By Summer BarkleyFebruary 12, 2016
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait--Six civilian employees from Defense Ammunition Center -- U.S. Army Technical Center for Explosive Safety recently deployed from Oklahoma for a 60-day mission to work with donated munitions and ensure they are safe to handle, store and perform as expected when required.
The team deployed to Kuwait in early October to support 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) missions and provide subject matter experts on explosive safety, ammunition surveillance, interim hazard classifications, and logistics management and to correct systemic explosive safety findings here from the last DAC/USATCES Technical Assistance Visit.
"We handled more than 100 tons of ammunition," said Mark R. Adkins, quality assurance specialist -- ammunition surveillance. "The munitions were not manufactured to U.S. standards and safety protocols. Our job was to make sure the munitions were safe to handle, safe to transport, and would function as intended. We were able to quickly and aggressively complete the mission."
According to Adkins the team's accomplishments included preparing and submitting explosive safety site plans for aerial and sea ports, munitions staging areas, Ammunition Supply Point and Theater Storage Area, Basic Load Ammunition Holding Area, and various missile sites.
The team inspected over five thousand, high dollar critical munitions, provided training for ASP personnel on the Munitions History Program that will be used to track and schedule surveillance inspections, and use of technical bulletins to determine if assets were suspended.
They additionally established an off-line Standard Army Ammunition System -- Modified for the purpose of accounting for, receiving, and issuing donated munitions; and prepared and presented a concept of operations for establishing an Off-Line SAAS-Box to account for all foreign munitions within Army Central Command.
Lastly, in order to safely move and store foreign donations, the team researched, requested and received approval of numerous Interim Hazard Classifications IHCs) for various donated foreign munitions.
"This was different than a normal deployment," said Calvin B. Smith, explosives and packing specialist. "The mission changed while we were working on it. It was a good learning experience."
"The DAC team provided invaluable assistance in the movement and assessment of the donated ammunition," said Stephen M. Zdeb, QASAS, chief, ammunition surveillance, Kuwait. "As a team, we were able to resolve problematic issues that were encountered during the operation and complete the mission successfully."