One of the basic training courses that the Navy requires for sailors, contractors, and civilian personnel who work with ammunition or explosives is called “Ammo 49,” or “Naval Explosives Safety, Managers/Supervisors Orientation.” This course is designed for supervisory personnel who work with ammunition regularly, although some installations require that all personnel who handle ammunition must successfully complete this training. The course is offered through the Defense Ammunition Center in McAlester, Oklahoma, although most commands will sponsor their students for the online version.
The online format covers all of the same material as the 40 hours of classroom instruction, and provides a detailed overview of general ammunition and explosives safety training for Navy/Marine Corps shore activity explosives safety officers, managers, and supervisors in accordance with NAVSEA OP-5, Volume 1. The Ammo-49 course introduces the different classes of ammunition and explosives, and also stresses safe handling and explosives safety requirements. The training also introduces students to the proper use of Navy publications, and provides instructions for extracting information required to safely manage ordnance operations. Finally, the course content provides several realistic scenarios where the student must be able to find and use referenced information to solve problems. Successful completion of Ammo-49-DL satisfies the certification requirements of Appendix D of the NAVSEA OP 5, Volume 1, which is a must for any Gunner’s Mate and some Masters-at-Arms with Armory or Ready-for-Issue responsibilities.
When taking the course, be sure to block off enough time to complete the material. An experienced Gunner’s Mate could probably complete this training in a day or two, although a new student should plan on taking an entire week. One of the most time-consuming tasks involves researching through Navy publications to determine the proper explosive weights or Hazmat classifications of specific munitions, so be sure to have a complete set of publications handy for your reference. The Ammo-49 online course provides this material in digital format, but it’s a very tedious process to search back through these files when you’re working on a specific problem.
After completing the entire course, the final exam will seem like a breeze! It consists of twenty-five multiple choice questions, and you’re required to score seventy-five percent or better to pass. If you fail to make a passing score, the program will automatically recycle you to the beginning of the test until you make the grade, so be sure to take your time! If you’re not entirely confident in your abilities, or if you don’t have a complete set of publications handy when you sit down to take your final exam, I recommend consulting one of the study guides that are available for download on the internet. Good luck with the class, shipmate!