U.S. Army Chem Disposal Activities

A recent article entitled, “US Army burns off final chemical weapons in Utah” reports the history and current activities of this weapons demilitarization program. Some of the weapons that are being, or have been destroyed through the efforts of demilitarization program are among the nastiest haz-mat in the world including 155mm rounds containing GB and VX nerve agents, and ton containers of mustard gas and Lewisite. Chemical depot sites operated by the U.S. Army contractors Parsons, Bechtel and URS, at locations such as Johnston Island, Umatilla, OR, Toole, UT, and Newport, IN work(ed) 24/7 to eliminate these weapons. C-AT’s wireless and wired intercoms have been and continue to provide the critical communications during these operations; already more than 1.5 million use hours!

Read the Associated Press article at http://news.yahoo.com/us-army-burns-off-final-chemical-weapons-utah-174420135.html

Image: Maintenance work inside confined-space chamber wearing C-AT intercoms and headsets

Image: Maintenance work inside confined-space chamber wearing C-AT intercoms and headsets

The massive metal parts and liquid incinerators, which operate in excess of 1500o to destroy these and other chemical weapons, are maintained by entry teams of 2 to 6 members. Working inside the confined-space chambers that house the incinerators require specialized protective equipment, referred to as Demilitarization Protective Ensemble (DPE: a unique, single-use, “Level A” type PPE), to protect the entry teams from their highly toxic surroundings. Providing communications between entry teams, support staff, their supervisor and a control room requires ruggedized equipment that is able to withstand harsh conditions (heat, cold, sweat), simple to operate, reliable over long hours and easy to maintain.

 

Image: Sealing DPE Suit wearing C-AT wireless intercom and HS-9TM Headset

Image: Sealing DPE Suit wearing C-AT wireless intercom and HS-9TM Headset

Communications-Applied Technology is a manufacturer of hands free, full duplex, team wireless/wired intercoms that has been selected for use at the chemical depots and Dugway P.G. for thirty years . This radio equipment has additional applications such as Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Hazardous Material Response (Haz-Mat), and Medical Response (VIPER/NMRT) teams.

Read More about the DWIS (Digital Wireless Intercom System) used during chemical and biological weapons disposal