Most of the standards required to achieve effective safety and security of ammunition are detailed in the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG). As with any technical standard compilation, the IATGs are excellent in giving the ‘What is required’ but generally do not answer to ‘How it is achieved’, especially in settings where the financing, equipment and facilities are not sufficient.
Therefore by using the IATG, the GICHD developed an Ammunition Safety Management (ASM) method with corresponding toolsets and training packages, aiming at reducing the implementation gap between what is sometimes the 'reality on the ground', and the lowest IATG acceptable level of conduct (Risk Reduction Process Level 1).
The ASM method increases the ammunition safety and security following best practices in a step-by-step fashion. Besides stockpiles, it also considers the presence of abandoned and unexploded ordnance with the objective of significantly reducing explosive hazards to people, property and the environment and to minimise the risk of illicit ammunition proliferation.
The main elements of the ASM are:
- Assessment and development of safe and secure ammunition stockpile facilities including safe storage, surveillance, transport and disposal of ammunition
- Introduction of an efficient management regime that incorporates best practice and procedures including maintenance of the ammunition in a safe and secure manner
- Sustainment of the management regime and capacity development of technical personnel as future trainers
For a management regime, the ASM instils confidence in the procedures carried out in an ammunition storage area, compliance with applicable regulations, and that activities are performed by suitably qualified individuals. For technical personnel, ASM ensures through a regular inspection programme, that potentially dangerous ammunition is segregated and disposed of before it can become a hazard. For policy makers, the ASM method is useful as an assisting road map of essential processes and activities towards IATG RRPL-1.