US NAVY PAGES
NAVAL ORDNANCE AND GUNNERY, VOLUME 1
INTRODUCTION TO ORDNANCE AND GUNNERY
| INTRODUCTION TO ORDNANCE AND GUNNERY
1A1. Definition of terms
This text is concerned with the study of Naval Ordnance and Gunnery. Together, the terms “ordnance” and “gunnery” embrace weapons and their use.
Ordnance comprises the physical equipment pertaining to weapons. This equipment is further classified as explosive ordnance, including such elements as gun ammunition, torpedoes, mines, bombs, rockets, and the like, and inert ordnance, which includes projecting devices (such as guns, launchers, and release gear), protective armor, and all the equipment needed to operate and control weapons. Aboard ship it refers to all elements that come under the general term “ship’s armament.”
Traditionally, gunnery is the art and science of using guns. However, in the sense used in this book, the term is broadened in agreement with modern usage, to include the operation and control of all elements of armament. Gunnery is concerned with the practical use of ordnance.
1A2. Navy Department responsibilities for ordnance and gunnery
Within the Navy Department, the responsibility for ordnance material rests chiefly in the Bureau of Ordnance. As defined by Navy Regulations, 1948:
“The Bureau of Ordnance shall be responsible for the following, except as otherwise prescribed in these regulations or by the Secretary of the Navy:
“The design, development, procurement, manufacture, distribution, maintenance, repair, alteration, and material effectiveness of naval ordnance; the research therein; and all pertinent functions relating thereto, including the control of storage and terminal facilities for, and the storage and issue of, ammunition and ammunition details.”
The Bureau of Ordnance maintains field activities which contribute to the performance of its mission. These field activities include research activities, such as the Naval Ordnance Laboratory and the Naval Proving Ground, inspection facilities, manufacturing plants, such as the Naval Powder Factory and the Naval Gun Factory, and various storage and distribution facilities.
The operational use of weapons is controlled by the Chief of Naval Operations through the fleet and force commanders, with appropriate liaison with the technical bureaus concerned. This control includes cognizance over operational and team training.
The Bureau of Ships and the Bureau of Aeronautics are concerned with the problems of design caused by the installation of ordnance on ships and aircraft, respectively, and their plans are coordinated with those of the Bureau of Ordnance in the satisfactory solution of these problems.
The Bureau of Naval Personnel is charged with the responsibilities for training both officers and enlisted personnel as individuals in the performance of their professional duties, except as otherwise assigned, and for the procurement, distribution, and record keeping of all personnel of the Navy. Training programs for all gunnery personnel, except aviation, are maintained by this Bureau.
1A3. Department of Defense responsibilities
In ordnance and gunnery, as in all other matters, the Navy functions not alone but as one member of a team. The Army and the Air Force both maintain ordnance establishments and both are interested in the art of gunnery. Ordnance equipment is usually developed by and procured by the service primarily interested. Doubtful or borderline cases are assigned to one service or another; for development work, by the Research and Development Board; for manufacture and procurement, by the Munitions Board.
There are hundreds of cases in which an item of ordnance equipment is used by all three services. For instance, the Navy and the Air Force both use Army rifles and pistols; the Air Force carries Navy mines, and the Navy, Air Force bombs; the Army uses some Navy projectile fuzes, and the Navy, several Army rocket fuzes. When one service develops and procures a device for another, it usually furnishes all appropriate spare parts, tools, and instructional material as well.
Neither the Marine Corps nor the Coast Guard maintains ordnance departments. Each of these services has upon occasion developed and procured highly specialized equipment for itself; ordinarily, however, they are dependent for their ordnance upon the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
1A4. Function of the gunnery department aboard ship
The requirements for battle are the basis for the organization of the combatant ship. Under Navy Regulations, 1948, in ships whose offensive characteristics are primarily related to ordnance or aircraft, one of the major command departments is the gunnery department, headed by the gunnery officer. He is concerned primarily with the maintenance, upkeep, and operation of all the equipment in the ship’s armament (with the exception of that of the ship’s aircraft in ships having an air department). His department is organized into divisions, the number and function of which depend upon the class and purpose of the ship.
In auxiliary vessels, and certain other types whose offensive characteristics are not primarily related to ordnance and aircraft, gunnery is a secondary function of the deck department, which is headed by the first lieutenant. In this case such ordnance equipment as is carried is the responsibility of the first lieutenant, usually exercised through a gunnery officer who is one of his assistants.