Almost three-fourths of Syria’s chemical weapons have been destroyed.
A round of respectful cheers, please, for the military and civilian specialists aboard the U.S. container ship MV Cape Ray, all 650 feet of it, afloat on the Mediterranean Sea and given the task of neutralizing the chemical materials. The 35 mariners, 64 chemical specialists, a security team, and a contingent from U.S. European Command have been at it 24 hours a day since July 7, according to the Defense Department.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has confirmed the crew has destroyed 74.2 percent of Syria’s chemical stockpile - which originally amounted to 620 tons, according to figures released last week.
In the words of the sages, way to go. Follow the ship here
This is old-school, can-do effort. The ship has an onboard, seagoing hydrolysis system specially modeled after systems once developed by the former Aberdeen Chemical Demilitarization Facility - which had the fantastic acronym of ABCDF before it closed in 2007.
The hydrolysis process essentially mixes the bad chemicals with neutralizing agents; there are further treatments until the material is safe enough for standard shipping containers, and ultimately, commercial waste-treatment facilities.