The Military Sealift Command’s container ship MV Cape Ray will undergo final sea trials, as part of mission preparation aimed to destroy Syrian chemical weapons, Pentagon spokesman Army Colonel Steve Warren said.
During the sea trials, the crew will validate the ship and its field-deployable hydrolysis system capability in various sea states.
"The crew conducted several training drills and assessed all systems aboard," Warren said.
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The ship will undergo final outfitting prior to deploying to an as-yet undisclosed location in the Mediterranean Sea scheduled late this week or early next week.
The field-deployable hydrolysis system has been designed in response to request for US assistance in destroying Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.
Capable of converting bulk amounts of chemical warfare agents into compounds not usable as weapons, the system achieves a 99.9% destruction efficiency.
Prior to arriving at its destination, the Cape Ray, accommodating a mix of 35 civilian mariners, 64 chemical specialists from the US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, a security team and representatives from US European Command, is expected to be underway for about two weeks, Warren said.
Destroying the chemical weapons is expected to take around 90 days.
Image: tanks aboard container ship MV Cape Ray (T-AKR 9679). Photo: courtesy of US Army.