The life-cycle management of ammunition—or LCMA—is a set of interconnected processes and activities designed to keep the ammunition stockpiles of national authorities safe and secure while meeting their strategic and operational needs. As work continues to mainstream gender into security sector institutions and practices, ammunition management efforts in this field lag behind.
Ammunition is an expensive commodity and an essential resource for the implementation of a national defence and security policy. However, national ammunition stockpiles can also pose risks to national security and public safety. Poor accounting and inadequate physical security of storage facilities can facilitate the diversion of ammunition from the national stockpile to terrorists, criminals, and other armed groups, increasing insecurity and instability.
Surplus ammunition poses significant safety and security risks in post-conflict settings, which is why effectively managing such ammunition is vital to mitigating those risks. This Small Arms Survey Briefing Paper provides ten lessons learned on the establishment of a life-cycle management of ammunition (LCMA) system in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The lessons relate to national ownership, planning, stockpile management, and disposal.
Translated into Arabic by the EU-LAS project.
In many countries, excess stockpiles of obsolete or unserviceable munitions have reached a level requiring demilitarization on an industrial scale, often in a race against time, because the ammunition tends to become unsafe with age.
Since states rarely have the capacity to demilitarize the surplus ammunition stockpiles of their collective security forces, they often turn to private demilitarization contractors.