The Ammunition Peculiar Equipment Program was established by the Department of the Army in 1955 to provide equipment to the Army to safely perform ammunition operations, including surveillance, demilitarization, maintenance, renovation, modification, packaging and preservation of ammunition. The APE program, outlined in AR 700-20, is heavily used in ammunition demilitarization operations, rendering ammunition components safe and compliant for recycling. High-use APE includes rotary kiln incinerators, various ammunition disassembly machines, inspection tables, shoe testers, grenade pitch-in barricades and spent brass processing equipment. This equipment is used in all phases of the ammunition life-cycle, including acceptance inspection, maintenance/renovation, periodic and turn-in inspections, and demilitarization.
Use during inspections is to ensure ammunition in the stockpile still meets original specifications and is serviceable. Use of APE for end-of-life
cycle demilitarization allows many munitions to be disassembled, the explosives removed through various processes and the components reused or recycled.
The APE 1410M1 deformer that was recently approved for fielding by Joint Munitions Command is one example of how APE supports Army ammunition operations outside JMC’s organic industrial base. The APE 1410M1 is a modernized APE 1410 deformer. The APE 1410's process spent brass casings, .50 caliber and smaller, to make them unusable for reloading. Metal recyclers are mandated to ensure U.S. Department of Defense-stamped munitions are not reloadable and will not accept cartridge cases that haven't been deformed.
APE 1236 furnaces are currently used at Tooele Army Depot, Crane Army Ammunition Activity, McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, and also in Japan. Each is capable of thermally treating 1,200 tons per year of demilitarization stocks organically across a variety of small and medium sized munitions. The furnace’s primary function is to burn off energetics and collect scrap metal that is safe to recycle. The APE 1405 afterburner and APE 1404 bag house filtration system ensures environmental compliance of exhaust emissions during demilitarization operations.
“Without APE we would have organizations developing their own solutions to execute the functions which APE fulfills. This program ensures consistently safe and reliable equipment is available to support Army ammunition operations,” said Bryan Kammer, lead APE engineer, JMC Demilitarization Directorate. “APE is designed for heavy use in harsh conditions to ensure operators and ammunition facilities remain safe while executing their mission.”