Military


Operation CHASE

The ocean disposal program called Operation CHASE (for "Cut Holes and Sink 'Em") loaded unwanted Army materiel on old ships which were then scuttled at sea. Most of the sinkings involved conventional ammunition, but four involved chemical munitions. The first chemical sinking was designated CHASE 8 in 1967 and disposed of mustard agent in ton containers and M55 GB-filled rockets. In June 1968, CHASE 11 disposed of GB and VX in ton containers and rockets. CHASE 12 in August 1968 disposed of mustard agent in ton containers. The last was CHASE 10, delayed for various reasons, but finally completed in August 1970. It disposed of about 3,000 tons of nerve agent rockets encased in concrete vaults. Environmental concern over the sea dumping of chemical weapons led to a public law [Marine Protection, Research & Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA) ] prohibiting further such missions.



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