Modernizing Willy Pete
Shaw Environmental Inc. in Stoughton, MA received a $23 million firm-fixed-price contract for the design, purchase, and installation of equipment to modernize the white phosphorous facility at Pine Bluff Arsenal, AR. White phosphorous is an extremely effective smoke generator, especially for small size devices like grenades or mortars. It also has some uses as an incendiary, and its combustability in warm weather or upon handling can make it dangerous.
According to GlobalSecurity.org, Pine Bluff’s original mission was as a manufacturing center for magnesium and thermite munitions…
During World War II and the years following, the arsenal’s manufacturing capabilities continued to expand to manufacture, load and store war gases; and to fill smoke and white phosphorus munitions. The expansion included facilities to manufacture and store various types of chemical-filled weapons.
Currently, it manufactures chemical, smoke, riot control, incendiary, and pyrotechnic mixes and munitions. Limited production facilities also are used to manufacture chemical defense items such as clothing and protective masks. Pine Bluff is the only active site at which white phosphorous-filled weapons are loaded.
There were 37 bids solicited for this contract on May 27, 2005, and two bids were received. Work is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2007. The U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command, at Pine Bluff, AR issued the contract (W911RP-05-C-0032).