Senator Stevens supports probe of weapons tests

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Sen. Ted Stevens is considering calling for congressional hearings to learn more about chemical and biological weapons tests the Army conducted near Fort Greely in the 1960s.

The Pentagon this week released information on a dozen chemical and biological weapons tests, which went by code names such as Night Train and Watch Dog and Red Cloud.

''Certainly there's got to be a follow-up to find out where it was, what happened, and do some investigating to see if anyone was harmed by it,'' Stevens, R-Alaska, said Thursday.

Some tests involved deadly sarin gas and VX nerve agent, an oily liquid that can kill within 10 minutes of exposure.

In the 1962-63 test, mannequins dressed in Arctic clothing were positioned downwind to examine the exposure potential in cold weather.

In a 1964 test, soldiers in protective suits and gas masks walked through a test area that had been contaminated with VX to see how much of the nerve agent stuck to their outfits.

In other tests, the Army used simulants -- substances thought to be harmless that would mimic the behavior of dangerous chemicals or bacteria.

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