ASM is about following the best practices in managing and enhancing the safety and security of ammunition, whether in stockpiles or as AXO/UXO. Its objective is to minimise hazards to people, property and the environment and to minimise the risk of proliferation. The main elements of ASM are:

  • Assessment and development of safe and secure ammunition stockpile facilities
  • Introduction of an efficient ASM regime that incorporates the best procedures and practices and maintains the ammunition in a safe, secure and manageable manner.

Effective ASM extends to safe storage, surveillance, transport and disposal. It is ensured that all facilities and equipment are safe and secure according to internationally accepted standards. Should they not meet these standards, immediate improvement action is taken to remedy the situation. Through a regular inspection programme, potentially dangerous ammunition is segregated and disposed of before it can become a hazard.

ASM also ensures that procedures carried out in an ammunition storage area comply with applicable regulations and are carried out by suitably qualified individuals. It enables capacity to be built by training local workers to carry out all the tasks involved and by training future trainers. This ensures that once the ASM regime is implemented it can be maintained in the future, after international assistance has left.

Ammunition storage in South Sudan
Unsafe and temporary stockpile of ammunition by a local combat unit in South Sudan
Unsafe stockpile of ammunition
Unsafe stockpile of ammunition

Most of the standards required to achieve effective safety and security of ammunition are detailed in the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG). However, IATGs are most applicable under circumstances where funding, facilities and competence are already at a high standard. Therefore, the GICHD has developed an Ammunition Safety Management toolset to make ammunition safer in a simple step-by-step manner, thus bridging the implementation gap between reality and the lowest IATG standard (RRPL 1).