RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) — On Wednesday, leaders both local and national came together to celebrate a historical moment at the Blue Grass Army Depot, commemorating the destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile.
It was a big day at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Richmond, as everyone celebrated the destruction of the last chemical weapons on July 7, 2023. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Gov. Andy Beshear both came to celebrate the historic occasion.
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“Convincing the Army to change course and use the safest disposal method wasn’t easy. And this community was pivotal to its success,” McConnell said.
“Today is such a celebration of what hard work and working together can do for this nation and for this Commonwealth,” Beshear added.
These weapons were destroyed at the Blue Grass Army Depot, and it required the combined efforts of a lot of different parties. Michael Abaie is the program executive officer of the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, and he said the results came just in time.
“We in the Department had made a commitment to you all in the community, as you’ve all heard, that we will destroy these munitions safely, and we did. I’m honored to be here to say that we had met our commitment, and we completed it before the treaty commitment date of 30 September of 2023,” Abaie said.
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Public safety is the name of the game, and part of today’s celebration focused on that. Deborah Rosenblum is the assistant secretary of defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs. She along with others, applauded the efforts to destroy the weapons in a safe way for the community.
“Throughout this time, this community ensured the maximum protection of the public, the personnel involved in the destruction effort, as well as the environment, all of which are top priorities for the U.S. Department of Defense. Everyone remained committed and focused until that last and final munition was destroyed,” Rosenblum said.