.

Edgewood Team to Help Destroy Chemical Weapons from Syria

Aberdeen Proving Ground chemists join forces with sailors on a 90-day mission.

Joint Project Manager for Elimination at Edgewood Rob Malone joined Captain Rick Jordan and Edgewood Chemical Engineer Adam Baker spoke to reporters in Portsmouth, VA, on Jan. 2. (Courtesy of the Department of Defense, Photo by C. Todd Lopez)
Joint Project Manager for Elimination at Edgewood Rob Malone joined Captain Rick Jordan and Edgewood Chemical Engineer Adam Baker spoke to reporters in Portsmouth, VA, on Jan. 2. (Courtesy of the Department of Defense, Photo by C. Todd Lopez)
Personnel from Aberdeen Proving Ground's Edgewood campus are aboard a ship this month disassembling Syria's chemical weapons.

The mission of the U.N.-sanctioned trip is to dispose of 700 metric tons of material on a vessel called the Cape Ray, according to the Army News Service.

Chemical weapons have been destroyed at sites on land like Aberdeen Proving Ground and Pine Bluff Arsenal in Alabama, but using a ship as the venue is a first for the Army, the news service reported.

The Edgewood Chemical Biological Center worked for months to develop a prototype that would allow for destruction of the chemical weapons in a contained environment on board a ship, and on Jan. 17 personnel embarked on the 90-day mission, the news service said.

After sailing for two weeks, Cape Ray will arrive in the Mediterranean to accept the chemical weapons, according to the American Forces Press Service.

The Cape Ray will rendezvous with a Danish ship at an undisclosed Italian port, where the weapons transfer will occur, according to the Army News Service.

The liquids will be loaded aboard the ship and then chemically "demilitarized," Rob Malone, joint project manager for elimination at Edgewood, told the Army News Service.

More than 40 staff from the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center are on board, participating in the mission, according to the Department of Defense.

Syria agreed to release its stockpile of chemical weapons after the U.S. threatened a strike on the heels of a sarin gas attack that killed 1,4000 civilians in Syria in August, The Washington Post reported.

The attack was the "worst use of chemical weapons on civilians in the 21st century," UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon said, according to a report from Al Jazeera.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »