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Understanding the Notice of Ammunition Reclassification (NAR) program. (Crossfeed).

When referring to the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, President Ronald Reagan said, "Trust but verify." That advice also is good for those of us who are tasked with loading, handling, installing, and testing explosive systems. The Navy and Marine Corps give us numerous tools and various publications to help us. One of the best items available is the NAR.

This program provides a standardized method to inform all DON and Coast Guard activities of condition-code changes and methods to dispose of unsafe or unreliable ordnance items. We gain this knowledge through rapid, worldwide dissemination of NAR messages. The NARs also can be used as an inventory-management tool to place usage restrictions or priorities on certain items. This document is applicable to all cognizance symbols (COGs) of conventional naval ordnance, including Marine Corps ground ammunition (0T COG).

The NavAmmoLogCen in Mechanicsburg, Pa., is responsible for maintaining and managing the NAR, but they do not initiate the NAR action. Navy acquisition and program managers and the MarCorSysCom-or their designated agents-determine the need for a NAR on a specific ordnance item, and they then forward a NAR request to NavAmmoLogCen. Once a NAR is issued, each activity with identified assets is required to follow the designated action.

How do you know if a NAR has been issued? Every NAR, ammunition information notice, and overhead fire clearance or restriction is listed in NavSup P-801/TW024-AA-ORD-010, Ammunition Unserviceable, Suspended and Limited Use, which is published semi-annually.

Fleet Support Teams (FSTs) determine the need for a NAR, based on mishap and deficiency-malfunction reporting. This point is critical because all accidents, incidents and unsatisfactory performance of non-nuclear ordnance and materials must be reported.

I often find Navy and Marine Corps aviation units are not using the NAR properly, or they lack the training to implement it effectively. Too often, we assume our shipmates always are on top of their game, and we have faith that station weapons will catch any problem before the ordnance reaches the flight line. That approach would be great in a perfect world, but no one is immune from error.

Our database is rife with "trust related injuries." One recent example was an AO1 who was re-stowing practice bombs. He trusted a shipmate, did not verify the ordnance, and ended up with his face blown open [See the story "Almost Killed by a Practice Bomb" in the spring 2002 issue, or on our website at]. That Sailor believed a fellow ordie had removed the signal cartridge from a BDU-33.

This type of problem can happen in any job, especially one that has become routine. Our brain is the greatest tool available, and we have to use it. We have to train our people to be more proficient at their job, and we must take time to reenforce what already has been taught. We must trust our fellow ordies but also must verify their actions.

MSgt. Ready is a weapons analyst at the Naval Safety Center.

For more info ...

OpNavInst 5102.1C (with interim changes 2-5), OpNavInst 5100.19D, and MCO 8025.1 provide procedures for reporting accidents, incidents and unsatisfactory performance of non-nuclear ordnance and materials. They also provide supporting information about the NAR.
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Author:Ready, Claude
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2003
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