Quantcast Inspection Before Accepting

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Before acceptance of a shipment of ammunition and explosives, a ships representative, in company with an ordnance facility representative (the supervisor in case of a loaded lighter), should inspect the seals of the vehicle and check the general condition of the shipment. Before loading a common carrier, it must be carefully inspected to ensure that all requirements of the DOD and the DOT or USCG have been met. It is imperative that the following checks be accomplished:

1. Ensure that the material is properly boxed in correct shipping containers. Ensure that there are no leaky containers, and that none are broken or so weak as to break during transportation. In those cases where leaky containers or other damaged materials are being turned into an ammunition activity (offloaded), ensure that they are plainly marked and segregated from other materials.

2. Ensure that the total quantity shipped and/or received is in agreement with the invoice (if feasible at this point).

3. Ensure that the material is properly stowed (or stacked and braced in the vehicle to prevent damage to containers or contents) according to applicable regulations.

The BRAVO flag (solid red flag) should be prominently displayed during daylight (a red light at night) by any vessel or barge transporting, onloading, and offloading explosives or ammunition.


Live ammunition and explosives should not be loaded on or discharged from a ship or lighter at night except in an emergency or when required by the vessels sailing schedule, or as authorized by NAVSEA-SYSCOM. Piers should be adequately lighted and equipped with fire protection and safety equipment. If loading or unloading is not completed during the day, proper precautions should be taken to guard and protect against fire, and a sufficient crew should be on hand to adequately cope with emergencies that might arise. If night operations are required, only carefully placed, approved electric lights, portable lanterns, or flashlights should be used inside the ship or lighter, or in the adjacent areas.

Lighting equipment should meet the standards of the National Electric Code as follows:

1. Extension lights should be fitted with exterior globes and stout guards to protect the bulbs.

2. Wire leading to the lights should be sound and heavily insulated and show no evidence of being likely to short-circuit.

3. Extension lights should be suspended in such a manner that no strain is carried by the light cable; they are not to be suspended by the cable.

4. Extension lights should be so guarded and protected that neither the light nor the light cable will be in contact with any metal part of the ship, lighter, vehicle, handling equipment, or with any of the ammunition, explosives, or their containers.

5. Extension lights should have an outside power source not connected in any way to the lighter, railroad car, truck, or vehicle.


Afloat and ashore, Gunners' Mates handle, store, and transport all types of ammunition and ammunition components. These actions involve the use of many different types of handling equipment. In this section we will introduce you to industrial materials-handling equipment (MHE) and some of the slings currently in use.

Industrial Materials-Handling Equipment (MHE)

Many sea and shore billets now require Gunners' Mates to perform as industrial MHE operators-most commonly as forklift truck drivers. The forklift truck is an important tool for moving large quantities of pelletized ammunition. Operators of self-propelled forklift trucks are required to complete a physical examination, mental test, and training before being certified to operate the equipment. Figure 2-25 shows the front and back of the operator's identification card. Certification is valid for 1 year.

Forklift trucks are assigned standard alphabetical type designations to identify their fire and explosive safety features and power source. Table 2-2 lists the fire and safety designations for MHE.

Figure 2-25.-Operator's identification card.

Table 2-2.-MHE Fire and Explosion Safety Designations

The most common forklift truck is the standard forklift truck, type EE, code 1370 (fig. 2-26). This forklift is currently in use aboard ships and at shore activities. At shore activities this truck is used inside magazines and buildings; a comparable diesel-powered truck is used in open air operations.

For a more detailed description of forklift trucks and other MHE, refer to Handling Ammunition, Explosives, and Hazardous Materials with Industrial Materials-Handling Equipment (MHE), NAVSEA OP-4098.


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