectiles, 8-inch projectiles, and M55 rockets
- Operational Concept: Neutralization followed by Super Critical Water Oxidation, pilot plant augmented by SDC units to destroy rounds deemed unsuitable for processing in the highly automated main facility
- Completed destruction of half the remaining U.S. Chemical Weapons Stockpile tonnage
- BGCAPP completed destruction of all 8-inch projectiles containing GB and is preparing for the next campaign to destroy VX projectiles while operations to destroy Mustard projectiles continues in the SDC. Site preparation work to assemble second, larger SDC is ongoing.
- 4QFY20/1QFY21: PCAPP completed their first major campaign, destruction of more than 290,000 155 mm projectiles containing Mustard agent
- FY20–FY23: Per Congressional mandate both sites are to complete destruction no later than December 31, 2023