Moving Munitions and Saving Money: U.S. Army JMC’s New Centralized Ammunition Management Process
A United States Marine moves ammunition into a magazine at the Camp Pendleton Ammunition Supply Point, one of more than 80 ASPs to which U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command provides conventional munitions. Implementing the new Centralized Ammunition Management Quarterly Resupply Model would reduce the excess amount of ammunition kept at ASPs, saving man-hours receiving, storing and inspection munitions the ASPs do not need and increase readiness. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jerrick Griffin). (Photo Credit: Lance Cpl. Jerrick Griffin) VIEW ORIGINAL

U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command constantly strives to improve efficiency as it produces, ships, stores and demilitarizes conventional munitions for the Joint Warfighter.

U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command's latest time and money-saving initiative utilizes the CAM Quarterly Resupply Model (QRM) to better distribute munitions from JMC’s five distribution depots to more than 80 Army Ammunition Supply Points (ASP) in the Continental United States (CONUS).

JMC’s mission requires it to be able to respond to surge requirements when required to meet worldwide demands. The best way to enable this capability is to store the maximum amount of ammunition at JMC distribution depots that power project to the point of need, and avoid stockpiling excess munitions at ASPs.

The original CAM process was established in 2002 as part of the Chief of Staff of the Army Critical Logistics Transformation Task Force. It entails resupplying CONUS ASPs each month based on a forecasted 90-day requirement.

U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command’s analysis determined there is a significant difference between forecasted and actual demand for munitions at Army ASPs, resulting in a higher demand signal and oversupply of ammunition than was actually needed. Units at one of the largest ASPs forecasted the need for 22.1 million 5.56 mm rounds annually, but actually drew an average of only 8 million.

Such discrepancies resulted in ASPs storing far more ammunition than required, sometimes up to nine months’ worth of supply. For example, despite an average monthly demand of 0.7 million 5.56 mm rounds, the ASP held an average of 6.5 million. Based on resupply patterns, the ASP could manage with an average of only 2.6 million rounds in stock.

Overstoring ammunition at CONUS ASPs negatively affects Army readiness by not storing it at the Army’s wholesale power projections platforms. Not only does it lead to the decreased availability of munitions at depots for a surge response, but it also requires more man-hours at ASPs to receive, inspect and store ammo the installations do not need.

Analysis of forecasted and actual requirement trends showed that a unit’s forecast accuracy was typically overestimated by up to 70 percent. Historical figures reveal that the worst 10 percent of forecasts represent 75 percent of the total difference between forecasts and ammunition issues.

U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command tested the CAM QRM, which resupplies ASPs quarterly based on the three-year average historical issue plus a 30-day safety stock buffer, at two large FORSCOM ASPs starting in June 2020, and executed three iterations of quarterly resupply.

Initial concerns included whether the number of trucks required to deliver three months’ worth of training ammunition would overwhelm the receipt process, JMC mitigated this by staggering truck deliveries. Results from the test ASPs showed that there was actually a 37 percent reduction in trucks used and a 22 percent reduction of short tons stored at the ASPs.

Additionally, there was a 164 percent increase in short tons per requisition that translates into significant depot and ASP efficiency gains. For example, the test of the QRM June 2020, led to an estimated $208,000 in cost avoidance for JMC subordinate depot McAlester Army Ammunition Plant for just one quarterly cycle at one Army installation ASP. These cost avoidance were the result of resupplying to a smaller requirement and greater aggregation of the resupply, resulting in less depot and ASP workload and paperwork, fewer offloads, receipt transactions and periodic inspections at ASPs and less magazine storage.

U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command completed initial training to stakeholders involved in the new ammunition resupply process at all ASPs using a QRM dashboard tool developed by JMC to execute the new process.

U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command will continue to refine the CAM QRM methodology based on lessons learned and will prioritize incorporating forward-looking demand indicators through use of artificial intelligence. JMC will utilize machine learning and analytical tools to help determine peak training times at installations, continuous updates of historical issues, refining of safety stock levels, and updates to other data points used in determining the QRM. JMC will also leverage analytical tools to assist in the smaller ASPs QRM to resupply high use items at a semi-annual resupply that allows full pallets to be shipped reducing the workload at the Depots and ASPs.