Army chemical depot deactivated

A deactivation ceremony has been held by the U.S. Army to close the Newport Chemical Depot in Newport, Indiana.

The closure of the Newport Chemical Depot marks the first full installation closure for the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency.

“Today marks a significant achievement for CMA that would not have been possible without the expertise of past and present employees,” CMA Director Conrad Whyne said. “I am extremely proud and grateful for the hard work and dedication the Newport team has put forth through all projects on this site.”

The closure included the casing of the depot's colors, which is a symbolic ceremony that sees the depot's flag rolled up and cased to signify the official deactivation of the installation.

The Newport Chemical Depot was established in 1941 as the Wabash River Ordnance Works. The depot took part in multiple military defense projects, including the production of RDX, Heavy Water and VX nerve agent production, storage and destruction.

“Safety has always been the cornerstone of our projects at Newport and will be our lasting legacy. We built, operated and now closed this depot with safety as the top priority,” NECD Commander Lt. Col. William Hibner said. “Our deactivation marks the end of our official history. However, it is also a step forward for the history of CMA, the Army and the country."

Five CMA storage facilities remain in Anniston, Ala.; Pine Bluff, Ark.; Umatilla, Ore.; Tooele, Utah; Pueblo, Colo. and Richmond, Ky.