64 Specialists from Aberdeen Are Headed to Syria to Neutralize Chemical Weapons

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The MV Cape Ray, a 1970s-built ship and site of Aberdeen's newest mobile facilities.
The MV Cape Ray, a 1970s-built ship and site of Aberdeen’s newest mobile facilities.

Let’s call it The Dirty Five Dozen Plus Four. The Baltimore Sun reports that 64 specialists from Aberdeen Proving Ground are “at the center of an international mission to neutralize up to 700 tons of chemical agents surrendered by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.”

For this very special mission, the chemists, environmental engineers, and others have adapted their normally land-bound weapons-destroying operation for the open sea. With no country willing to allow the stockpile to be neutralized within its borders, the 648-foot ship carrying the new Field Deployable Hydrolysis System will make it possible to conduct the four-month labor in international waters.

Officials are hopeful that this new convenient mobile system will make it easier for other countries with weapons stockpiles to surrender them to be destroyed.

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