AMMUNITION SAFETY, HANDLING,
SHIPPING, AND STOWING
The application of basic safety principles to lifes
activities is an old precept, practiced from the dawn of
time. It was an intuitive, basic survival instinct.
However, as society evolved, it became evident that
instinct alone wasnt sufficient. The movement toward
a technical world required that cohesive thought be
applied to matters of safety where dangerous and
involved activities were concerned. One such activity
is the procuring, stowing, and use of ammunition by
The U.S. Navy has many types of ammunition that
must be maintained in a state of readiness at all times.
Your life, the lives of your shipmates, and the
accomplishment of your mission depend on the quality
and condition of this ammunition. To ensure that
ammunition will perform as expected, it is prepared,
overhauled, and assembled according to exacting
specifications. It must also be handled, shipped, and
stowed carefully, to prevent mishaps that may result in
loss of life and material.
Since you will be near some type of ammunition on
almost a daily basis, you will share the responsibility
for ensuring that mishaps dont occur. This chapter
contains information that will help you understand
how to handle, ship, and stow ammunition safely. But
before we discuss handling, we must reinforce your
awareness of safety.
Your major concern during weapons handling and
stowage evolutions must be safety. Safe handling and
stowage operations are a team effort. All personnel
involved in handling weapons must be trained and
qualified to perform their job expeditiously and safely,
as prescribed by Ammunition and Explosives Ashore,
Volume 1, NAVSEA OP 5, Ammunition Afloat,
NAVSEA OP 4, and NAVSEA OP 3347, Ordnance
Safety is a state of mind, engendered from the top
echelons of command down to the lowest working
level through positive action and good leadership.
Most accidents result from not applying proper safety
principles. These accidents can be prevented, but only
with the full cooperation of every person concerned.
This means that safety is a function of all hands, not
just the safety observers. Where explosive munitions
are concerned, safety is a way of life and the means of
survival for everyone in the general area. To help
emphasize the critical nature of safety, we will expand
the basic elements of safety in the following
Only by the continuous and vigorous application
of these basic elements of safety can the level of
ordnance accidents/incidents be reduced and,
Upon completing this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
1. Describe the basic safety principles associated with ammunition handling,
shipping and stowage.
2. Describe the explosive handling personnel qualification and certification
3. Describe the different types of ammunition stowage and their associated