Washington DC [US]July 8 (ANI): US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the US has successfully completed the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile. He said the development marked an important step forward for the Chemical Weapons Convention.
“The United States has successfully destroyed our chemical weapons stockpile, marking an important step forward for the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Blinken said on his official Twitter account.
The last munitions in the U.S. stockpile of obsolete chemical weapons have been safely destroyed, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a release. It noted that this achievement marks the destruction of all chemical weapons stockpiles declared to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.
The OPCW is the executive body of the Chemical Weapons Convention, an international arms control treaty ratified by the United States in 1997, according to the release. The treaty prohibits any country from developing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling, retaining, transferring or using chemical weapons. all members. This progress is in line with the United States’ commitment to complete destruction by September 30, 2023.
“We have a national security imperative and a moral obligation to address the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction,” said William A. Laplante, the U.S. deputy secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.
She further stated, “This is the first time an international body has verified that an entire class of declared weapons of mass destruction has been eliminated, reinforcing the United States’ commitment to creating a world free of chemical weapons.” The last bomb containing sarin nerve agent An M55 rocket was destroyed on July 7 at a Bluegrass Army base in Kentucky.
The final munitions were destroyed by a joint team led by Bechtel National and Parsons, using neutralization and explosive destruction techniques to destroy more than 100,000 mustard and nerve agent-filled projectiles and nerve agent-filled rockets. Destruction operations at the Bluegrass Armory began in June 2019 and more than 523 tons of chemical agents were safely destroyed.
U.S. Army Secretary Christine Womus called it a “big day” for the U.S. chemical demilitarization program. Warmouth further stated, “After years of design, construction, testing and operation, these obsolete weapons have been safely phased out. The Army is proud to play a key role in achieving this demilitarization.”
The destruction of the US chemical weapons stockpile began in 1990 on Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean and has contained more than 30,000 tons of chemical warfare agents stored in explosive weapons and bulk containers. By 2012, the U.S. Army had successfully destroyed weapons at six additional locations in the continental United States.
“While these stockpiles are being destroyed, additional legislation requires DoD to evaluate and demonstrate alternative technologies for destroying chemical weapons by means other than incineration,” the DoD said in a news release.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the successful implementation of alternative technologies resulted in the safe destruction of remaining chemical weapons stored at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado and the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky.
Deborah G. Rosenbloom, Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Program, highlighted the dedication of the chemical weapons workforce. She applauds the efforts of leadership and staff to achieve this “remarkable milestone”.
“The resolve and determination to overcome the challenge has been outstanding,” Rosenbloom said in a release. “This achievement is a testament to our credibility with the international community and helps push the US government to close this exceptional chapter of US military history.” ’” (Arnie)
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