Quantcast Shipboard Ammunition Inspection

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LEARNING OBJECTIVE Recall the requirements, procedures, and information sources governing magazine and ammunition inspections, inventories, requisitions, and inventory control.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the U.S. Navy experienced several catastrophic explosions on its ships. As a result of ensuing investigations, several pertinent facts were disclosed. It was determined that an apparent lack of understanding existed regarding the inspection of ammunition. Gunnery personnel were not familiar with the principle of the gas-check system in the base of projectiles or were not familiar with the gun ammunition lot number system and the notice of ammunition reclassification (NAR) in TWO24-AA-ORD-010. Results of the investigation indicated that increased understanding was required.

From the foregoing it can be seen that all GMs 3 and 2 should make every effort to increase their knowledge of gun ammunition by seeking out and studying all available Ops, Ods, and instructions. Gaining this knowledge is not only beneficial to you in self-satisfaction but also in knowing the proper procedures for the care and handling of ammunition and the steps to be taken in emergencies.

An important point to remember is that ammunition in any form is dangerous unless it is properly tended. Any deviation from authorized procedures can lead to problems. Minor unauthorized acts can establish a train of events that can eventually cause a magazine to blow. Therefore, it is imperative that ordnance personnel follow standard operating procedures exactly. If any doubt exists, contact the nearest ammunition facility for guidance.

NAVSEA has directed the mandatory inspection of 5-inch, high-explosive-loaded projectiles with gas-check seals (GCSs) before issue by NAVSEA activities or an overseas ammunition issuing activity. Gun projectiles fitted with abase fuze or base plug are equipped with a GCS to prevent hot propellant gases from penetrating into the explosive cavity of the projectile body. This GCS inspection by experienced ammunition personnel includes sighting that (1) the GCS is not missing, (2) the GCS is symmetrical and properly seated, (3) the GCS is not cracked, cut or tom, and (4) the BDF or base fuze hole plug (BFHP) is flush or slightly below the projectile base. After inspection, issuing activities ashore certify a good GCS by applying a suffix (either A or B) to the projectile and on the data card, according to TWO24-AA-ORD-010, as appropriate.

To safeguard against damage during subsequent handling and the possibility of sabotage, the firing ship should, before use, examine each 5-inch high explosive loaded projectile for proper GCS. A complete description of GCS inspection procedures is provided in Navy Gun Ammunition, NAVSEA SW030-AA-MMO010. Ordnance personnel should also check ammunition to see that (1) waterproof protecting caps are properly installed, (2) nose fuzes are properly seated and not loose, (3) upper nose caps of fuzes are intact, and (4) complete rounds can be identified by lot identification number. This system of identification is simple, but it requires study to understand and must be followed to be effective.


LEARNING OBJECTIVE Recall the types, designations, security measures, and inspection criteria for shipboard magazines.

The term magazine applies to any compartment, space, or locker that is used, or intended to be used, for the stowage of explosives or ammunition of any kind.

The term magazine area includes the compartment, spaces, or passages on board ship containing magazine entrances that are intended to be used for the handling and passing of ammunition. The term is also used to denote areas adjacent to, or surrounding, explosive stowages, including loaded ammunition lighters, trucks, and railroad cars, where applicable safety measures are required.

Magazines are arranged with regard to facility of supply, the best obtainable protection, and the most favorable stowage conditions.


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