Fort McCoy News November 28, 2014

A&E amnesty boxes now available througout post

Public Affairs Staff

Five ammunition and explosive (A&E) amnesty boxes now are located throughout the post to provide more options for personnel to turn in stolen, found, or forgotten ammunition.

Photo for amnesty article
Doyle Docken and Ron McCann from the Logistics Readiness Center Installation Materiel Maintenance Activity prepare a concrete slab to hold an ammunition amnesty box near the Central Vehicle Wash Facility. Several red ammunition amnesty boxes are located throughout Fort McCoy's cantonment area and in range areas. Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

The amnesty boxes, an initiative by the Fort McCoy Installation Safety Office (ISO) will allow personnel to turn in any military A&E in their possession they legally are not allowed to have. The amnesty process gets the materials back into the proper supply channels.

"We were finding ammunition and illegal amnesty boxes at different areas on post," said Don Vender, ISO safety specialist. "We needed to come up with a solution."

Prior to installing the new amnesty boxes, personnel could turn in A&E only at the Ammunition Supply Point during its operating hours. The new boxes allow for 24/7 turn in at the Central Vehicle Wash Facility, Forward Operating Base (FOB) Liberty, FOB Freedom, the Ammunition Supply Point (ASP), and the FLRC — the staging area across from the Community Activity Center.

The locations chosen are areas where there is a high-concentration of troops but not densely-populated areas Vender said.

"We didn't want to put the boxes in areas with a lot of people, other than training troops, in case any items were placed outside of the boxes," Vender said.

Randy Eddy, ISO safety manager, said the idea for the boxes originated several years ago, but the project wasn't started until summer 2014.

"About two years ago we threw the idea out there, but because of the restructuring of the Directorate of Logistics, we decided to wait," Eddy said.

Vender said the arrival of Jasen Alexander, the installation quality assurance specialist, ammunition surveillance (QASAS), early this year, was instrumental in getting the project off the ground.

"We needed someone who was knowledgeable and could provide the technical skills necessary to check the boxes," Vender said.
With the QASAS in place, Eddy started working on acquiring the boxes.

Acquiring and installing the boxes was a collaborative effort between the ISO, Logistics Readiness Center (LRC), Installation Materiel Management Activity (IMMA), the Directorate of Public Works (DPW) and the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization, and Security (DPTMS).

The procurement cost of a new, ready-to-install amnesty box from the manufacturer cost more than $3,000 and would have taken at least six months to receive them, Eddy said.

"The amnesty boxes are just mailboxes that are modified to accept ammunition," Eddy said. "So we looked into purchasing four unmodified mailboxes for about $830 each directly from the mailbox vendor and modifying them ourselves."

Eddy received the modification plans for the amnesty boxes from the U.S. Army Technical Center for Explosives Safety, and worked with IMMA to have the modifications made.

"IMMA was great to work with," Eddy said. "They helped to keep the cost of the boxes after modifications to around $936 each."
They completed the modifications within a couple of weeks," Vender said.

The fifth box, located at the ASP was already onsite and was modified by Alexander to meet Army standards.

Coordination also was made with DPTMS and DPW to approve site locations. DPW also installed the concrete slabs at each amnesty box location.

Vender said it's important that no items other than military A&E .50-caliber and smaller be placed in the amnesty boxes. Do not repackage ammo or include any packaging materials in the box.

For any A&E that does not fit in the boxes or for any questions about A&E, the ISO should be contacted at 608-388-3403.

"All A&E items are inherently dangerous," Vender said. "If you have a question, call the Safety office or the QASAS."
The QASAS can be reached at 608-388-3604.

Eddy attributes the success of the project to all of the organizations involved. "Getting this entire project done within three months is an exceptional accomplishment."