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More than 100 federal troops sent to Arkansas to protect chemical stockpile

Associated Press

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) — More than 100 federal troops have been sent to protect an arsenal that stores 12 percent of the nation’s chemical weapon stockpile.

The soldiers from the Army’s 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, arrived Tuesday at Pine Bluff Arsenal as a precaution in response to the Sept. 11 attacks.

“Their presence reflects the commitment of the Army to safeguard the stockpile and the arsenal as a national asset,” said the arsenal commander, Col. Mark Henscheid.

Since the attacks, the arsenal has been at the military’s highest security level, arsenal spokeswoman Barbara Slifer said.

Soldiers were also sent to help guard stockpiles in Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Utah, Slifer said.

Paula Nicholson, spokeswoman at Dugway Proving Ground, about 80 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, confirmed the arrival of troops there but for security reasons would not say how many.