Quantcast Magazine Security

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In peacetime, all magazines, explosive lockers, ready-service lockers, and all areas, such as ammunition hoists, leading into magazine spaces are kept closed and locked, except when they are opened for inspection, for ventilating purposes, for testing, or for authorized work. These spaces are not entered unnecessarily and are opened only when authorized by the weapons officer. The weapons officer is responsible for making sure that the spaces are locked when the purpose for which it was opened has been accomplished

Magazines are intended for the stowage of ammunition and for this purpose only. A magazine is no place for the stowage of empty paint or grease cans, oily waste rags, or similar fire hazards. What goes for material also goes for personnel. No one but those authorized should ever be permitted in a magazine. Even they should be there only when they have business there. A magazine is no place to sit around and "shoot the breeze."

The commanding officer (CO) is the custodian of all magazine keys. The CO may, however, designate certain persons under his or her command to have custody of duplicate keys. Each morning keys are drawn by a responsible Gunner's Mate for the purpose of inspecting magazines and taking magazine temperatures.


With the rapidly changing world political picture, nuclear weapons have begun to be considered as less of a necessary component of the U.S. ready arsenal. At this writing, the president has ordered the removal of most nuclear weapons from U.S. surface ships. Therefore, we will provide only a brief description of the security requirements and procedures pertaining to surface ship nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons, because of their strategic importance, public safety considerations, and political implications, require greater protection than their security classification alone would warrant. The special shipboard installations required for the safety and security of these weapons vary with the type of ship and weapons involved. As a GM, your association with nuclear weapons will be limited. However, it is possible that because you are in the GM rating, you might be called upon to take part in the safety and security program for nuclear weapons on a ship.

The following discussion provides a basis for determining the minimum security requirements for nuclear weapon spaces. The definitions that follow are those used throughout the Navy in connection with nuclear weapons: Access: Applied to nuclear weapons, physical access that permits the opportunity to cause a nuclear detonation. Exclusion area: A security area that contains one or more nuclear weapons or one or more components of a nuclear weapon system. The nature of the area is such that mere entry constitutes access to the nuclear weapon or permits the arming, launching, or firing of a weapon. Controlled area: A security area that surrounds an exclusion area. Aboard ship, this area includes the entire ship when nuclear weapons are on board. When onloading or offloading nuclear weapons alongside a pier, the controlled area is extended to the pier. Nuclear weapon. Any complete assembly of its intended ultimate configuration that, upon completion of the prescribed arming, fuzing, and firing sequence, is capable of producing the intended nuclear reaction and release of energy.

Safety and security are considered to be synonymous when it comes to nuclear weapons. The main objective is to prevent an inadvertent or deliberate nuclear accident or incident. The standards governing the installation of safety equipment and facilities for protecting nuclear weapons must be according to the criteria set forth in current NAVSEA and OPNAV instructions.


The periodic (daily, weekly, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual) inspections of magazines and their contents should be conducted aboard ship and ashore according to instructions contained in applicable publications and 3-M Systems requirements. The primary source of magazine inspection criterion is the appropriate 3-M Systems maintenance requirement cards (MRCs). These procedures are derived from the standards listed in other source publications, such as Ammunition Afloat, NAVSEA OP-4.


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