||This article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject. (May 2012)|
The Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Munitions and Search School Kineton or DEMSS Kineton on 1 December 2012 became part of the Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal Munitions Search Training Regiment (DEMS Trg Regt). DEMS Trg Regt has its Headquarters (HQ) at St George's Barracks Bicester. The Kineton part of DEMS Trg Regt remains the MoD's main training school for Ammunition Technicians and Ammunition Technical Officers of the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) in the British Army. The school is located at MoD Kineton at Temple Herdewyke near Kineton, Warwickshire, England. Post Code CV47 2UL. DEMS Trg Regt is under command of the Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME) whose HQ is located in Chatham, Kent, UK.
The school teaches mainly military but also civilian students in the technical management, storage, repair, modification and disposal of conventional land service munitions. The Kineton part of DEMS Trg Regt leads on Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) techniques. The Bicester part of DEMS Trg Regt leads on the disposal of munitions that have failed to function as intended Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) but some training continues at Kineton.
The school was formally established in 1922 when Training Establishment, The Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) at Hilsea near Portsmouth set up a small detachment within the Central Ammunition Depot (CAD) Bramley. The school was known as Training Establishment 'B' Branch from 1922 - 1953. The Commanding Officer "B" Branch was a Major, the first incumbent was Maj WN Stokes OBE DSC, an ex Royal Marines Artillery officer who had been mentioned in despatches by FM Sir John French for gallantry in Flanders in 1915. Maj Stokes who was also decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross for services with the Army Ordnance Department in France in 1915 commanded the school until 1923, being replaced by Maj AR Valon OBE MC. At this time, the CO was assisted by a small team of training staff consisting of a SNCO and a civilian instructor supported by a few soldiers and civilians for administrative purposes.
During the Second World War there was a considerable upsurge in activity in the ammunition field and approximately 4,000 officers and 19,000other ranks received advanced ammunition technical training at Bramley, including many students from Commonwealth and allied countries. Between 1945 and 1950 the average number of students was about 300 per year, many of them National Service soldiers. During the 1950s this number increased to about 380 per year and this continued for a number of years stretching well into the 1960s.
In 1953, the Training Establishment "B" Branch changed its name to "The School of Ammunition RAOC" and considerable consolidation of basic RAOC technical ammunition training occurred; this was necessary to cope with the introduction of new munitions and weapon systems, especially guided weapons. The Director Ordnance Services exercised technical control over the school through the then Chief Inspector Land Service Ammunition (CILSA) on behalf of the Director Army Training. The first CO of the new school was Lt Col RV Peters MBE who was called the Chief Instructor School of Ammunition. Lt Col Peters had been awarded the MBE as Deputy Chief Ammunition Technical Officer for directing the large scale repair of Field and Anti Aircraft ammunition that had been hurriedly bought back to UK following WW2 and needed repair and refurbishment as future war stocks.
On 1 April 1968 the School was raised to Army status, now being titled the Army School of Ammunition with Lt Col JH Lawrence-Archer RAOC as the Chief Instructor. As course loadings and equipment complexity grew, especially in the field of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), the Bramley site became too restrictive to cope with the volume of students and live firing safety distances. As a result, in 1974 the school moved to new buildings at its present site within Temple Herdewyke Barracks in Warwickshire. On 20 November 1988 the Army School of Ammunition was presented with the Wilkinson Sword of Peace for recognition of the work in training Improvised Explosive Device Disposal operators for duty in Northern Ireland. This area of instruction has continued to develop as shown by the opening of the purpose built Felix Centre by HRH the Duke of Kent in September 1992.
Following the formation of the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), the school was incorporated into the Army Individual Training Organisation (AITO) as an element of the RLC Training Group. AITO later evolved into the Army Training and Recruiting Agency (ATRA) on 1 April 1996, with RLC Training Group becoming Defence Logistic Support Training Group (DLSTG) in 2002. On 1 April 2004, DLSTG reformed as the Defence College of Logistics. At the same time, the Defence EOD School and the National Search Centre, although still based at Chattenden, joined the Army School of Ammunition as part of the Defence Explosive Munitions and Search School. In 2009 the Defence Explosives and Munitions Search School was renamed the Defence EOD and Munitions Search School (DEMSS North) in 2009, then DEMSS Kineton the same year. The CO at this time was Lt Col M Gliniecki QGM RLC.
The school is now split into two schools at different location the first at MoD Kineton and the second at DEMSS Bicester and the Headquarters are based at Kineton. With the formation of DEMS Trg Regt the Headquarters moved to Bicester.
The Felix Centre is part of this school responsible for teaching military and police students from around the world in basic and specialist IEDD techniques.
- "Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Munitions and Search School (DEMSS)". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- "Training in transition". publicservice.co.uk Ltd. Retrieved 12 August 2012.