UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Anniston Chemical Activity (ANCA)
Anniston, Alabama

The Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) was one of nine Army installations in the United States that stored chemical weapons. In September, 2011, the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Activity (CMA) completed the safe elimination of ANADís chemical weapons stockpile. CMA worked in partnership with Alabama state and local government agencies, as well as federal partners like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to safeguard the local community and protect the environment as it stored and disposed of these chemical weapons. CMA will continue this partnership as it tests, decontaminates, and dismantles all areas of the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF) that were exposed to chemical agent during the munitions destruction process. Many of the ANCDF facilities will be razed while functional buildings never contaminated will be turned over to ANAD.

Since 1948, Anniston Army Depot Southeast Industrial Area (SIA) has been repairing and modifying combat vehicles and artillery equipment. The Anniston Army Depot site comprises 600 acres in the southeastern area of the Nichols Industrial Complex. This area consists of several shipping and warehouse buildings that have been used since 1948 for the repair and modification of combat vehicles and artillery equipment. The depot's initial mission was limited to ammunition storage, refurbishment, testing, and decommissioning of combat vehicles and various types of military equipment.

The Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility was located 50 miles east of Birmingham, Alabama, and eight miles west of Anniston. The stockpile at Anniston was maintained on 762 acres in the northeastern portion of the Anniston Army Depot, and held 2,254 tons, or 7.4 percent of the original US stockpile of chemical weapons. Anniston's stockpile consisted of cartridges, projectiles, ton containers, rockets and mines containing the nerve agents GB and VX, and the blister agent HB, more commonly referred to as or mustard agent.

Before the Army can operate the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, it must test the furnaces and pollution abatement systems with surrogates. A surrogate is a chemical that is as difficult or more difficult to treat than the agent itself. The surrogates have rather exotic names, such as tetrachloroethylene, trichlorobenzene, ethylene glycol, monochlorobenzene and hexachloroethane. The trial burns for these surrogates must show a destruction and removal efficiency of 99.9999 percent. Only when this rigorous standard had been demonstrated would the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), the state agency which regulates the Army's chemical demilitarization program in Alabama, give the go ahead for the Army to operate the facility.

    AGENT        ITEM                  QUANTITY   POUNDS
    HT-Blister   4.2-inch Cartridges   183,552   1,064,600
    HD-Blister   4.2-inch Cartridges    75,360     452,160
    HD-Blister   105mm Cartridges       23,064      68,500
    HD-Blister   155mm Projectiles      17,643     206,420
    HD-Blister   Ton Containers            108     185,080
    GB-Nerve     105mm Cartridges       74,014     120,640
    GB-Nerve     105mm Projectiles          26          40
    GB-Nerve     155mm Projectiles       9,600      62,400
    GB-Nerve     8-inch Projectiles     16,026     232,380
    GB-Nerve     M55 Rockets            42,738     457,300
    GB-Nerve     M56 Rocket Warheads        24         260
    VX-Nerve     155mm Projectiles     139,581     837,480
    VX-Nerve     Mines                  44,131     463,380
    VX-Nerve     M55 Rockets            35,636     356,360
    VX-Nerve     M56 Rocket Warheads        26         260
    Disposal Schedule:
    Construction:     1997
    Systemization:    2000
    Operations:       2002
    Closure:          2006

Transition from backwoods forest to a high density industrial complex defines the life span of Anniston Army Depot. In February 1941 construction began on the first 500 storage igloos, 20 warehouses and several administrative buildings. The maintenance and storage of chemical munitions began in 1963. The depot has 1,400 ammunition storage igloos of which 155 are devoted to chemical munitions and 478 are Stradleys designed specifically for missiles and other bulky items.

ANAD is ideally located to support the multi-missions associated with general supplies, ammunition, and defense weaponry. The depot's rural location eliminates encroachment as an inhibitor to expansion, while its northern boundary, which is Fort McClellan's 22,000 acre Pelham Range, supports ANAD's ammunition storage and firing range capabilities. Geographically, ANAD is located within 125 miles of one of its primary customers - the Army Missile Command, and is 430 miles from the Afloat Preposition Stock Program in Charleston, SC. ANAD's deployment network places an interstate highway 5 miles from the depot, a railhead on the depot, and a C-5 capable airport 11 miles away.

In 1952, the depot was assigned a maintenance mission for the overhaul and repair of combat vehicles. Shortly thereafter, the small arms mission was assigned to Anniston. With the advent of the sixties, the depot was involved with the M47, M48, M48A1, M48A2C, M42, M56, M59, M19, and M38A1-D tank programs as well as a plethora of light-tracked and wheeled vehicle systems. Beginning in the early seventies, overhaul of the M551 Sheridan began and in 1975 the depot was selected to overhaul and convert the M48A1 to the M48A5 model. The M60A1 to M60A3 conversion program began in 1979. As the decade of the eighties began, ANAD continued maintenance of the M88, M728, and the M60 AVLB vehicles, as well as adding maintenance of missile systems and the M1 Abrams tank - the newest addition to the Army inventory.

ANAD is located in northeast Alabama, approximately 10 miles west of the city of Anniston and Fort McClellan, another active US Army installation. The small community of Bynum lies on the depot's southern boundary. The north boundary is Pelham Range, a wooded operational training area owned by Fort McClellan. The east and west boundaries are bordered by lightly populated rural lands. A short distance to the south is Interstate 20, a major east-west artery that provides easy access to two of the south's largest cities, Birmingham, Alabama (50 miles west) and Atlanta, Georgia (90 miles east).

ANAD occupies 18,113 acres, with 96 maintenance buildings, 82 shops, and 1.6M SF of shop space. The total facility value is $176M, with the maintenance facility valued at $38M and plant equipment valued at $138M. The main depot covers 15,279 acres and contains the major functions of ammunition, base operations, maintenance, and supply. In addition to the main depot, there is a separate inactive ammunition storage area known as the Coosa River Storage Annex. This 2,834 acres is located approximately 12 miles southwest of the main reservation on Talladega County Highway 93.

Work force end strength as of 31 July 1996 was 2,647. The average number of military personnel assigned to ANAD is six. Having an annual operating budget of $263M, ANAD impacts the local economy with an approximate $120M payroll; $4M for utilities, and $27M in local procurement.

Anniston Chemical Activity at the Anniston Army Depot is responsible for maintaining and storing approximately 7% of the nation's original chemical stockpile.

This is a munitions storage igloo at the Anniston Chemical Activity. The igloo stores and secures munitions, including chemical weapons slated for future disposal.

Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility

Chemical Weapons Storage Area

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 10-09-2013 14:09:59 ZULU