The Ordnance School

The Defence Forces are organised as a conventional military force with Combat and Combat Support Arms. The Ordnance Corps forms an important part of the Combat Support Arm, called Combat Service Support (CSS), tasked with providing support in the following areas - ammunition, explosives, weapons, weapon systems, fire control systems, soft ordnance, field and camp equipment including food for the Defence Forces. The Corps is unique in that it is the only CSS element with an Operational role. Since WW2 the Ordnance Corps has provided the Defence Forces capability in the clearance and disposal of explosives devices found in the State.

The Ordnance School was established in 1942 to provide technical and other training to implement the Defence Forces training strategy for the Ordnance Corps. Initially its instructors were experienced Officers who had been trained on courses in the UK. The technician instructors were experienced in the maintenance of weapons, ammunition and explosives with civilian technician qualifications. Many received training in the UK in addition to technical training from the suppliers of military equipment. This method for the training of instructors and the delivery of instruction has worked well into the present. Its success is evidenced by the fact that the Defence Forces have not had an accident involving service weapons, ammunition or explosives caused by equipment malfunction. The Ordnance Corps is very proud of this record.

Mission Statement

The Ordnance School will provide professional education and training to the highest standard of excellence to Defence Forces personnel. The Ordnance School is committed to ensuring that its students are afforded an harmonious atmosphere and a supportive relationship so that each can develop through the learning process to their full potential.

Strategic Vision

To continue to provide training and education in all Ordnance Corps areas of expertise and in doing so to facilitate the Ordnance Corps to develop and maintain ordnance CSS for the Defence Forces.  In order that the proud record of the Ordnance Corps is maintained the Ordnance School has embarked on a programme to upgrade the quality and standard of education delivered by the school to our students. To that end two officer instructors completed Masters programmes in Defence College of Management and Technology, Shrivenham and one completed an Ammunition Technical Officer (ATO) Course with the British Army at the Army School of Ammunition at Shrivenham. Next the technician staff of the Ordnance School must undergo training to upgrade their qualifications and ability to deliver instruction. The logical next step in this process to upgrade the standard of education delivered by the Ordnance School has led to the application for external accreditation for this course and indeed for all our courses. So the Ordnance School has developed a partnership with Carlow IT whereby this objective can be accommodated.

Core Activities

The Ordnance School provides instruction to meet the requirements of the Ordnance Corps and the Defence Forces in technical areas that fall within the Corps area of responsibility and expertise. It does this by providing career courses and other shorter courses normally on specialist areas or individual equipment. Career courses are of longer duration and are required to qualify the student to fill a specific technical grade. Most career courses have a second follow up course where the student builds on the knowledge, skills and leadership obtained on the basic course.

In addition to the career courses for the various technical grades within the Ordnance Corps the Ordnance School conducts many shorter courses on individual equipment and in specialist areas such as:

  • Ammunition Handling Course for Unit Logistics staff
  • C-IED Course for personnel travelling overseas
  • C-IED instructors courses at both national and International level
  • Course on  new equipment such as a new weapon system
  • Manufacturers courses on newly procured equipment and technology
  • Tent Erectors Course

The Ordnance School delivers training to 5 primary groups of people:

  • Technical Personnel of the Ordnance Corps.
  • Personnel who wish to join the Ordnance Corps in a technical appointment.
  • Personnel from throughout the Defence Forces.
  • International students from other national armies and security agencies.
  • Personnel from civilian agencies (e.g. An Garda Siochana, Airport security personnel, etc.)

Read more about the Ordnance Corps