Bombs to Bucks

More than 100 82-millimeter mortar rounds were dropped off just outside a Task Force Baghdad base camp shortly after midnight May 17. A 1st Cavalry Division spokesman said that getting these munitions off the street with make Baghdad a safer place f
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Eighty percent of the ordnance used in training by the Navy lands on the bombing ranges at the Fallon Naval Air Station. It adds up. There's an estimated 20 million tons of it scattered across the desert. There's a value to all that scrap, if it can be safely processed.
They know how to do that here. Sixty miles to the south...the Hawthorne Army Ammunition Depot. It's main mission is demilitarizing bombs, bullets, artillery shells. Now it's taking in Fallon's residue. These are BDU"S bomb dummy units....concrete filled bombs used for practice. They've been sitting out in the desert ever since they were dropped. The huge, powerful claw on this machine...called a shear....reduces them to pieces in one massive pinch. The concrete will become road fill. The shell will be sold for scrap. Those concrete filled shells contained no explosive, but a lot of stuff that comes here does.
These are 750 pound bombs cut into pieces and if you look inside you'll see a residue. Some of that residue may be explosive.
It will be cooked off in this big oven. The steel that emerges will be clean and safe....any chemical explosive neutralized.
And this is the end result. Clean scrap metal, ready to be sold. In this case, high grade aluminum. We probably shouldn't call it scrap. At 75 cents a pound, what you see is roughly million dollars worth. Once military weaponry. In a few months it could be in your home.
That kind of economy could make a lot of sense as the Pentagon looks at another round of base closures. There's confidence here Hawthorne has a future.