By Frank Lockwood

Staff writer

HERMISTON — Umatilla Chemical Depot’s Annual Preparedness Exercise took place in the afternoon and evening May 8, instead of earlier in the day as in years past.

On site to observe was the incoming Commander LTC Fred Pellisier, who will replace LTC Thomas Woloszyn on July 26.

No real chemical agent was involved in the exercise. According to the scenario, workers were adding rockets to an igloo of 2000 rockets — all simulated, not actual live rockets. Workers were moving pallets, each of which held 15 rockets, when two “fell off” and detonated, causing all 15 to leak. The chemical spill simulated GB (Sarin), a volatile, rapid-acting lethal nerve agent although, for safe training, hydraulic fluid was used instead.

The depot uses stage props and theatrics make-up to make the injuries seem realistic to participants. (For the full story see the May 15, 2001 issue of the Hermiston Herald.)

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