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Army and Marine Joint Ammunition Operations

The Army and Marine Corps established a joint ammunition supply point in Iraq, overcoming the differences between the Army and Marine Corps class V operations.

The recent transformation of the military’s combat service support structure has fostered new working relationships among the military services. This was demonstrated by the need for a more fluid Army class V (ammunition) support system in Iraq’s Anbar province, where Army class V support was not available in the area of operations. Units needing class V support had to travel hundreds of miles from Al Asad to Taqqadum to obtain ammunition, putting more Soldiers in harm’s way. Recently, the 1st Marine Logistics Group and the Army’s 593d Sustainment Brigade agreed to establish an Army class V activity within the Marine ammunition supply point (ASP) at Al Asad. The agreement has provided two important benefits: It has reduced the number of required convoys, and it has provided quality class V support to Army units.

The largest challenge in this integration was in breaking down historical barriers between the Army and the Marine Corps. This challenge was initially overcome by the hospitable attitude of the 1st Marine Logistics Group’s chain of command. Giving up a piece of their operation seemed to be a welcome change.

Combined Marine Corps and Army Operations

The 1st Marine Logistics Group’s only request was that the Army Soldiers comply with their standing operating procedures (SOPs). This created the additional challenge of combining the Marine and Army SOPs. Surprisingly, the only differences were in nomenclature. For instance, a Marine logistics support group has an operations chief, a storage chief, an issues and segregations chief, and a records chief. An Army ammunition supply activity has an officer in charge (OIC) and a noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) to execute the duties of the operations and storage chiefs and a Standard Army Ammunition System Modernization (SAAS–MOD) operator in place of the records chief.

Soldiers also had to adapt to Marine Corps safety standards. According to the memorandum of agreement, Soldiers must wear steel toe boots, coveralls, and a modular integrated communications helmet (MICH) while working in the ASP.

Soldiers and Marines would be integrated on work details, guard duty, and site maintenance activities. The Soldiers also would assist the Marines with the receipt, warehousing, and materials-handling issues of their supplies.

Establishing Army Class V Operations

The 593d Sustainment Brigade’s class V activity consisted of only a small detachment of five Soldiers from the 63d Ordnance Company, a senior noncommissioned officer from the 4th Corps Materiel Management Center (CMMC), and an OIC from the 24th Quartermaster Company. The team initiated the operation by requesting and activating its Department of Defense Activity Address Code (DODAAC). It then established the SAAS–MOD network connection, using a combat service support very small aperture terminal. The team also organized the movement of 38 Government-owned containers to the ammunition supply activity for class V modular storage.

The Army established ammunition supply activity storage facilities at the Marine ASP consisting of 4 cells that hold 63,000 pounds of net explosive weight (NEW) per cell and 1 cell that holds 214,105 pounds of NEW, for a total of 466,105 pounds NEW. A final challenge was to account for the frustrated Army ammunition that had been accumulating over the past months.



Requisition and Issue Procedures

The Al Asad ammunition supply activity supports Task Force 1–36, Task Force 1–133, the 630th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (CSSB), and many companies within our area of operations. We streamlined the ammunition supply activity requisition process. The new procedures are follows—

  • The supported unit initiates a Training Ammunition Management Information System-Redesigned (TAMIS–R) request.
  • A TAMIS–R number is assigned along with the unit document number on a Department of the Army (DA) Form 581, Request for Issue and Turn-in of Ammunition.
  • The 4th CMMC validates the request, based on the logistics status report, authorizations, and controlled supply rates.
  • The request then is sent to the ASP for stock
    selection.
  • TAMIS–R sends an email to all parties involved in the transaction, telling the status and action required to continue processing the request.

With a TAMIS–R code for Al Asad available, supported units can select the Al Asad ammunition supply activity as the issue point. The requesting unit then contacts the ASP to coordinate issue.

Class V shipments arrive by both air and ground transportation. If a class V shipment arrives by air, the arrival/departure airfield control group personnel load the ammunition on pre-positioned trailers and notify both the 630th CSSB and the ASP.
During the hours of nautical twilight (darkness), the ammunition should be moved to the ASP holding area. Once at the ASP, the Army NCOIC inventories the ammunition and ensures that it is posted to the SAAS–MOD accountable record and sent to the Marine OIC. If a class V shipment arrives by convoy, it is staged in the holding area during nautical twilight and inventoried by the Army NCOIC, who ensures that it is posted to the SAAS–MOD accountable record and sent to the Marine OIC.

Once the ammunition is received and inventoried, the ammunition is properly labeled and stored in its respective container. The Marine Corps’ requisition process differs from the Army’s in that the Marine unit puts the request through the S–4 ammunition chief, who submits the request to the Marine logistics group G–4. The G–4 then approves or denies the request. If approved, the G–4 sends the request to the ASP by email.

The Army procedures for class V issue are as follows—

  • The Army NCOIC verifies supported unit signature cards and DA Forms 581.
  • The supported unit is then escorted to the issue pad for load up. 
  • The supported unit representative verifies the Department of Defense Identification Code (DODIC) and quantity of ammunition on the issue document.
  • A count is conducted before the unit signs for the ammunition.
  • The supported unit signs for the issue and moves it with organic assets.
  • The requesting unit can obtain transportation support by contacting the movement control team, which is collocated with the sustainment brigade.

In the Marine issue processó

  • The records department receives the request and completes Department of Defense Form (DD) 1348–1A, Issue Release/Receipt Document, for the requested ammunition.
  • The documents are sent to storage, where the requested items are pulled.
  • The ammunition is counted twice and matched to the DD 1348s, and a copy of the documentation is sent to the issue section.
  • The issue section picks up all ammunition and takes it to the issue lot to separate using military standard transportation and issue procedures. Once in the issue section, ammunition is either staged for pickup or prepared for convoy.
  • The unit picking up the ammunition also conducts a count. If the inventory is complete and all counts match, the ammunition is bundled and loaded on a convoy vehicle.
  • Three copies of the inventory are dispatched—one to the convoy commander, one to the unit being issued, and one for records.

Accountability and Reporting

Accountability and reporting procedures are equally thorough. SAAS–MOD reporting, net explosive weights, the DODIC, and a LOT locator file are sent to the sustainment brigade, Marine OIC, and CMMC daily to provide stock and transaction visibility.  [LOT locator is a specific location code relating to how and where ammunition can be stored.] The files created in the SAAS–MOD transactions are loaded into TAMIS–R to reflect issued items on the unit TAMIS–R requests. A 100-percent inventory also is completed monthly.

The Army and Marine Corps class V merger at Al Asad was not only historic; it was an enormous contribution—building teams capable of extraordinary success and joining new ideas and methods to best support the warfighter.
ALOG

First Lieutenant Glen R. Dowling is the Company Operations Officer and Class V Officer in Charge in Anbar Province, Iraq. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Arizona State University and is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Bradley Leaders Course, and Airborne Course.