Ammunition and explosives (A&E) incidents

Wednesday March 12, 2008

What is it?

A&E incidents are defined as unplanned explosions or functioning of explosive materiel or devices. Recent examples of these incidents include: improper head space and timing associated with the M2 50-caliber machine gun, applying tape to the safety pin/spoons on hand grenades, mixing dummy or inert rounds with live rounds of ammunition and picking up unexploded ordnance.

What has the Army done?

The Army leadership is taking a proactive approach to raise awareness, to include, "VCSA" and "Wallace" Sends messages and the posting of information on the Total Ammunition Management Information System for worldwide visibility. The Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center (USACRC) also published several articles in Knowledge Magazine and on their Web site:

Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center

In addition to the actions listed above, the Army G-3 Training Directorate sergeant major distributed information on the issue throughout the senior NCO leadership and the information was presented to the Training and Leader Development General Officer Steering Committee. Joint Munitions Command also published ammunition information notifications (AIN): AIN 06-08, 06-08A and 06-08B, discussing the safety risk for taping grenades. See:

Ammunition information notices

What does the Army have planned for the future? Engage Army leadership to reduce the occurrence of these incidents. The director of Army Safety, USACRC, Army G-3/5/7 and USADAC will conduct a trend analysis. The analysis will address doctrine, organizations, training, leader development, materiel, personnel and facilities (DOTLMPF) issues. The Army is also looking at the development of training products that will provide reference materiel. This will assist Army leadership in the areas of ammunition and explosives safety such as safety standards, malfunctions, storage policies and procedures, the dangers associated with A&E incidents, mishap reporting and weapons familiarization. The following publications provide additional information:

AR 75 - 1 "Malfunctions Involving Ammunition and Explosives" Army administrative publications AR 385 - 10 "The Army Safety Program," DA PAM 385 - 10 "Army Safety Program," and DA PAM 385 - 64 "Ammunition and Explosives Safety Standards" Army administrative publications.

Information on the use and maintenance of weapons information can be found here:

Doctrine and training publications

Ammunition information notifications are maintained by Joint Munitions Command on this Web site:

Joint Munitions Command

Why is this important to the Army?

The recent increase in A&E incidents has caused needless fatalities and injuries, as well as significant damage to Army property, adversely affecting Army readiness.


- 2007 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2007 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace

- Army Public Affairs Portal

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"I just wanted to take some time to thank our recruiters for their service. They face tough challenges every day and the explosion outside their station made the day even tougher. I also wanted to thank the NYPD, the federal authorities involved, and our Corps of Engineers for the hard work they are all doing."

-Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, visiting the Times Square military recruiting station March 10 to talk to recruiters and survey the repairs made after an explosion damaged the station last week.

CAC commander visits Times Square recruiting station

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