Amb Degnan Hands Over PSSM Buildings in Georgia
The milestone was marked by an official handover ceremony on 22 May 2023, attended by representatives of Georgian Ministry of Defense, U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, STC DELTA and ITF.
Due to its strategic geographic location, Georgia is one of the countries that inherited a notable stockpile of munitions from Soviet Union, ranging from small arms and light weapons, artillery and mortar projectiles, to aircraft rockets and missiles. These outdated, unserviceable and hazardous for storage ammunition pose a serious threat to human security due to potential inadequate storage conditions and expired shelf life.
ITF partnered with STC DELTA with the aim to establish national capacities that will in the future allow sustainable and comprehensive disposal of outdated and dangerous for storage weapons and ammunition. With the longstanding and generous support from U.S. Department of State (PM/WRA), ITF and STC DELTA started the project in July 2021 with CWD activities and later with PSSM upgrades in April 2022. Dedoplistskaro base PSSM upgrades ended in May 2023 with 6 new PSSM and CWD buildings, while 1 existing building was renovated and upgraded. This will enable STC DELTA to safely dispose over 1,600 U.S. tons of outdated and hazardous ammunition.
The handover ceremony started with a short welcome address and opening speeches by Georgian Deputy Minister of Defense Mr. Khaindrava, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia H.E. Ms Degnan, General Director of STC DELTA Mr. Loladze and ITF Director Ambassador Lovrenčič. This was followed by an official handover, ribbon cutting and visit across the base.
During the visit, the focus was given to observance of newly established buildings for disposal of artillery projectiles, RDX projectiles, disposal of ammunition containing shrapnel, multipurpose workshop areas and newly constructed ammunition storage. STC DELTA took this opportunity to directly showcase active disposal process of artillery projectiles and small arms ammunition.
ITF would like to thank U.S. Department of State and the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, which enabled the project that increases the safety of all Georgians and grants Georgia the ability to establish and improve their national capacities in addressing outdated and hazardous ammunition.