supervision than the office of the Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization will be capable of providing without augmentation. A shortage of skilled staff could have safety implications for the program, as well as its more obvious implications for program slowdown with attendant increased risk.
Recommendation 21. The Army should establish a program to incrementally hire (or assign military) personnel to ensure that staff growth is consistent with the workload and with technical and operational challenges. These additional personnel must be assigned and trained before the project office gets deeply involved in addressing each challenge.
The emphasis on cumulative total risk reduction in the selection of technologies for the disposal of the chemical agent and munitions stockpile leads to a strategy that also happens to have favorable cost and schedule consequences. This follows from the unusual circumstance that time and money spent in search of a better technology are likely to result in program delays and an increase in cumulative total risk, whatever the characteristics of any new technology. Although this conclusion remains to be confirmed with updated risk analyses, the existing evidence is strong enough to recommend that the disposal program proceed in parallel with the analyses and without deliberate delay. It is also clear that the updating of risk analyses should be undertaken promptly.
Through Operational Verification Testing, the baseline system has a demonstrated safety record, and means have been recommended to reinforce that safety. Of the alternatives, neutralization offers the greatest direct experience with agent and, together with a process to dispose of neutralized products, the greatest potential for utilization without a needless increase in overall risk. The Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program should not be used as a means for experimental development and demonstration of new waste disposal technologies for other applications.
It should be reemphasized that the Stockpile Committee recommends proceeding expeditiously entirely on the basis of minimizing total cumulative risk. The committee does not endorse programs that would increase risk. Others who may wish to delay the schedule in order to develop and prove alternative technologies, or to delay for any other reason, should proceed in the full knowledge that they do so at the expense of increased risk.