By Mrs. Jaime Thompson (AMC)November 10, 2009
MCALESTER, Okla.-- Quality Assurance Specialist, Ammunition Surveillance, (QASAS), is the oldest career program in the Department of Army. QASAS serve as the primary technical experts providing logistics, quality assurance and explosives safety expertise in direct support of Army units throughout the theater.
In preparation to execute the mission of the QASAS career program, interns undergo two years of training, with the first year being classroom training at the Defense Ammunition Center (DAC) and the second year on-the-job training at an assigned location.
Recently, QASAS Group #101 graduated from the DAC school, and have progressed to the next phase of their intern program - on-the-job training. DAC assigned the interns to seven different locations throughout Joint Munitions Command.
Graduation from the intern program for QASAS Group #101 was definitely an accomplishment, but another major accomplishment occurred before their graduation.
During the application phase of the Ammunition Surveillance Course (Ammo-14) interns were afforded the opportunity to perform actual inspections of war reserve ammunition assets under the guidance of DAC instructors. Students followed Standing Operating Procedures and established inspection criteria to establish proper "Condition Code" of the war reserve ammunition stockpile.
While performing the visual inspection portion of the small arms ammunition, an intern noticed that one round was different than the inspection example. Mixed rounds are considered a critical defect in accordance with SB 742-1. In this instance, a tracer round was found in ball ammunition, this critical defect could have caused potential security issues for Soldiers.
"DAC and McAlester Army Ammunition Plant (MCAAP) have forged a strong working relationship in providing an application platform for the QASAS interns to experience hands on inspections before graduating," said Sally Riggins, Chief of the Ammunition & Explosive Safety Training Division.
"The interns learned first hand how their actions have a positive influence on the warfighter," said Riggins. "Their time at the MCAAP Surveillance workshop was enhanced by revealing the concealed defect in the ammunition."
Tony Bates, QASAS and MCAAP employee has been instrumental in supporting the DAC's Training Division. Bates provides manpower, facilities and corporate knowledge to further enhance the training of the interns.
"It's the future of our career program, and I'm happy we at MCAAP are able to provide the service," said Bates.
In addition to the hands on training, the interns were able to complete the necessary cyclic inspections of 15 lots of ammunition, which contributed to the reduction of the workload, thus "earning their pay".