Ceremony to mark deactivation of chemical activity program


Pine Bluff Chemical Activity will celebrate “a job well done” Tuesday morning with a ceremony commemorating its deactivation.

PBCA, a tenant command of the Pine Bluff Arsenal, provided the maintenance, storage and transport of approximately 12 percent of the nation’s original chemical weapons stockpile beginning with the operation’s provisional establishment on Dec. 1, 1994. PBCA ensured maximum protection of the Army installation and community population and provided international treaty compliance during the stockpile’s demilitarization process, which concluded in 2010.

Working with the Pine Bluff Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, PBCA personnel transported the original inventory of chemical weapons in 5,879 deliveries to PBCDF, where the munitions and their containers were incinerated. The stockpile included a total of more than 123,000 rockets, landmines and ton containers.

Only a limited number of PBCA employees remain on duty as the command winds down to closure, and those workers will be on hand Tuesday at the private ceremony slated for 10 a.m. in Creasy Auditorium. Former PBCA employees are also invited to attend. At its peak, PBCA counted more than 100 civilian employees.

Speakers at the ceremony will include Army Chemical Materials Agency Director Don Barclay, Pine Bluff Arsenal Commander Col. David Musgrave and PBCA Civilian Executive Steve Lowery.

The establishment of PBCA, along with like organizations at the other stockpile sites, was the Army’s final step in implementing a single command to manage the nation’s chemical and biological defense programs. Probably the most publicly-recognized PBCA component was the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program or CSEPP.

CSEPP was charged with establishing and maintaining a comprehensive emergency planning and preparedness program implementing preventive measures designed to render the stockpile less susceptible to accident scenarios. Arkansas’ CSEPP represented a partnership of 10 counties, two cities, some private agencies, Arkansas state government, the Army, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.