The Supply Corps officer’s role in ordnance inventory accuracy

The Supply Corps officer’s role in ordnance inventory accuracy

Ed Schillo

Navy Supply Corps officers are playing a vital role in maintaining a high level of inventory accuracy of the Navy and Marine Corps’ $32 Billion Ordnance stockpile. Ordnance inventory accuracy is vitally important and the consequences could be severe if not diligently maintained.

When station line items have a wrong physical count, are placed in an incorrect location, or labeled incorrectly, their visibility to the ordnance logistics managers is blurred. With an incredible amount of ordnance being transported recently, global visibility is vital. Also, with the threat of terrorism ever present, it is essential to ensure station ordnance is always accounted for. No one wants a Stinger missile misplaced, misidentified or missing.

Explosive Safety Inspections

Currently, officers assigned to the Naval Ammunition Logistics Center (NALC), perform ESI worldwide. With minimum $5 million ordnance value, approximately 65 Navy and Marine Corps locations are eligible to receive an inventory accuracy assessment. The missions and types of explosives vary greatly with each inspection. An inspector can count the number of cluster bomb units at a naval air station one week and verify the weight of cyclotetramethylenetetranitramine at a research and development facility the next week.

Many commanding officers are initially surprised to see a Supply Corps officer participating in their Explosive Safety Inspection. When they understand that the reason is to verify the inventory accuracy of their station ordnance it becomes clear. Supply Corps officers are ideally suited for this role while drawing from their experiences of maintaining correct inventories of general supply assets.

During these inspections, a random sample of station ordnance is generated via the Retail Ordnance Logistics Management System (ROLMS). The inspector then takes the sample sheets to the magazines and verifies nine attributes of the station line items: count, cog, National Stock Number (NSN), ownership code, purpose code, activity classification code, condition code, serial or lot numbers, and location. These attributes must match ROLMS, MIL-STD 129 Tag, Bar Code Labels and container stenciling.

The governing publications for the standards of inventory accuracy that must be met are OPNAV 8015.2A and NAVSUP P-724. In order to pass the inventory accuracy assessment portion of an Explosive Safety Inspection, a station must achieve at least a 95 percent custodial accuracy (count) and 90 percent inventory accuracy (overall). Stations that fail to meet this standard may request that NALC representatives conduct an Ammunition Management Accountability Review (AMAR) to check their processes and conduct training to improve their inventory performance.

Mandatory Sampling

Supply Corps officers are also maintaining high standards of inventory accuracy by designating 38 major weapon locations as stock points for sampling (SPS). These stock points have a combination of high transactions, line items, and dollar value. OPNA, 8015.2A requires these locations to conduct Statistical Process Control (SPC) for all moderate and low risk ordnance and submit results to NALC monthly via an Excel spreadsheet.

Weekly sampling allows weapon stations to identify process problems rather than identifying only errors during infrequent wall-to-wall inventories. If a station can learn early of a process problem it will reduce the number of errors in both the short and long run.

The following are process monitored with sampling:

Error Possible Process

Types Problems

Count Expenditure/Receipt/


Location Stowage/Receipt/Reporting


Mat’l ID Expenditure/Receipt/


NALC has the ability to look at all the reports and provide feedback to the fleet on common trends of errors and the process problems that caused them to occur. Sampling is also the best way to predict how a station will fare on its next ESI.

LT Ed Schillo holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of West Florida and a Public Management Certificate from Indiana University. He is a former Cryptologic Technician and currently has orders to Supply Officer of Mobile Security Squadron Rota, Spain.

COPYRIGHT 2003 U.S. Department of the Navy, Supply Systems Command

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