Title: Chemical and Biological Warfare: Are the United States Navy and Marine Corps prepared?
Author: Nicholas S. Chekan, LCDR, USN
12 April 1996
Thesis: The Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF), supported by the Navy, would have considerable problems operating in a Chemical and Biological (CB) environment.
Discussion: Lessons learned from the Gulf War, cast doubt on our initial preparedness for operating in a CB environment during the conflict. The long build-up period of Desert Shield, permitted US forces to better train and equip the forces for a CB attack. Without this preparation time, the results in terms of casualties, would have been unacceptable by the American public and the endstate of the Gulf War may have been drastically different. US Forces felt confident during the ground phase of Desert Storm they could handle a chemical attack, fortunately the effectiveness of our defenses was never tested. The National Command Authority (NCA) held a nuclear trump card against the Iraqi Government if they were to use CB weapons. It is hard to imagine the NCA actually authorizing a nuclear response. The US government has pledged not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries, a policy upheld by the President in last years Nuclear Posture Review. In future engagements iiiagainst the smallest of belligerent nations, the nuclear weapons response becomes less of a viable option, even if the current policy of nuclear weapon use is changed.
It has been five years since the end of the Gulf War, and the CB problem has received much attention. Can the MAGTF, supported by the Navy, handle the CB weapon problem? The correct answer to this question is that the Navy and Marine Corps are heading in the right direction. There are serious problems such as Collective Protection Systems (CPS) for naval shipping that still require addressing. Biological detection devices, although currently in development, will not be fully deployed until early in the next century. The Navy and Marine Corps must demonstrate the ability to conduct amphibious operations in a CB environment. Level of knowledge in Chemical, Biological and Radiological Defense (CBR-D), especially in the Navy, must gain more attention. Congress, through Public Law 103-160, Authorization Act of 1994, has forced the US Armed Forces to take a Joint approach in the acquisition of CBR-D equipment. This Joint approach will reap huge benefits in our shrinking defense dollar. In the past each service went their own different direction, based on their apparent needs, on which equipment to buy. The result was services that could not operate in unison; the logistic problems of the Gulf War demonstrated this fact.
Conclusion: My Thesis states that the MAGTF, supported by the Navy, would have considerable problems operating in a CB weapon environment. When I first addressed this question, my first response was that the Navy and Marine Corps were in serious trouble in Chemical Biological and Radiological Defense (CBR-D). In my research, however, I discovered that considerable progress, especially in research and development in addressing the problems presented by these weapons, has been made. The Navy and Marine Corps, although forced by Public Law 103-160, are addressing this problem and the potential for fighting an engagement in a CB environment is starting to look realistic. Until the equipment that is currently under development is deployed to the field, and we make a stronger commitment to training, especially in the Navy, the Navy and Marine Corps will have considerable problems fighting in this environment.
LIST OF FIGURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i
Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii
1. INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
2. DEFINING THE THREAT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Iranian Potential, 4
Iraqi Potential, 5
Delivery Systems, 6
Chemical Weapons, 8
Biological Threat, 10
3. ARE WE READY? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Naval CBR-D Doctrine, 12
Naval CBR-D Systems, 15
Protective Equipment, 15
Detection Systems, 16
Collective Protection, 17
Marine Corps CBR-D Doctrine, 18
Marine Corps CBR-D Systems, 20
Protective Equipment, 20
Amphibious Assault Vehicles, 21
Amphibious Doctrine, 23
Lessons Learned from the Gulf War, 24
4. SOLUTIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Going Joint, 30
Future CBR-D Equipment, 32
Future Scenarios, 37
Endnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Bibliography. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
LIST OF FIGURES
1. WMD Proliferation Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2. II MEF IPE Deficiency List December 4, 1990 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
3. Gulf War Defective NBC Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Held in Newport RI from 9-15 July 1995, Global 95 was the Pentagon's first major wargame simulating the widespread use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. "The results of the exercise raised critical questions about the adequacy of US policy, military doctrine, and operational planning. A key finding of the game was the realization that we haven't done enough thinking about this."(1) This wargame raised the issue of whether a biological or chemical attack justifies a nuclear response. The US government has pledged not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries(2), however, after the results of the wargame this policy may need rethinking. The scenario involved two Major Regional Conflicts (MRC) involving South West Asia (SWA) and the Korean Peninsula. The opposing force used chemical weapons in both scenarios. There was biological weapons use in the SWA scenario and during a terrorist attack on the US mainland. In the scenario, a biological attack using Anthrax on the city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia killed more than 1 million civilians. The scenario ended when the US retaliated against the perpetrators using nuclear weapons causing the country to surrender. The scenario in itself was a scary proposition; would the National Command Authority (NCA) retaliate with nuclear weapons against a chemical or biological weapon attack against United States Forces or the United States mainland? The policy on nuclear weapon use, as stated in the Nuclear Posture Review by the current administration, is that nuclear weapons will not be used against non-nuclear states.(3) Should we not possess some capability to respond in kind to a terrorist attack that claimed 1 million civilian lives at least as a possible deterrent? Should not there be a similar or increased response to act as a deterrence against these Chemical and Biological weapons, which can devastate not only on the battlefield but entire civilian population centers? In the Global 95 wargame, military members used the nuclear option. Was this because US forces were unprepared for the use of chemical and biological weapons? What would the US NCA have done? Many unanswered questions came from the Global 95 wargame. For example, "The US pharmaceutical industry does not stockpile anywhere near the amount of antidote required to inoculate troops against even suspected biological toxins. This raises the questions of whom to inoculate and whether the shots also should be extended to coalition partners."(4)
The Unified Commanders must plan for the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). All future wargames need the introduction of WMD to indoctrinate all involved into planning and execution of these unique scenarios. All levels of command need to become acquainted with fighting in a chemical or biological environment and not be trained as we went along as US forces did during the Gulf War. Unified Commander will never know when our next engagement will involve these weapons. "The United States must be able--in terms of doctrine, training and equipment--to protect its forces and ensure they can operate and prevail in an NBC environment. This requires maintaining effective conventional and nuclear forces as well as detailed contingency planning for deterrence and defense in a regional context. Moreover, it demands that defense--both active (for example, ballistic and cruise missile defenses) and passive (effective chemical/biological weapons suites and detectors)--be given high priority and that counterforce capabilities suited for the unique characteristics of NBC targets be strengthened."(5) Not being able to fight in this environment is not an option; US Forces must carefully identify the threat they are up against, develop doctrine and exploit technology to counter the CB threat. As Alfred Thayer Mahan said ... "The battles of the past succeeded or failed ... in conformity with the principles of war; and the seaman who carefully studies the causes of failure will not only detect and gradually assimilate these principles, but will also acquire increased aptitude in applying them to the tactical use of the ships and weapons of his day."(6) This quotation of Mahan was not only directed at the "seaman" but can applied in general to all warfighters.
Defining the Threat
Stated in the United States National Security Strategy is that the military forces, in concert with regional allies will be able to fight and win two nearly simultaneous Major Regional Conflicts.(7) Many of the scenarios the Unified Commanders plan for are geographically centered around SWA and the Pacific Rim, because of the belligerent nature of these countries. Figure 1 depicts a summary of WMD proliferation in the Middle East. This chapter evaluates the potential of belligerent countries in these areas with regard to their chemical and biological (CB) potential.
Figure 1: WMD Proliferation Summary (8)
First exposed to the potential of chemical weapons during its war with Iraq starting in 1982, Iran quickly used the world market to acquire these weapons for her own use. Iran's first use of chemical weapons was CS gas obtained through Syria. By 1987, and just 5 years since deciding to develop these type weapons, Iraq was producing blister, choking and blood agents. By the end of the War, Iran was producing nerve agents such as saran and persistent V agents.(9) "According to open source estimates, Iran's chemical warfare program can produce hundreds of tons of agents annually. A biological weapons program dating back to the early 1980's has advanced to the point where it probably has produced biological agents and weaponized a small quantity of those agents."(10) Iranian leadership has declared that these weapons are the poor man's nuclear weapon and they should consider using them for their defense. In January 1993, Iran signed the chemical weapons convention and its leaders have suggested a policy of no first use. The convention calls for the destruction of these weapons, but the real concern is that Iran will not divest itself of its current primary non-conventional deterrent force.
The findings by the United Nations Special Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency, have demonstrated that CB programs can be hidden for an extended period of time. Even with an extensive inspection program continuing, "Iraq has avoided detection and destruction of critical elements of its NBC infrastructure, as well as existing stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons."(11) Since Iraq possesses a large pool of scientists and technocrats with expertise in these areas, new CB programs can be started once inspectors leave the country. Having dealt with Saddam Hussein and his unorthodox tactics in the Gulf war we cannot assume that these programs are dormant or do not have the capability to be started up in several months.
Other countries that have a CB capability in the Middle East are Syria, Libya and Egypt. Syria was one of the first countries in this area to have a chemical capability. From 1970, Syria has been a supplier of chemical weapons and technology throughout the Middle east and the world. Syria has developed an indigenous research and production capability receiving much help from the European countries. "Libya, though possessing less indigenous expertise that Iran or Iraq, has actively sought both chemical and ballistic missiles and may be pursuing biological and nuclear weapons. Tripoli has invested heavily in building chemical weapons production plants and is assessed to have a weapons stockpile of at least 100 tons of agents including mustard and nerve gas."(12) This proliferation, combined with the Israeli suspected nuclear capability, makes this area of the world extremely volatile. Although the Middle East and SWA are currently going through peace negotiations and Iran and Iraq have been somewhat isolated, this region is the most likely area where CB weapons will be used. North Korea and China have been the main suppliers of ballistic missile equipment and technology to the Middle East and must be considered as belligerent countries who possess vast stockpiles of CB weapons.
When dealing with the irrational leadership that are present in the aforementioned countries, Commander in Chiefs (CINCs) can not solely rely on deterrence to be effective. CINCs must plan that CB weapons will be used during engagements with these countries and be able to fight and win.
There are numerous ways of delivering chemical and biological weapons to an opposing force. Aircraft dispensing an aerosol spray, artillery shells, rockets, and ballistic missiles are the most common methods that our forces currently train against. The third world countries whom the US suspects have CB capability, also have aggressive ballistic missile programs that improve their range and accuracy of delivery every year. Many people feel that ballistic missiles are the weapon of choice for these countries since they can be employed from long distances.(13) Although the current guidance systems of these missiles are mostly inaccurate, Iraq was able to influence the battlefield in the Gulf war as the collation forces diverted many assets to deal with the Scud problem, especially with Scuds targeted against Israel. Although mostly inaccurate, these ballistic missiles were fired over 875 times during the Iran-Iraq war and had significant impact in determining its outcome.(14) These missiles did not carry chemical warheads in this war, however, it is widely held that Iran agreed to sign a cease fire in July 1988 since they felt Iraq's next step was to combine chemical warheads and ballistic missiles.(15) Iraqi chemical delivery employment at the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war was archaic and in the experimental stages. Iraqi helicopters and cargo planes literally dumped drums of mustard gas on Iranian positions. As the war progressed, and Iraq became desperate, they used chemical bombs not only against the Iranian front but also against the Iranian rear. "By 1988 Iraq's chemical delivery arsenal included aerial bombs, artillery, and 122mm rockets launched from the Soviet-made BM-21 multiple rocket launcher.(16) A unique Iraqi innovation was helicopter launched 90 mm rockets. "(17) As the weaponry of the Iraqi forces became more sophisticated, so did their tactics. The effective tactics employed by the Iraqi forces on June 25, 1988, contradict those who argue that employment of chemical weapons can never be employed on the battlefield effectively.(18)
With the ability to hide a potentially destructive agent from detection, terrorist type aggression against an opposing force becomes a very difficult problem to deal with. In a third world or SWA scenario, the ability of the opposing force to infiltrate US defenses and to place a biological or chemical agent in our food or water supply is not that far reaching. It is an attractive method of delivery since it would be virtually untraceable and retaliation would be hard to justify. Take the Bosnia scenario for instance, any one of three or four forces (Bosnian, Bosnian-Serb, Croat and now Islamic terrorist factions) could covertly conduct this type of attack. The Combined Joint Force Commander, Admiral Smith would not know what faction or armed force accomplished the terrorism and would not be able to retaliate. It is common knowledge that the US pledged to strike in retaliation against Iraq if WMD were used during the Gulf War, and probably was the main reason that Iraqi forces were not ordered to use chemical weapons.(19) This type of terrorist activity, described in the Bosnia scenario, could be conducted without the ability of the US retaliating.
"Chemical weapons can have two effects: physical (they can kill and injure), and psychological (they can scare and produce panic). They can have these effects at two levels. Chemical weapons used at the tactical level can influence the shape and outcome of the battle. Used strategically against the enemy's cities, Chemical weapons, like ballistic missiles can produce physical and psychological effects that undermine morale and produce decisions that end conflicts."(20) There are six major types of chemical agents, classified according to their physiological effect on the body: nerve, blood, blister, choking, psychochemical and irritants.(21) The terms persistent and nonpersistant describe the time an agent stays in an area. Persistent chemical agents effect the battlefield over an extended period of time and are influenced by weather conditions and concentration of the agent. Persistent chemical agents can produce immediate casualties, usually through inhalation, or delayed casualties through absorption in the skin. Persistent agents can not be used against a force in conjunction with a coordinated attack since the force would have to fight in the environment. Persistent agents may be used either offensively or defensively. In the former case, they can neutralize rear area assets, airbases, logistic units, command posts, reserve assembly locations and equipment stores.(22) "Until the mid-1980s, chemical warfare was believed to be of limited military utility, because of the boomerang effect, the tendency that chemical weapons have to harm friendly forces as easily as they do those of the enemy, and the effectiveness of defensive measures. Iraqi use of chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq war showed that this was a Eurocentric view."(23) Nonpersistent agents affect the battle field for shorter duration and are more dependent on the weather. Nonpersistent agents would commonly be used against forces at the tactical level, and with planning and forethought, they could be effectively deployed against forces without contaminating own forces, as Iraq did with some success during its conflict with Iran. The landing phase of an amphibious assault, as the attacking force attempts to establish a beachhead would be the perfect time for employment of a nonpersistent chemical weapon. The mere threat of chemical weapons has a significant impact on the battlefield. During the Iran-Iraq war, Iranian forces panicked and fled the battlefield when seeing a harmless gas cloud. Chemical weapons have been known to be used on several different occasions since the First World War. Their killing capacity and overall use on the battlefield has yet to be fully measured making them ever more dangerous and difficult to prepare for.
A biological threat is the capability of an enemy to plan and deploy a biological material to produce casualties in humans and animals or damage plants and other material.(24) These agents can be deployed in the form of a microorganism or biological toxin to cause disease, injury, contamination of supplies, or death in people, plants, and animals. Pathogenic microorganisms are infectious agents that cause disease in personnel, animals, or plants by entering the body through the lungs, digestive tract, skin and mucous membranes of body openings.(25) These microorganisms enter the body, multiply, and then overcome the bodies immune system, producing disease. Toxins are poisonous substances produced as by-products of microorganisms, plants, and animals.(26) Toxins can be either chemically synthesized or artificially produced with genetic engineering techniques. Toxins exert their lethal or incapacitating effects by interfering with certain cell and tissue functions. The signs and symptoms of toxin poisoning can be easily confused with both chemical poisoning and infectious diseases. Aerosol Clouds are the most common form for delivery of biological warfare agents. These clouds will consist of particles or vapors that can remain suspended for extensive periods. The period of existence of a cloud depends on many factors including: wind speed, humidity and sunlight. On a battlefield, where distinct lines have not been drawn, biological agents may be introduced into any number of sources. Unless a force is aware of a direct attack, identification of the introduction of a biological agent may be difficult. The first indication would be mass casualties fitting a clinical pattern consistent with a known biological agent. If multiple pathogens are used, identification and treatment are further obscured. The introduction of toxins would also confuse the battlefield, since they are comparable to in nature to chemical weapons but usually more potent. Possible targets are numerous; ports, airfields and industrial areas prior to the outbreak of hostilities, naval operations near land, troop assembly areas, rear area command centers and any area that can be easily infiltrated could easily be introduced to biological agents. Other advantages of biological weapons include:
1) They are area weapons. 2) They attack populations leaving infrastructure intact.
3) They are effective in very small amounts. 4) They can be produced in a very short period of time. 5) They are very cheap to produce. 6) Protection is difficult. 7) Detection is difficult.
Chemical and biological weapons are the weapons of choice for belligerent third world nations. The Pentagon has estimated that a single scud warhead filled with botulinum(27) could contaminate 1,430 sq. Mi.(28) The use of these weapons will be a certainty in some region of the world in the near future. The most important test for US Armed Forces especially the Navy and Marine Corps who will certainly be the first to arrive in a hostile theater will be preparing for this inevitability
Are We Ready?
Naval CBR-D Doctrine
The US Navy has several standards of proficiency, contained in the following publications: Naval Warfare Publication (NWP) 62.1 (Series), Surface Ship Survivability; Naval Ship Technical Manual (NSTM) 470, Shipboard BW/CW Defense; and NSTM 077, Personnel Protective Equipment are the primary publications. These publications provide a fairly detailed description of chemical and biological detection, protection and decontamination procedures for chemical and biological defense (CBR-D) of the ship. The Navy provides initial entry level CBR-D training for all officers and enlisted personnel. This training is very basic in nature and is an introduction to the equipment and individual personal equipment (IPE) the Navy has in the fleet. Fleet Training Centers convene a 2 day class that goes beyond the initial training. Quotas for this course of instruction are extremely limited and only approximately 25 percent of the crew receive this course of instruction. Training in CBR-D is conducted at the divisional level on a semiannual basis, in a self taught classroom environment. The quality of the instruction is limited to shipboard CBR-D experts. Shipboard training, where the entire ship is exercised in a simulated chemical or biological scenario is required on an annual basis. This exercise is usually in a walkthrough format. The annual requirement, in most cases, is a check in the block to ensure that the annual training is conducted. CBR-D shipboard training takes a back seat to drills such as fire and flooding that are much more likely scenarios for likely damages in a peacetime navy. The emphasis placed on the Operation Propulsion Examination (OPPE, recently eliminated to a different evaluation program) and the Main Space Fire Drill has become the major training exercise for casualty procedures aboard the ship. In the mid eighties, a CBR-D exercise conducted by an outside observer was required by each ship. Refresher training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba would conduct training an would exercise the ship in a CBR-D drill. In the late eighties the externally graded requirement for this exercise was eliminated and it became a self graded requirement. On a recent shipboard trip to Fleet Training Group at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the ship received a 4 hr CBR-D period of instruction for approximately 50% of the crew.(29) The ship received no unit shipboard training. Part of the reason for this lack of emphasis in these type drills, is the increased demand on ships being able to train themselves. In the late eighties the Surface Navy made the decision to become self-trainers and get away from expensive trips to the Fleet Training Group (at least 6 weeks in 1987, less than 3 weeks in 1995). This type of training had 2 results, the first being increased emphasis on main space fire training (in preparation for the graded OPPE), and the second less emphasis on difficult CBR-D type drills. The casualties and damage control efforts of the USS Stark and USS Samuel B. Roberts in the Persian Gulf in the late eighties also brought attention to major conflagration drills shifting the emphasis away from CBR-D drills. Once the requirement for the graded exercises went away, the ship generally would conduct CBR-D drills at the minimum requirements, generally in a walkthrough training mode. In these walkthroughs, the crew would demonstrate various aspects of CBR-D equipment, however, the crew was never really tested. The outside graded requirement would force the crew to be exercised several times at CBR-D drills to ensure a passing grade by the outside observer. Although the outside graded requirement became burdensome for the ship, it ensured that the ship was much more prepared in CBR-D drills as required today.
The person responsible for CBR-D training aboard the ship is the Damage Control Assistant (DCA). The Navy does not have CBR-D experts as does the Army and Marine Corps. Advanced instruction in CBR-D can be received at the NBC Defense Course conducted by the Army at Fort McClellan, Alabama. Limited by scarce temporary additional duty (TAD) funds, only 2 or 3 members of a typical ship are able to attend these courses. Navy NBC Defense Professional Training consists of two courses of instruction for Navy CBR-D specialists. These courses not only support the Navy's needs but also provides training for Coast Guard, ilitary Sealift Command and foreign personnel.(30) The courses are open to all personnel, E-5 and above, and are designed to provide both afloat and ashore commands with individuals who can successfully perform their requisite duties in a CBR-D contaminated environment. In addition, the training enables CBR-D specialists to act as the primary CBR-D trainers for their respective command. Approximately 600 students graduate annually from the courses.(31) Conducting just a little math that we see the each ship's fair share is one quota for a small ship (100-350 personnel) and two quotas for a larger ship (350+). The DCA is usually a graduate of this course and he can expect to have one or two of his damage control rated personnel to be graduates of this course. These few personnel are responsible for conducting the training for, in some cases over 1000 personnel. This would probably be a realistic if this were their only responsibility, but this requirement comes near the bottom in a long list of responsibilities. Exercising a CBR-D drill with embarked Marine Corps personnel is almost unheard of. The thought of shutting down ventilation through the ship for several hours while the troops bake in their berthing compartments would be hard bridge to cross. The solution to this problem is to conduct amphibious operations while conducting a CBR-D drill involving full participation by all embarked personnel during the workup phase for deployment. The Marine Corps conducts exercises using full Mission Oriented Protection Posture (MOPP) gear the Navy needs to incorporate itself into this training.
Navy CBR-D Systems
The Navy is in transition between the MK-V gas mask and the MCU-2P gas mask. The MCU-2P is much improved over the MK-V; it has improved vision, protection, fit and comfort. The problem with MCU-2P is the filter. Once removed from its canister it only remains effective for 60 days, once exposed to a chemical agent its effectiveness is significantly degraded. Each gas mask is supplied with two filters; in an actual chemical attack the supplies of filters could become a problem. The Navy's chemical protective overgarment (CPO) will provide protection from chemical agents for 30 days as long as not removed from its vacuum-packaged bag. This is sufficient for at-sea contamination environments. The protective gloves and boots have similar protective properties as the CPO. With the exception of the gas mask canister supply, the individual protective equipment (IPE) fielded for the navy is sufficient for the potential threat. The MCU-2P is an excellent mask for the Navy and should be retained, however, increased supply of canisters or a canister that gives increased sustainability is required. One problem of IPE onboard a ship is one of storage. Many of today's ships were built before damage control and CBR-D gained importance. Increased storage lockers in all areas of the ship, especially damage control repair lockers need to be considered in future ship design.
Chemical detection at sea remains a difficult problem. The Navy fields the AN/KAS-1 chemical warfare directional detector (CWDD) that allows stand-off detection of nerve agents during both day and night. The CWDD employs forward looking, infra-red sensing technology to detect potential threats.(32) The AN/KAS-1 system is not very user friendly; it takes a high degree of skill and training by the operator, usually a signalman on the ships signal bridge, and requires constant observation by the operator for cloud detection. The system would be vastly improved with the addition of a chemical detection alarm that would alert the operator as to the presence of an agent. The Navy also employs M-8 paper, M-9 paper, and M256A1 chemical agent detector kits to determine the presence of chemical agents. All three of these products require a person to be in a contaminated area performing the tests to obtain readings. The Navy currently has no detection capability against a biological agent attack. M-8 and M-9 paper only determine the presence of a blister or a nerve agent and cannot determine the identity of the agent of the concentration. The M256A1 provides identification and concentration analysis, however is quite burdensome for the operator, in a contaminated environment. New equipment such as the Joint Service Chemical Miniature Agent Detector (JSCMAD), and the Joint Service Lightweight Stand-off Chemical Agent Detector (JSLSCAD) are technologies that the Joint Services are pursuing that would allow detection without operator involvement.(33)
Collective Protective System (CPS) technology is one aspect of CBR-D that the Navy is behind in. CPS is a ventilation system that filters all incoming air and places more reliance on recirculating air inside the ship. The design includes double air locked hatches, fewer accesses to the weatherdecks and positive pressurization of the interior of the ship to keep out contaminants. Currently, only the Arliegh Burke Aegis destroyer class has a shipwide CPS. Soviet and European Navies have been using this technology for decades and the US Navy has only recently started to incorporated this technology into ship design. With each additional amphibious ship design, CPS has received greater coverage. The LSD-41 class ship has a CPS that covers the 02 level and above. This ship design was well thought out as the entire crew and troop berthing areas are covered by this CPS. This ship design is unique where the entire crew is berthed in the superstucture. Aboard LHA-1 class ships, CPS is being retrofitted into command and control spaces. Although well intentioned, the system does not protect the remaining 95 percent of the ship that falls outside the Combat Information Center. The LHD-1 class was designed with a CPS that covers a larger section of command and control spaces, however do not provide protection for the majority of the crew and troops. The way of the future for Naval CBR-D is shipwide CPS, unfortunately the current amphibious ship fleet, expected to be in the US inventory for the next several decades, will have limited protection during its remaining life span. The current design for the LPD-17 class ship is definitely a step in the right direction. "Considerable research went into the present hull form in order to reduce the radar cross section. The result is a streamlined profile that is 1/100 of an LSD-41 class and nearly rivals the Arliegh Burke Class DDG-51."(34) The LPD will also have a myriad of protective systems. It will have a full ship CPS, and an enhanced structural design for fragmentation protection. It will be equipped with one of the best Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) suites in the Navy's inventory. Replacing the 3 inch guns of the previous LPD class, LPD-17 will have a 16 cell Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 64 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles; two Rolling Air Frame Missile (RAM) launchers in addition to two Close-in weapons systems (CIWS); chaff launchers and an advanced active and passive electronic warfare suite.(35) This ship design allows the ship to be a stand alone unit that can protect itself against the most likely threat, an anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) with a CB warhead. The remaining amphibious ships are also getting these ASCM defense systems as the current hull allows. Increasing the survivability of a ship is an expensive process but will pay large dividends for protection of the fleet.
Marine CBR-D Doctrine
The Marine Corps uses NATO Standardization Agreement 2150 as the cornerstone for establishing its own training standards. Marine Corps standards are delineated in the following publications: FMFM 11-1, Nuclear, Chemical and Defensive Biological Operations; OH 11 MAGTF Nuclear, Chemical and Defensive Operations; and Marine Corps Order (MCO) 3400.3, NBC Defense Readiness and Training Requirements. MCWP 3-11 will be the follow-on publication for OH-11 and the coordinating draft is available. Individual training requirements are specifically listed in MCO 1510 series and MCO 3400.3A. The Marine Corps, unlike the Navy, has a complete Military Occupational Specialty, (MOS, 5702) fielded by Marine Corps Warrant Officers who are NBC specialists. These specialists oversee all training for CBR-D in the Marine Corps. CBR-D training and administration is primary duty, however, there are circumstances that these NBC professionals are being pressed into other duties.(36) The Marine Corps also has enlisted NBC specialists (MOS 5711) who assist in the NBC training. Currently in the Marine Corps, there are 88 5702s and 606 5711s serving on the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) level to Battalion level staffs. These professionals were the backbone of the training in Desert Shield and were responsible for the turn around in NBC readiness for Desert Storm(37). Comparing the aforementioned publications with Naval NBC doctrinal publications it can be easily stated that the Marine Corps is far ahead of the Navy in terms of NBC doctrine. Most of the publications have been recently rewritten and have incorporated the lasted technology and doctrine. Navy publications, quite simply, are outdated and require rewriting in a clear and concise manner.
The Marine Corps also exceeds the Navy in the amount of emphasis placed on NBC training. The Marine Corps routinely conducts amphibious exercise in MOPP gear, however, never in conjunction with the Navy.(38) CBR-D is treated in the Marine Corps in the same manner basic damage control is treated in the Navy. Although CBR-D is one aspect of shipboard damage control, CBR-D does not get the attention that it does in the Marine Corps. A Senior Marine Corps NBC specialist, who works with NBC requirements, believes training is the key ... "Of all the problems associated with defending the forces against an NBC attack, none is more important than maintaining a constant steady-strain approach concerning training."(39)
Marine Corps CBR-D Equipment
The gas mask in current use by the Marine Corps is the M40A1 protective mask. The United States Army will also employ this mask. The key requirements of the M40A1 mask are:
1) Respiratory protection from all CB warfare agents.
2) Enhanced Comfort and external filter.
3) Improved communication.
4) Quick Doff/Second skin hood, improved vision correction, and laser ballistic eye protection.(40)
The mask consists of a silicone rubber face-piece with an in-turned peripheral face seal and binocular rigid lens system. It accommodates canisters which meet all NATO standards for inter-operability. The filter is face mounted and can be worn on either side of the face. Microphones and air adapters are provided for combat vehicle operations. Infantrymen will wear the M40 mask, while combat vehicle crewman will wear the M42; the two masks are interchangeable. The communication system includes speech amplification and microphones are interchangeable. The second skin hood improves the mask's NBC survivability, while new eye lens outserts provide laser ballistic eye protection.(41) The need to stick with a single gas mask is essential. During the Gulf War, the switching of gas masks from the M17A1 to the M17A2 during pre-war hostilities, created numerous logistic problems. It is important that the Army and Marine Corps stick to this gas mask of the future.
The need to have all US Forces using the same equipment is not having the same success in chemical protective outfits as enjoyed by Gas Masks. The Army is currently fielding the Battle Dress Overgarment (BDO) Chemical Protective Suit. This outfit is similar to the Navy's CPO in that is a two-piece, air permeable overgarment worn over the duty uniform. The overgarment material consists of an outer layer of nylon cotton, and an inter-layer of charcoal impregnated polyurethane foam. It is a throw away item with a thirty day life span once opened from its vacuum packaged bag. It has a life span of only 24 hours after exposure to a chemical agent. The Marine Corps is currently employing the Saratoga Suit along with the BDO. The Saratoga suit uses spherical, activated carbon absorbers immobilized in the linear fabric. The design of the suit allows for a lighter, cooler garment. The carbon spheres are also specifically treated to minimize water absorption. The Saratoga suit is insensitive to humidity and perspiration and allows for repeated laundering of the garment.(42)
Amphibious Assault Vehicles
Current Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) employed by the United States Marine Corps are the AAVP7 series personnel carrier, Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) series vehicles, M1A1 and M88A1 tanks. The AAV provides respiratory protection only for the crew; it provides no collective protection system (CPS) and no chemical detection capability. All riders would require the wearing of full individual protective equipment. Infantry who have disembarked could not reembark into the AAV unless risking contamination of the vehicle unless established procedures were in place prior to reentry. The AAVC7 (command and control variant), should be the most likely candidate for the development for a collective protection system; it doubtful that the crew would ever have the necessity to leave the vehicle. A detection and warning capability in this variant would also be a good expenditure, as detection of agents could be rapidly disseminated. The LAV (all variants) provides respiratory protection for all personnel the vehicle is capable of carrying. It does not have a collective protection system, but does have a M43A1 chemical detection and warning system. In the case of the LAV-25, which has the capability of carrying 4 infantrymen, who may be required to enter and return as part of their mission, they would have the same contamination problem as the AAV. The current fielded variants of the LAV have similar chemical vulnerabilities as the AAV; however their mission of reconnaissance, places a greater need for improved detection capabilities.(43) The LAV has an improved gas particulate filter unit over the AAV. The LAV is not an air tight vehicle so wearing of IPE would still be required which will restrict the movements of personnel inside the already cramped vehicles. The LAVC2, like the AAVC7, should be considered for a collective protection system. The M1A1 tank has an integrated NBC protection system which not only offers the crew protection through a collective protection system but provides temperature control and filtered air to crew cooling vests. It has a back up gas particulate filter unit, and an internal chemical detection system. Clearly the M1A1 tank is the state of art design in NBC protection for assault vehicles. It is the way to go in future development of equipment and is the minimum standard that the US should shoot for when designing assault vehicles.
Lets examine this simple scenario. The Marine Amphibious Task Force is deployed aboard a 3 ship Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) in the Mediterranean. A natural disaster develops in a country bordering one of the countries that possesses chemical weapons. The National Command Authority orders the ARG to deliver aid to the country in a humanitarian type mission. The neighboring country is hostile towards US humanitarian intervention within their neighbor's borders. They attack the task force with precision guidance munitions with chemical warheads that hit all 3 ships of the ARG, as the landing force is disembarking. The chaos that could be expected on those ships would be tremendous. The ships and the landing force although attempting to protect themselves are unprepared and suffer major casualties. They are forced to leave the operational area and the mission is canceled. It is a far fetched scenario, however, one that needs recognized. Are the Navy and Marine Corps ready to handle this sort of attack, where the Navy not only has to worry about sailors fighting the casualty but also caring for their Marine counterparts? Do the Marines know the CBR-D procedures aboard ship? Can they get to their personal protection equipment, and do they know the locations of the decontamination stations? Has the Navy incorporated into their CBR-D training simultaneous amphibious operations, while conducting CBR-D? The answer to these all these questions is no! CBR-D needs to be conducted in the same fashion we conduct emergency egress and emergency escape breathing device training immediately after the troops embark. No Marine or Navy doctrinal manual addresses the requirement to conduct this sort of training. The Navy and Marine Corps need to conduct amphibious exercises in full IPE. Initial training could be conducted during workups, during the Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operations Configured (MEUSOC) validation and on a quarterly basis, while deployed thereafter. This type of training would be dificult, but it must be considered to prevent the chaos and loss that could be expected in this type of scenario.
Lessons learned from the Gulf War
This paper previously discussed the strategic aspects between the Commander-in-Chief of the United States and Sadaam Hussein on the retribution that would occur if Iraqi forces used chemical or biological weapons. The troops in the field and on the ships, however, had to prepare for the event of chemical weapons and be able to fight in this environment. Having never fought in a modern day war with the presence of chemical weapons, US forces were uncertain of the effects these weapons would have on the battlefield. The psychological effect is one of the greatest concerns of battlefield commanders. It is uncertain if the level of preparation for the use of these weapons was adequate. A review of message traffic from the Gulf War, indicates there were severe logistic problems in individual protective equipment (IPE). On 4 December 1990, II MEF reported numerous NBC equipment deficiencies listed in figure 3:
Apron, Toxic Agent Protective 431
M-11 Decon Apparatus Portable 2,167
M13 portable decon apparatus 1,598
M256 Chemical Detector Kit 157
M25A1 Mask 804
M17A2 field protective Mask 5,407
OG-84 suit, Chemical Protective (all sizes) 912
M8 Paper 8,135
M1 Canteen Cap 16,270
M13 filters 540(44)
Figure 1: II MEF IPE Deficiency List December 4, 1990
Much of the extremely high number of deficient IPE was from finding unserviceable gear in theater. Unfortunately, it was too close to the commencement of hostilities to have this much equipment not already in the hand of the troops. A message sent by Commanding General, First Fleet Service Support Group (FSSG) on 2 February 1991, desperately inquired on the status of the canteen caps and M9 paper since there were none in the possession of the FSSG.(45) The response from the logistics agency on 26 February was less than adequate; it never addressed the shipping status of the gear, rather explained the correct agency to which the information could be gained.(46) The troops most likely were well on their way back home before any one had a clear idea where this gear was. These are only a few examples of logistical problems; the most glaring account is a 7 January 1991 letter from Commanding General, 2nd Marine Division to I MEF depicting a shortfall of over 64,000 items deficient in the division(47) It was learned after the war that more equipment was actually on hand than was being reported. Units were either not reporting correct equipment totals, or the troops were in possession of more than they were required.(48) The Marine Corps Lessons Learned System (MCLLS) is full of these NBC logistic support messages, and gives us a telling story of how prepared we were to fight in a CB environment. The guidance from Head Quarters Marine Corps (HQMC) on gas masks was that each Marine would have a brand new or recently tested M17A2 gas mask.(49) The M17A1 gas mask could be converted into M17A2 but required testing. Testing of CBR Gear was not necessarily a major problem, however it pointed out several other problems.(50) Reserve units had inadequate amounts of the M17A2 Field Protective Mask s; several of these units were still using M17 and M17A1 mask, many of which were unserviceable. There was a sizing problem identified by many com mands indicating that units had too many extra small and extra large masks and were trying to acquire medium sized masks. This indicates that the logisticians need to reevaluate if the correct sizes are out in the fleet and make adjustments. The gas mask Test and Evaluation Unit, working two 12 hour shifts could not meet the demand for the number of gas masks that needed tested prior to a unit deploying. This unit required a planned augmentation when preparing for this type of engagement.(51) The process of exchanging these gas masks was very burdensome as there were as many as 8,000 mask that turned up missing during the exchange process.(52) Further complicating the gas mask problem, the new M40 Gas Mask was ready for deployment in the first quarter of 1991. The Navy also had gas mask problems. The Navy had by this time fielded the MCU-2P gas mask to all ships. The prob lem concerning the MCU-2P was the correct usage of the filters. Some ships fearing the worst case scenario, opened and inserted the canisters as soon as they felt they were susceptible to these type weapons. It was not until mid-January that the fleet received absolute guidance on the exact usage of these canisters; canisters would be opened only after the setting of MOPP level III.(53) Since only two canisters are provided for each mask, several ships had already expended 50% of their assets. Once opened the masks had a 60 day useful life in an uncontaminated environment.
In mid-October 1990, the use of Convulsant Antidote Nerve Agent (CANA, or more widely known as Valium) was identified as being critical in preventing or reducing convulsions and resultant brain damage in nerve agent casualties.(54) On 30 December 1990, a memorandum published by the 2nd Marine Division, outlined the standard operating procedures for the administration of CANA.(55) The distribution of this memorandum had trouble reaching the field; additional message traffic concerning the correct usage of this drug was still being ad dress ed as late as 5 February 1991. As of this date, CANA was still not in the hands of the troops.(56) On 9 February 1991, a Marine Corps Headquarters message identified exactly how many CPOs would be carried by each individual.(57) The problem of this message was that it indicated that each troop would carry Atropine and 2-Pam Chloride injectors, but made no comment of the aforementioned CANA.
Training of the troops in the essential aspects of personal protection was one of the few positive aspects of the Gulf War, however initially had its share of problems. The 2nd Marine Division sponsored a SWA sustainment training NBC skills course, attended by all marines sent to SWA. This one day course met the personal protection mission requirements of the division and addressed the threat expected in the SWA.(58) Once in Saudi Arabia, the NBC training objectives were broadened not only to cover survival of a CB attack, but continuing of assigned missions. Units held NBC team training on NBC control centers, monitor survey, personnel decontamination sites, equipment decontamination sites and casualty decontamination operations. The steady influx of new equipment, new personnel, and changing doctrine complicated training. "Despite this, the readiness of NBC teams was considered high going into the ground war."(59) The Navy Medical community was initially inadequately trained and equipped to operate in an NBC environment and conduct chemical casualty handling operations. The problem was compounded in that many medical personnel deployed to SWA were reserves with little experience or knowledge in basic NBC survival skills. 2nd Marine Division arranged for Army medical personnel to bring the Navy personnel up to speed. "By the start of the ground war, Marines felt confident that medical personnel were trained and ready to handle chemical casualties."(60) As can be expected, reserves lacked training in individual NBC measures and required additional training upon their arrival in SWA. New equipment such as the Chemical Agent Monitor (CAM), and the ZEN BC Hazard computer all showed up in SWA without missing documentation, tech manuals, and qualified operators. "NBC training at all levels within the Marine Corps was inadequate at the beginning of Operation Desert Storm. Only because of the Extended period of time between the deployment of initial units and actual start of the air war were marine units able to develop and conduct training to overcome deficiencies. The degree of NBC readiness achieved by the beginning of the ground war needs to be maintained through continued effective training."(61)
Besides the CB threat present in the theater, the effects of burning oil wells and various chemical plants in the Al Jubayl also presented a concern among the troops. The Center of Naval Analysis determined that the M17A1 mask had limited protection against certain petroleum products and after 15 minutes, breakthrough could occur. Ammonia Hydrogen Sulfide and Chlorine were also toxic gases that would be present if the chemical plants were damaged.(62)
Complicating the already numerous problems in preparing the forces, there were several messages on defective equipment, or equipment that would become defective in the extreme heat of the theater. This equipment required inspection and further complicated logistic problems. These problems are listed In Figure 3:
EQUIP PROBLEM SOLUTION
Chemical Protective Suit Defective all suits inspected for DLA100-89-0-0428(63)
CPO Faulty Packaging inspection of CPO packaging(64)
M258A1 kit #2 Packet burst inspection of all M258A1 kits(65)
M18A2 fails detection of perform 6 step test on a weekly basis(66)
V and G vapor.
Figure 2: Gulf War Defective NBC Equipment
The lessons of the Gulf War were many. Were US forces prepared to fight in a CB environment? If the Iraqi forces could have had coordinated chemical attacks while defending the obstructions they had in place, would the 100 hour ground war have been so successful? One really must question our readiness after reviewing the amount of missing or defective equipment as well as the initial training problems.
"In February 1994, The Secretary of Defense, required by Public Law 103-160 Authorization Act of 1994, assigned the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Atomic Energy) ATSD(AE), as the single office responsible for management and oversight of the Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense (CBD) program."(67)
The ASTD (AE) is responsible for:
1) Ensuring close and continuous coordination between the non-medical and medical chemical and biological defense programs.
2) Provide Congress an annual report on chemical and biological defense readiness, training and medical capabilities.
3) Direct the consolidation, coordination and integration of the chemical and biological defense budget for the military departments.(68)
For many years each military department would go its separate way in CBR-D training and equipment. Each service did not treat the importance of CBR-D in the same light. Services interested in these programs were the Marine Corps and the Army, while the Navy and Air Force, as might be expected, were not as supportive. The Army being the lead service in CBR-D has retained the lead in these programs and is the Executive Agent for DOD to coordinate and integrate research, development, test evaluation, and acquisition activities. It will supervise the military construction requirements of all the services for CBR-D.(69) The Chemical and Biological threat that was dealt with in the Gulf War and the extreme growing pains that were observed in preparing for this threat, brought to light the glowing differences between the services in regards to training and equipment. With increased importance placed on Joint Warfare brought about by the Goldwat er-Nichols Act, it was only natural that this the Chem ical and Biological Defense Program would become Joint. Demonstrating the importance of this program is the amount of money allocated for FY96: 3 billion dollars.(70) Established were two boards, a Joint Service Integration Group (JSIG) and a Joint Service Material Group (JSMG) to coordinate and prioritized how to spend this money.(71) The FY 97-01 POM for NBC defense is currently being worked, it specifically delineates the priorities and each programs allocation. Briefly, some of the highlights outlining the priorities of the POM are: 1) Contamination Avoidance. The highest priority for FY 96 is the activation of a ground-based biological agent point detection capability and a rapid-prototype point detector for shipboard applications. 2) Chemical detection and reconnaissance. Efforts are under way to develop and field improved point detectors, including the fielding of a ship mounted automatic liquid agent detector by FY 99. 3) Individual Protection. Strategy focuses on a Joint Service lightweight protective ensemble with fieldings scheduled for FY 97, and an improved aircrew respiratory protection system, scheduled for FY 98. 4) Collective Protection. The focus is on equipping selected ships with collective protection systems (CPS) and reducing power consumption, maintenance, and logistics for the next generation of CPS for all applications. 5) Decontamination. Near and mid-term improvements are focused on fielding by FY 99, a Modular Decontamination System (MDS) to automate decontamination operations. Far term enhancements are centered on new technologies for decontaminant s. 6) Training. The Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force have collocated NBC Defense training activities with the Army Chemical School at Fort McClellan, AL. The facilities at McClellan provide first class training and include a decontamination Apparatus Training Facility and a toxic agent Chemical Training Facility, the only one of its kind in the free world.(72)
The Joint effort in CBR-D by the United States Armed Forces has been long awaited. For years each service developed their own equipment and when we had to fight jointly, as we did in the Gulf War, it created confusion. The Joint effort in CBR-D will ensure that all services are playing on the same playing field and can support each other in their ability to fight in this type of environment.
Future CBR-D Equipment
The amount of CBR-D equipment currently in development is tremendous. The Joint Services need to selectively manage the 3 billion dollars allocated for this purpose. The competition for these dollars is substantial and the Services must buy the best equipment available. A summary of detection equipment under development or nearly available with emphasis on the Marine Corps and Navy needs is as follows:
1) Improved Chemical Agent Monitor (ICAM). ICAM is currently in production. The ICAM is a requirement for the Marine Corps; the Navy is only expressing interest in the ICAM. The ICAM is a lightweight, hand-held device for monitoring and differentiating of chemical agents. It monitors vapors of chemical agents by sensing molecular ions of specific mobility (time of flight) and uses timing and micro-processor technology to reject interferences.(73) The ICAM can be used for detection and decontamination procedures. It will be a welcome replacement for the M256 detection kit.
2) XM22 Automatic Chemical Agent Detector Alarm (ACADA). ACADA is projected to be available during FY 97. The ACADA is a requirement for the Marine Corps; the Navy is only expressing interest in the ACADA. The XM22 is a one man portable point sampling alarm system that provides significant improvements over current capabilities. It can detect, identify, and quantify all nerve agents, mustard and lewsite. It will provide concurrent nerve and blister agent detection, an extensive built in test capability, a data communications capability, improved sensitivity, response time, and interference rejection. It will have the capability for programming of new threat agents.(74) It will replace the M8A1 as an automatic point detector and will augment the CAM for decontamination.
3) Agent Water System. This system is cur rently in development, with an unknown deployment date. The Agent Water System will be a requirement for all the services. It will improve current water monitoring and purifying capabilities, and automatically detect CB agents at or below harmful levels in water.(75)
4) Joint Service Chemical Miniature Agent Detector (JSCMAD). The JSCMAD is currently in development with an unknown deployment date. The JSCMAD will be a family of miniature chemical detectors that will be able to conduct a variety of missions; this product is a requirement of all the services. Primarily, the JSCMAD will consist of a small device worn by individual personnel to warn them of a chemical agent attack. Variants will also be manufactured to quantify and warn of the presence of nerve agents and blister agents in vapor form in aircraft interiors. Finally, it will be used in a shipboard environment capable of detecting nerve agents and blister agents on personnel and in compartments, free of all shipboard interference.(76)
5) Interim Biological Agent Detector (IBAD)/Biological Integrated Detection System (BIDS). These products are currently in development with an unknown deployment date. IBAD is a requirement for the Navy and Marine Corps, and BIDS is a requirement for the Army. IBAD will provide a near term solution to a deficiency in shipboard stand-off detection of biological warfare agents. It will provide real-time biological and toxicological agents at concentrations below incapacitating doses. BIDS will be HMMVW mounted and will be the a total package of field CB detection.(77) The fol low-on product to the IBAD will be a family of biological detection products that will provide stand-off detection. This family of products will identify biological aerosol clouds at a range of 5-20 Km.(78)
6) M21 Remote Sensing Chemical Agent Alarm (RSCAAL). The RSCAAL is expected to be deployed in FY 97. It is a requirement of the Army and the Maine Corps. It will have the capability of detecting nerve and blister agent vapor clouds at line of sight distances out to 5 km. The RSCAAL will be mounted on the improved Fox Reconnaissance Vehicle.(79) The M21 has to remain stationary when in use and will cover a 60 degree sector. To enhance the M21 the Joint Service Lightweight Stand-off Chemical Agent Detector (JSLSCAD) is being developed. The JSLSCAD will permit 360 degree coverage from either a stationary position or on-the-move.(80) The JSLSAD can also be mounted on a number of platforms including M1A1 tanks, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, helicopters and UAVs.(81)
7) M93 NBC Reconnaissance System (NBCRS) Interim System. The XM93 is a dedicated system for NBC detection, warning and sampling equipment, integrated into a high speed, high mobility armored carrier capable of performing NBC reconnaissance on all areas throughout the battlefield. The XM93 will have an excellent communication suite and a collective protection system.(82)
The explosion in products on the personnel protection side is also tremendous. The following are a few initiatives under way in this area.
1) A/P22P-9(V). This system is in production and will provide a head-eye respiratory protection for air crews. The ensemble utilizes a blower to provide a positive pressure to the user.(83)
2) Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology 1 (JLIST 1). This program is a fully cooperative research and development effort to develop new CB protective suits and garment for all the services. The goal of this program is to provide enhanced CB protective ensembles with reduced physiological heat burden and be lightweight and launderable. Extending the protection capabilities of the clothing is also a major goal of these pro grams.(84)
3) Advanced Deployable Collective Protection Equipment (ADCPE). This is a development program designed to provide biological and chemical collective protection with advanced regenerative air filtration technology. This technology will replace current single pass carbon filter-based systems to protect the forces from threats. This technology will alleviate the process of changing filters.(85) This technology will spread to hospitals, command post and storage areas.
The joint services are also very interested in decontamination technology; a few of the new products include:
1) M291 Decontamination Kit. Currently in Production, and is a requirement for all the services. The M291 will enable the user to perform basic decontamination to remove, neutralize, or destroy CB warfare agents and toxins on contaminated personnel and equipment. The M291 is a kit small and rugged enough to be carried in a trouser pocket. Each kit contains an applicator pad impregnated with decontaminates. Each kit will allow the decontamination of approximately 42 ft2 of equipment surface. The Army will deploy a M295 kit which provides a mitt that decontaminates 55 ft2.(86)
2) M17A2/A3 Lightweight Decontamination System (LDS). LDS is currently in production to serve the Army and the Marine Corps requirements. The M17A2/A3 LDS is an improved lightweight compact engine driven pump and multifuel-fired water heating system. The system can be used for hasty and deliberate decontamination and is capable of drawing water from any source and delivering it at moderate pressure (100 psi) and controlled temperature (120o C). The LDS will have a 3000 gal storage tank and the Marine Corps will have a diesel power version(87)
The preceding products are not all inclusive. The amount of CBR-D products available, not only in the United States, but through European suppliers is staggering. The 3 billion dollars allocated for this equipment must be protected and not purged to fund other projects. The ability to protect our forces as well as maintaining the capability to conduct offensive operations in a CB environment in future engagements rides on this money and commitment.
The need for a biological detection capability is essential. "One Army analysis indicated that in a downwind Scud missile attack with an anthrax warhead, forces with no notification of the threat could expect unit effectiveness to plummet 90%. With prior warning, a drop of less than 20% is fore cast."(88) In a 1993 report to Congress the Government Accounting Office severely criticized our ability to detect biological agents. "In the 6 years preceding Operation Desert Storm, less than 7 percent of total chemical and biological research and development funds went to biological agent detection. Although the intelligence community had warned about the increasing availability of biological agent s, little emphasis was placed on their detection because DOD's analyses discounted the use of biological warfare."(89) The fact that the US can maintain a force that can respond to all engagements in an NBC environment, may act as a deterrent against rationally led countries since their forces would also be exposed to the agents effects. "For our forces to survive and fight under contaminated battlefield conditions, an integrated, balanced program is essential. Our forces must have aggressive, realistic training and defensive equipment that allows them to avoid contamination, if possible, and to protect, decontaminate and sustain operations on the non-line ar battlefield"(90)
Lets examine a scenario that could realistically occur early in the not to distant future. The United States military has spent the money wisely in CBR-D programs. It has learned from its initial unpreparedness of the Gulf War, and is now prepared to conduct offensive operations in a CB environment. The Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group validated their MEUSOC exercises during workups, and is fully trained in CBR-D procedures. The MEUSOC and the ships have successfully conducted CBR-D exercises including a full amphibious landing in IPE. During the first half of the deployment, a CBR-D exercise was conducted as a part of Joint Exercise Display Determination 03 held during a 7 day period at Sardinia. Display Determination was an Army Corps level exercise that demonstrated US Joint Force abilities in a CBR-D environment.
During this deployment unrest has grown in North ern Africa as the belligerent Libya is intent of regional dominance. Libya, having vowed to expand its borders, launches a ground attack on the Tunisian borders, which a small but effective Tunisian force initially thwarts. Troops from the MEUSOC and other coalition forces move ashore. Libya not wanting a repeat of the Gulf War, where US forces used the long period before the ground offensive to prepare for a CB environment, quickly reinforce and mount a counterattack, preceding the attack with a nerve agent cloud. Libyan forces, whose CBR-D equipment was pre-Gulf War technology, experience a high number of casualties. The Libyan forces are easily routed as their advance was slowed by the mounting casualties they encountered when forced to fight in their own self-inflicted gas cloud. US Marine Corps casualties were minimal. Precision guided missiles were launched at the USS Puller (LPD-17), and nerve agents were detected by the ship, however the attack delivered no casualties. The newest LPD was equipped with a collective protection system which allowed her to continue operations in the CB environmen. Marine Corps reconnaissance and detection capability and was able to minimize the amount of casualties among the coalition forces, providing a well timed warning of the presence of chemical weapons, allowing the appropriate MOPP level to be set in a timely fashion. The Land Force Commander expertly maneuvered his forces to contain the Libyan assault and used the wind to his advantage to trap the opposing force in its own deadly cloud.
This scenario is very similar to our previously discussed scenario where a CB attack thwarts the US forces. Through an aggressive training program, in which we changed our attitudes towards the CB problem, and expenditure of money in a diligent manner, the MEUSOC and US forces countered a CB attack. The decisions that we make right now in training and expenditures for CBR-D equipment will determine our ability to handle these scenarios in future engagements.
The US Navy and Marine Corps team were not prepared to fight is a CB environment at the beginning of the Gulf War. This is not to say that the outcome of the war would have been different if Iraqi forces had attacked into Saudi Arabia sooner with CB weapons. US forces would have ulti mately gained victory, however the cost would have been much greater, as would have been the numbers of casualties suffered. Desert Shield allowed US forces to do a quick ramp-up in CBR-D training, and level the playing field in the event of a CB attack. We will never know what the effects of such an attack would have been. Hopefully, the US will never have to experience a CB attack on our forces. The Navy and Marine Corps must plan for the inevitable, however, and I believe we are on the right track in adjusting the thinking towards this problem. The prudent spending of the 3 billion dollars allocated towards CBR-D equipment is essential in maintaining the commitment to CBR-D. Certainly, the services must protect this money from those who want to spend it on other projects. The Navy must design ships with colective protection systems; bett er designed chemical warfare washdown systems (CWWDS), and enhanced ship's survivability packages like the current design of the LPD-17. These are expensive systems that add many dollars to the initial ship cost, but savings would be made in not having to retrofit CPS systems that would only protect a certain portion of a ship's crew. The US Navy would benefit from a tremendous saving in IPE, as the need for this equipment would be minimal. Cur rent technology in chemical protection and detection is at an all-time high, mainly because of the difficulties encountered in the Gulf War. If the Gulf war was never fought, it is unlikely that CBR-D would be getting the attention that it is getting today. US forces must never forget the lessons learned of the Gulf War and maintain a steady-strain approach in CBR-D. The threat against our forces is a real one that will not go away any time soon.
US forces must aggressively pursue answers to the biological detection question. IBAD and BIDS are two products in development, that detect biological agents but their deployment date is still un known. Prompt detection of BW initiation is crucial, and a proven capability of detection, especially a stand-off capability, may act as a deterrence again st a biological attack.
The Marine Corps, and especially the Navy, must increase training not only classroom but also during exercises. Amphibious Operations are very demanding in themselves, let alone the increased demands placed on US forces if forced to conduct operations in a CB environment. This training must be validated during workups for the deployment. This would not be an easy as it would add an increased burden to the Amphibious Ready Group, but one we must demonstrate to protect our troops and to deter countries against CB use.
The stated thesis was that the Navy and Marine Corps would have considerable problems operating in a CB environment. Much attention has been paid to this problem since the end of the Gulf ar. At the time of this writing the Navy and Marine Corps would still have considerable problems operating in this environment. The amphibious shipping fleet currently does not have CPS, and any retrofit program would be an expensive proposition. Shipwide CPS must be installed on all future ships; it would be a simple solution to a very difficult problem. NBC training must be ramped up not only by the Navy in its everyday operations but also when conducting exercises with the Marine Corps.
Time is a critical factor. Once the technology that is in development today is in the hands of the troops, and a dedicated training program, especially in exercises at all levels, we will have a well-prepar ed force able to handle operations in a CB environment. The Navy and Marine Corps, taking a snap shot at this very moment, are on the right track, with the Marine Corps leading the way in tackling this problem.
1. 1.Hitchens, Theresa, "Wargame Finds U.S. Falls Short in Bio War", Defense News, August 28-September 3, 1995 pg 1.
2. 2.Since 1978, senior US leaders including President Clinton, have publicly promised not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries, unless allied with another nuclear power in an attack against the US or its allies. This promise, first made to the U.N. Security Council by Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter, is an underpinning of the international nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Under the treaty, strongly supported by the current President, most countries have agreed not to seek nuclear weapons in exchange for this pledge by the five nuclear powers. This so called negative security assurance for the non-nuclear states was reiterated in the US Nuclear Posture Review. This policy seems to go against the NATO policy in effect since 1949 which states the US government reserves the right to use nuclear weapons first against an adversary threatening the US of its allies with military defeat. This policy was left standing by the Nuclear Posture Review and is also the basis of the US defence agreement with Japan and South Korea.
3. 3.ibid., pg 1.
4. 4.ibid., pg 1.
5. 5.Joseph, Robert G., "Regional Implications of NBC Proliferation", Joint Force Quarterly, Autumn 1995, pg 64.
6. 6.Mahan, Alfred Thayer, "the Influence of Sea Power on History 1660-1783", Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1890, pg 123.
7. 7.The White House, "A National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement", February, 1995, pg. 7.
8. 8.Joseph, Robert G., "Regional Implications of NBC Proliferation", Joint Force Quarterly, Autumn 1995, pg 66.
9. 9."Jane's Intelligence Review Special Report N0 6, Iran's Weapons of Mass Destruction." , Coulson, Surrey, UK: Jane's Information Group, 1995.
10. 10.Joseph, Robert G., "Regional Implications of NBC Proliferation", Joint Force Quarterly, Autumn 1995, pg. 64.
11. 11.ibid., pg. 67.
12. 12.ibid., pg. 67.
13. 13.Institute for National and Strategic Studies, "Weapons of Mass Destruction: New Perspectives on Counterproliferation", National Defense University Press, Fort L.J. McNair, Washington D. C., April 1995, pg. 8.
14. 14. Grabow, Chad Lee C. LtCol, USMCR, "Middle East Nuclear/Biological/Chemical and Missile Development and Their Implications on the Special Operations Forces", 30 January 1991, pg. 7.
15. 15. McNaughter, Thomas L., "Ballistic Missiles and Chemical Weapons, The Legacy of the Iran Iraq War", International Security, Fall 1990, pg. 8.
16. 16.The BM-21 multiple rocket launcher has been exported throughout the world. Rockets can be fitted with a variety of warheads including chemical and biological. The launcher is truck mounted and can deliver up to 30 rounds.
17. 17.Walters Lee, "By the Poisons of Babylon", Defense and Diplomacy, January-February, 1001, pg. 22.
18. 18.ibid., pg. 22. Iraq's successful attack on the Majnoons on June 25 might have been typical. The artillery preparation began at 0300. Chemical rounds were mixed with high explosives. Front-line Iranian defensive positions were attacked with a mix of cyanide, nerve agent and high explosives. The bombardment lasted two hours. Iranian defenders were killed and injured, but the contamination dissipated by the time advancing Iraqi forces reached the positions. Iran reported 2,000 chemical casualties in the main battle area. Then Iraqi helicopters and fighter aircraft joined the attack, dropping mustard and nerve gas in the Iranian rear-on command and control centers, logistics sites and reserves to break -up counter attacks. Iran lost control of its defense and when the battle was over, Iraq had retaken its territory, lost since 1984.
19. 19.Interview conduct by Tim Russert with former Secretary of Defnense, Dick Cheney, "Meet the Press", 17 October, 1995.
20. 20.McNaughter, Thomas L., "Ballistic Missiles and Chemical Weapons, The Legacy of the Iran-Iraq War", International Security, Fall 1990, pg. 15.
21. 21.Joint Pub 3-11, Joint Doctrine for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington D. C., 15 April 1994, pg. II-4.
22. 22.United States Environmental Protection Agency, Internal Briefing Paper Operation Desert Storm, Profiles of Chemical Warfare agents Deployed in the Middle East for Possible Use against United States Forces, 19 February, 1995, appendix 2, pg. 2.
23. 23.ibid., pg. 1.
24. 24.Joint pub 3-11, Joint Doctrine for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington D. C., 15 April, 1994, pg. II-2.
25. 25.ibid., pg. II-3.
27. 27.Botulinum toxin kills by interferring with the nervous system and ultimately paralyzing the repritory muscles.
28. 28.Waller, Douglas, "Sadam Spills Secrets", Time, September 4, 1995.
29. 29.Refesher Training USS SAIPAN LHA-2, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, May 1995.
30. 30.Department of Defense Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Warfare Defense, Annual Report to Congress 1995, pg. 5-9.
32. 32.ibid, pg. 4-23.
33. 33.Lightweight Standoff Chemical Agent Detector, Edgewood Quarterly, Issue 4, December 1995.
34. 34.Lloyd, Thomas E., Major, UMMC (ret), "LPD-17: From the Sea in the 21st Century", Marine Corps Gazette, March,1996, pg 20
36. 36.Interview with CWO5 Bidenbender, Marine Corps Combat Development Center, Requirements Division, February 5, 1996.
38. 38.Department of Defense Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Warfare Defense, Annual Report to Congress 1995, pg 4-23.
39. 39.Interview with CWO5 Bidenbender, Marine Corps Combat Development Center, Requirements Division, 5 February, 1996.
40. 40.ibid, pg. C-3.
41. 41.ibid., pg. C-4.
42. 42.ibid., pg. 4-21.
43. 43.U. S. Army Chemical Research, Development and Engineering Command, "Amphibious Assault Mission Area Analysis, Enhancement of the NBC Defensive Posture for the Amphibious Assault Mission Area, Phase , 19 February 1991, pg. 36.
44. 44.CG II MEF 042147ZDEC90
45. 45.CG FIRST FSSG 021300ZFEB91
46. 46.CDR AMCCOM ROCK ISL IL 261447Z FEB 91
47. 47.CG 2ND MARDIV ltr 4400DSO, dtd 7 Jan 91, NBC SHORTFALLS
48. 48.Interview with CWO5 Bidenbender, Marine Corps Combat Development Center, Requirements Division, 5 February, 1996.
49. 49.COMMARCDRLOGBASES ALBANY GA 302120ZJAN91
50. 50.Testing of gas masks was conducted by the Test and Evaluation Unit; in 6 months they tested, repaired and replaced over 16,000 gas masks sent to SWA.
51. 51.Test and Evaluation Unit West, "Mask Testing Accomplishments during DESERT SHIELD/STO RM", 31 May 1991.
52. 52.CG I MEF 061302ZJAN91
53. 53.NAVSESS 182150ZJAN91
54. 54.COMUSCENTCOM 160810ZOCT90
55. 55.CG 2ND MARINE DIVISION MEMORANDUM 3402/G4 SUPO dtd 30 DEC 90.
56. 56.COMUSMARCENT 050643ZFEB91
57. 57.CMC WASHINGTON DC 090101ZFEB91
58. 58.2ND MARINE DIVISION Program of Instruction, SWA sustainment training NBC skills, November 1990.
59. 59.MCCDC (WF) MCLLS record #RAP 1145/1147, 30 June 1992
62. 62.United States Marine Corps, CNA representative, I Marine Expeditionary Force, memorandum dated 29 November, 1990.
63. 63.DPSA PHILADELPHIA PA 231930ZJAN91
64. 64.CDRTROSCOM ST LOUIS MO 192345ZSEP90
65. 65.COMMARCORLOGBASES ALBANY GA 102110ZOCT90
66. 66.CDR AMCCOM APG MD 141830ZJAN91
67. 67.Department of Defense Nuclear/Biological Warfare Defense, FY95 Annual Report to Congress, pg. 1-3.
68. 68.ibid., pg 1-4.
69. 69.Joint Service Chemical and Biological Defense, 97-01 Program Objective Memorandum (POM) Strategy, Executive Summary, 11 May 1995 pg I-2.
70. 70.Interview with CWO5 Bidenbender, Marine Corps Combat Development Center, Requirements Division, 5 February, 1996.
71. 71.Joint Service Chemical and Biological Defense, 97-01 Program Objective Memorandum (POM) Strategy, Executive Summary, 11 May 1995 pg I-2.
72. 72.ibid., pg I-4.
73. 73.Department of Defense Nuclear/Biological /Chemical (NBC) Warfare Defense, Annual Report to Congress, April 1995, pg. A-3.
74. 74.ibid., pg. A-3.
75. 75.ibid., pg. A-4.
76. 76.ibid., pg. A-6.
77. 77.ibid., pg. A-6.
78. 78.ibid., pg. A-12.
79. 79.M21 Remote Sensing Chemical Agent Alarm, Edgewood Quarterly, Issue 6, September, 1995.
80. 80.Department of Defense Nuclear/Biological /Chemical (NBC) Warfare Defense, Annual Report to Congress, April 1995, pg. A-10.
81. 81.Lightweight Standoff Chemical Agent Detector, Edgewood Quarterly, Issue 4, December 1995.
82. 82.Department of Defense Nuclear/Biological/Chemical (NBC) Warfare Defense, Annual Report to Congress, April 1995, pg. A-13.
83. 83.ibid., pg. C-5.
84. 84.ibid., pg. C-14.
85. 85.Advanced Deployable Collective Protection Equipment, Edgewood Quarterly, Issue 4, December, 1994.
86. 86.Department of Defense Nuclear/Biological /Chemical (NBC) Warfare Defense, Annual Report to Congress, April 1995, pg. E-4.
87. 87.ibid., pg. E-4.
88. 88.Beal, Clifford, "An Invisible Enemy", International Defense Review, March 1995, pg. 39.
89. 89.United States General Accounting Office, National Security and International Affairs Division, Report to Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, 26 January 1993.
90. 90.ibid., pg. iii.
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