Army Chemical Review

SUMMER 2013

Army Chemical Review presents professional information about Chemical Corps functions related to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, smoke, flame, and civil support operations.

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offcers then diligently worked to ensure that classroom verbal communication and equipment descriptions met teaching requirements. Many English words do not translate well into Arabic, so U.S. supervision was required to ensure that proper meanings were conveyed. In addition, most Iraqi students cannot read Arabic numbers. This meant that the students were unable to interpret data obtained from radiac meters. The translation workload was immense, and CRT 1 noncommissioned offcers put forth extreme effort to meet the daunting translation requirements. Some classes were translated only hours before the actual training took place. Lessons for future Phase IV chemical planners include completing translation efforts early and ensuring that interpreters are capable of operating the training equipment. Allowing interpreters to operate the equipment and then write the proper translation saves a great deal of time and ultimately results in the development of additional trainers. ● Training. The CRT 1 trainers had few issues with the Iraqi CDC students. The students were intelligent and motivated. They attended classes an average of 7 hours each day, proving to be attentive and hard-working. The CRT 1 trainers did one very important thing to help achieve this result— they became friends with the Iraqis before becoming their teachers. This approach is recommended in cultural awareness training, but the implementation is diffcult. Phase IV operations involve partnering with and training a foreign military; Phase IV trainers must understand the culture of the host nation, and they must treat each partner soldier with dignity and respect. In no other forum is the professionalism of the American noncommissioned offcer more prevalent, or is he or she more challenged, than in training a foreign soldier. American Soldiers with Type A personalities may be motivated, but that personality could crush the will of a foreign student. However, all CRT 1 Soldiers were committed to the mission and it was only through their efforts that the training succeeded. Finally, a capstone event is critical in determining the performance of the WMD elimination element. ● Equipment. The world community abhors the mere possession of WMD; therefore, a partner nation may be under United Nations-imposed sanctions when U.S. forces enter into stability operations. These sanctions prevent the import of WMD elimination products since these dual-use products can also be used in the production of WMD. And signing the Chemical Weapons Convention does not necessarily result in the sanctions being lifted because the partner nation must demonstrate intent and capability to meet treaty obligations. This was the case in Iraq in 2009. Whereas the United Nations lifted most of the sanctions in 2003, restrictions preventing the importation of chemical protective items and bulk chemicals remained in place. This was a major issue since hands-on CDC training proved diffcult without the 36 necessary equipment. The solution required leveraging the U.S. Embassy in Iraq to acquire an exception to policy from the U.S. State Department—a process that proved extremely slow. To complete the mission, CRT 1 used its own commercial, off-the-shelf equipment and the 101st Chemical Company shipped protective gear from its location in Kuwait. A whole-of-government approach is needed to overcome sanction issues, and early U.S. Department of State interaction is critical to the WMD elimination effort. Conclusion The former Iraqi CDC has now grown to a regiment. This type of occurrence is likely the norm, rather than the exception, in nations that have a history of WMD production. Today, the Iraqi Chemical Corps has been reborn from a force that deployed chemical weapons on its Iranian neighbor to a force that eliminates these terrible weapons. This is a credit to the Iraqi nation and to the efforts of the U.S. Army Chemical Corps. The Chemical Corps has a role to fulfll across the entire spectrum of the joint model of operations. For decades, the Corps focused on Phase III (confict) operations, desiring to contribute to the victorious conclusion of hostilities. However, the future of the Corps involves fulflling the strategic goal of the U.S. government, not only during major hostilities, but also during preconfict and postconfict operations. By training partner chemical soldiers on methods of eliminating their own WMD stockpiles, the Chemical Corps reduces the threat of the use of the world's most dangerous weapons.6 The U.S. Army Chemical Corps is responsible for the critical WMD elimination training of partner nations. The Corps must take the lessons that have been learned and actively apply them to all subsequent operations. Endnotes: 1 National Security Strategy, May 2010. 2 Ibid. 3 Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense, DOD, January 2012, , accessed on 9 May 2013. 4 Ibid. 5 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 29 April 1997. 6 National Security Strategy, 2010. Major Gervais is a student attending the School of Advanced Military Studies, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He holds a bachelor's degree from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Army Chemical Review

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