Army Chemical Review


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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28 Army Chemical Review By Major Tiffany L. Dills and Captain Li Xu In recent years, extraordinary advances have been made in the technical training and equipment of chemical, biologi- cal, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) Soldiers at the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear School (USACBRNS). However, the return of Army warfghting commands to unifed land operations will likely require an- other change in U.S. Army Chemical Corps focus. Although we will continue to need adaptable leaders who are technical experts and certifed in all areas of CBRN and weapons of mass destruction threats, we cannot forget the fundamen- tals of CBRN defense, which comprise the credentials of all CBRN Soldiers. As a Regiment, we must make a deliberate effort to refresh our basic skills, such as completing analog CBRN hazard plots, taking CBRN protective measures in support of operational maneuver, and determining the ef- fects of weather on CBRN materials and agents on the bat- tlefeld. As we continue to reduce our force structure, our ability to provide technical advice and guidance to maneu- ver commanders remains paramount. The proper alignment and employment of CBRN assets will continue to be the key to the success of the Chemical Corps. In the fall of 2014, III Corps, Fort Hood, Texas, initiated the "Road to Unifed Land Operations" training plan with a series of staff training events, a staff training exercise, and participation as a joint forces land component command headquarters/high command during Army Warfghter Exer- cise 15-2. In February 2015, the corps again served as a joint forces land component command headquarters in the evalu- ated training event, Warfghter Exercise 15-3. While the technical capabilities of the corps CBRN staff were sound, the staff required additional focus to regain profciency in a number of tasks. Similarly, the corps staff was collectively unfamiliar with some of the technical aspects of CBRN de- fense that have not normally been employed in the last de- cade of counterinsurgency-centric operations. The joint forces land component command headquarters staff was required to provide the commander and subordi- nate units with timely and accurate information regarding the potential impact of CBRN employment by enemy forces and unconventional threats. Although other staffs pos- sessed a cursory understanding of chemical agent effects, they lacked a comprehensive understanding of the effects of temperature, weather, and terrain on the use of CBRN mu- nitions. Most understood the importance of agent type and wind direction in determining risk, but few understood the implications and effects of extreme temperature on chemi- cal weapons. They were also unfamiliar with the chemical weapons employment doctrine of our adversaries; therefore, it was necessary for the joint forces land component com- mand CBRN staff to share such knowledge in an effort to shape input into the daily targeting work group. While the III Corps CBRN staff is now trained in aspects of chemical protection, additional training is needed to improve readi- ness in addressing the more complex risk of exposure to ra- diological dispersion devices and nuclear materials. Participation in the events leading up to Warfghter Ex- ercise 15-3 forced the CBRN Section, III Corps, to review, understand, and implement comprehensive protective mea- sures to ensure optimum support to the operational ma- neuver forces. To best advise commanders at all levels, the III Corps CBRN staff must be technically competent in a broad range of technical tasks. Given a complex, noncon- tiguous battlefeld, CBRN offcers and noncommissioned of- fcers must be able to rapidly assess risks associated with the entire spectrum of chemical agents, toxic industrial chemicals, biological threats, and radiological materials. CBRN personnel must then be able to translate those risks into operational terms and make sound recommendations to commanders in order to limit exposure and risk while main- taining momentum and freedom of maneuver. In completing these tasks, there is no substitute for the proper preparation of staff tools. Our automated tools provide powerful capabili- ties for managing operations and plotting hazards; however, to meet the requirements of a mechanized or armored force, the CBRN staff must also be capable of completing the hasty (sometimes nearly immediate) templating of downwind haz- ards for chemical and radiological contamination. Through the application of timely recommendations, followed by more detailed modeling from reachback organizations such as the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the CBRN staff best sup- ports the mobility of the maneuver forces. As always, staff integration and coordination remain critical. For example, the CBRN section must ensure that analysts from the intel- ligence offce (G-2) recognize indicators and warnings and understand weapons of mass destruction employment doc- trine. In addition, the fres planners, corps targeting offcers,

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