The U.S. Army has reached out to the public after revealing they are on the search for someone to deactivate no fewer than 15,000 obsolete artillery shells.
The shells were originally used as ammunition for the Navy's biggest battleship guns, but now need to be disassembled and rendered safe. Sadly, this doesn’t include shooting at them with air pistols for good shooting practice!
The Army has stated is has 15,595 16-inch artillery shells sitting at Crane Army Ammunition Activity in Crane, Indiana, and all of these shells were initially intended for use in the 16"/50 caliber main guns of America’s Iowa-class battleships, the U.S.S. New Jersey for example, which were the biggest guns ever mounted on a U.S. Navy ship. But due to their retirement, after first being commissioned for World War II, they no longer remain in service as of the end of the Cold War.
So now the U.S. Army needs to take care of the surplus shells that would have otherwise been smashing holes in Charlie’s battleships. The stockpile contains not just practice rounds, but armour piercing shells, and high capacity high explosive rounds too. Each armour piercing shell weighs 1,225kilograms and is filled with either 19kg of explosives or as many as 666 grenades. Each high capacity round weighs 932 kilograms, with 70kg of high explosive and an 862kg steel body.
The Army has said that it requires these shells to be "demilitarised", or broken down into smaller parts to stop them being used as originally planned, to you and I. it’s thought they’ll be cut apart or crushed for scrap, which is a shame as we think they’d make some cool memorabilia!
The army has yet to announce how they want people to get involved with their work, but as soon as we hear anything we’ll be sure to let you know!