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"The American people will continue to expect us to win in any engagement, but they will also expect us to be more efficient in protecting lives and resources while accomplishing the mission successfully. Commanders will be expected to reduce the costs and adverse effects of military operations, from environmental disruption in training to collateral damage in combat."

--Joint Vision 2010

This section is a composite of techniques and procedures from the field, especially by units supporting or taking part in the operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina during Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR (OJE), Operation JOINT GUARD (OJG), and the ongoing Operation JOINT FORGE (OJF). These lessons are grouped in an effort to relate them to the phases of force projection (training, mobilization, deployment, operations, redeployment, demobilization). The majority of the techniques and procedures focus on the tough issues that occur when applying Military Environmental Protection during contingency operations.



DISCUSSION: None of the operations groups at the three "dirt" CTCs or at BCTP include an environmental appendix or annex in the orders they provide units undergoing training. Where environmental considerations are included is primarily in the respective ITAM programs at the three maneuver installations. These programs are generally excellent, but by their very nature they are not tactically related. In all cases, Military Environmental Protection is considered as a "white force," base operations, or administrative requirement imposed on tactical play, not as an integrated tactical consideration. FM 101-5 already identifies the requirement for tactical integration, and the soon-to-be released FM 20-400/MCRP 4-11B lays out the doctrine, providing examples of an environmental appendix, annex, and a general framework for a unit SOP.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: The Engineer school, the executive agent for Military Environmental Protection for TRADOC and the Army, has not yet provided the CTCs with commander's critical information requirements (CCIR) to collect against and build a database of environmental protection techniques and procedures. With the production of FM 20-400/MCRP 4-11B and the integration of Military Environmental Protection considerations into key manuals and documents such as FM 101-5, FM 101-5-1, FM 100-14, and others, there is now a doctrinal framework for its application in the field and at training centers. With this information, trends can be identified and we can begin addressing trend reversal and, ultimately, the correct tactical application of Military Environmental Protection across the Army.


DISCUSSION: Hazardous waste removal costs money. This expenditure ultimately affects the cost of training and reduces money available for other aspects of training. The overall cost is often excessive and primarily caused by improper collection and disposal procedures. Mixing HW with other materials makes it all HW. Using a bucket-loader or small equipment excavator (SEE) for convenience to dig up more soil than was contaminated may cause you to remove 10 or 20 times more soil than is required. This would be a mark of improper training, knowledge, or discipline.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Use shovels where you can to minimize what will become contaminated soil for turn-in. Proper procedures show proper care for the environment, allow the Army to cut costs significantly, and prevent future financial liability. (See Appendix C for an example of the spill residue associated with rotations at the National Training Center.)


TOPIC: ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORITY (Environmental stewardship starts at the top)

DISCUSSION: Each of us has environmental authority, just as each of us has safety authority. If a soldier sees an unsafe act, it is his responsibility to correct it, or at least bring it to his leader's attention. The same is true with actions that are environmentally unsound. A commander may decide to take a risk in either of these areas, but that should be a considered decision and not one of omission. Clearly articulating which commander at what level has responsibility for making specific environmental decisions (as well as safety decisions) needs to be done early in the planning process. This designation of authority must also be reviewed periodically to ensure that decisions or a particular variant of risk are being made at the appropriate level.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: In the case of operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the designation of authority was given to the commander USAREUR, with a tasking to serve as the environmental executive agent (EEA). This ensured a consistent and balanced policy throughout the operation which met national policy and yet had a minimal restraining effect on operations at the lowest levels. Although the role and responsibilities of the EEA were not clearly defined in the early stages of the operation, USAREUR quickly responded by developing and coordinating the Theater Environmental Policy and by establishing environmental standards and procedures for all U.S. forces in Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR.


DISCUSSION: FM 101-5 identifies the requirement for an Appendix 2 (Environmental Considerations) in Annex F (ENGINEER) of an OPLAN or OPORD. In a joint OPLAN or OPORD this was elevated to a separate annex (Annex L). (Examples of the appendix and annex formats are provided in FM 20-400/MCRP 4-11B.) While it is an engineer's responsibility to write this appendix, the engineer is only one of several staff officers with key responsibility for the integration of Military Environmental Protection. The engineer has a primary integrating role in the process.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: The S2/G2/J2 has responsibility for collating IPB, but is not the only provider of material for the IPB. In a similar fashion, the engineer is the key staff officer responsible for planning for Military Environmental Protection. FM 101-5 identifies the S1/G1, S3/G3, S4/G4, S5/G5, the surgeon, the chemical officer, the safety officer, the PAO, and the SJA as staff officers having specific involvement in integrating aspects of Military Environmental Protection. Each staff officer has a role to include environmental considerations in their analysis. The goal is to allow the command to take preventive measures. These considerations must be applied early in the process to ensure their inclusion in the OPLAN/OPORD and must be updated by each member of the staff throughout the phases of an operation.

The OPLAN/OPORD must be conceived and developed in coordination/consultation with higher levels of command and synchronized with life support and sustainment plans. Staff integration is absolutely critical, and plans must be fully staffed or they will not be well developed to meet the needs of the operation.

A related lesson from OJE reflected that medical intelligence did not include non-medical environmental or health threats in their analysis. It is vital that preventive medicine personnel and medical planners anticipate potential areas of concern for the area of operations (AO) in the contingency. Real-time information must be passed to DOD intelligence agencies to focus collection efforts. For example, areas such as the coke plant at the Camp Punxsatawney location and the chlorine plant near Tuzla should have been included in medical intelligence reports as environmental threats. The Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center (AFMIC) Medical Environmental Disease Intelligence and Countermeasures (MEDIC) is a good source to provide applicable information (which is available on CD) for planning purposes. AFMIC needs to expand their intelligence products to include specific non-medical, environmental, or health threats as well.


DISCUSSION: "Train as you fight" includes the requirement to have useful and appropriate SOPs at all unit levels. Many of the aspects of Military Environmental Protection rightly belong in unit or installation SOPs. There are tactical applications for much of what has been thought of as merely "white force" or installation requirements and regulations. While a given contingency or operation may alter some of the standards, the SOP still provides a starting point for normalcy and institutes a proper environmental ethic within an organization. FM 20-400/MCRP 4-11B provides a generic SOP that can be copied and adjusted to reflect the peculiarities of a specific location. Whether you use this SOP or develop another one from other sources, it is critical that you consult with your installation's (CONUS or OCONUS) environmental staff if it is modified. Review the SOP prior to deployment to other training areas or contingency operations, updating it to ensure that information or guidance from higher headquarters is current and focused for the specific area in which you are operating.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Many of the preventive medicine practices in the SOP are standardized and not new. These are major pieces to Military Environmental Protection. Similarly, the linkage between safety issues and environmental considerations is also strong. Soldier safety is not a new concept, and although some of the environmental considerations are new, most are already imbedded in good leadership skills and the way the Army does business. Elements of Military Environmental Protection are definitely a part of safety and preventive medicine. The key lesson is that Military Environmental Protection needs to be trained and internalized. Only then will the Army be successful at implementing those elements of Military Environmental Protection.

Dealing with spills is a significant issue for mechanized or motorized elements. Foot mobile elements also have this concern, although it is certainly more remote. The "YOU SPILL, YOU DIG!" series of materials (see below) was prepared by USAREUR to focus on spills due to the failure of including spill consideration in unit SOPs and the failure to address it in doctrinal material. Written plans and SOPs for spills and spill prevention must be written and internalized by units prior to deployment. These SOP items are necessary for all operations, to include local training areas, motor pool operations, and other locations where a unit may operate.


DISCUSSION: More planning is needed to identify the environmental laws, regulations, and structures within the country where the contingency is taking place, as well as any of the adjacent countries through which we, or our materials, must transit. The OPLAN on the shelf must reflect this information. If this information is not collected early in the planning process, units will not be prepared when the OPLAN turns into an OPORD.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: During OJE, a significant amount of time was spent trying to determine the standards under which U.S. forces were legally operating in Bosnia, as well as surrounding areas within the AO, such as Hungary and Croatia. This made defining standards for Military Environmental Protection difficult and led to confusion early in the operation. Perhaps the greatest confusion was in attempting to deal with the hazardous waste that our forces generated. A small book could be written on the challenges associated with hazardous waste removal and the impact of the Basel Convention (a convention that the United States is a signatory to, but which Congress has not ratified). As with other aspects of the IPB, this information is critical to planning and to the ultimate operation. Although an environmental consideration may not be a tactical consideration, it may still have a dramatic effect on tactical operations and the ability to execute them.

The information surrounding site selection is a very critical piece of the planning process for a contingency operation. If initial staff work fails to identify likely sites and obtain information about sites in this phase, it increases the likelihood that poor or even unacceptable sites will be hastily chosen. A map analysis is inadequate for confirming the quality of a potential site. Unfortunately, map analysis was the standard used for much of the initial site selection during OJE.


DISCUSSION: Training at all levels of the military is essential to raise both the individual and collective levels of our environmental awareness and to ensure the proper handling of hazardous waste and spill procedures. USAREUR published three documents in an effort to correct shortfalls in knowledge and training. The title of this education campaign is "YOU SPILL, YOU DIG!" and includes a videotape and two pocket-sized products--a fold-out flash card and an environmental handbook. The campaign focuses on prevention and response for the handling of spills and hazardous wastes and on building the requisite level of training for both soldier and leader awareness. The Army needs to be diligent in training its soldiers and leaders in the area of hazardous waste and spill procedures.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: This is not just a USAREUR-peculiar problem. TRADOC has instituted a variety of fixes to bring this and other basic environmental training into our school houses and at all levels of military education throughout the Army. (For a more in-depth discussion of these initiatives across the DTLOMS, refer to Section IV of this newsletter.)



DISCUSSION: Environmental stewardship (a major component of Military Environmental Protection), like everything else in a unit, must start at the top. Leader involvement and guidance is key. General Reimer and the civilian leadership of the Army have made it clear that they expect soldiers to be good environmental stewards. Leaders have the responsibility to promote that stewardship to soldiers through personal example and in the documents the Army produces. This translates into commander's guidance at all levels of OPLANs and OPORDs that articulate the specific levels of that stewardship for any military operation. A critical factor is to articulate the appropriate level(s) of Military Environmental Protection given the particular nature of the operation. This is not a constant. Application of Military Environmental Protection in a given contingency operation will almost certainly be different from its application in the midst of close combat during war. This higher commander's guidance is not typically something that can be initiated by commanders at lower levels such as brigade or task force. Higher-echelon commanders and their staffs (or installations) must be the initiators of this guidance. Given the linkage between the political and the military at the CINC level, it appears that this may be the vital echelon for initiating and defining what that guidance will be for any given contingency operation.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: In the case of OJE, the EUCOM OPLAN included an environmental annex. This annex created the framework for environmental guidance to include establishing responsible parties. The CINCUSAREUR was designated as the executive agent (EA) for environmental actions associated with OJE, with delegated approval authority for spill mitigation and contaminated site remedial issues passed to USAREUR (forward) ODCSENG. Additional technical guidance was also provided in the OPLAN. This ensured a consistent and balanced policy throughout the operation that met national policy and yet had a minimal restraining effect on operations at the lowest levels. Early designation of authority and planning guidance is absolutely critical to success.


DISCUSSION: Site selection success begins in the planning phase. Identification of potential sites and an initial analysis of the sites, with all of the tools available to the staff, is critical for success. The information surrounding site selection is an important part of the planning process for a contingency operation.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Once physical reconnaissance of the site is possible, it is important to deploy an engineer and other experts on the ground to confirm usability of the site. This must be accomplished before the decision-making cycle has gone so far that site selection cannot be altered, or the siting of the camp cannot be adjusted to take advantage of the information gained during the reconnaissance. Accomplishing this will pay for itself many times over in the life of a base camp. A poorly chosen and sited base camp is like a poorly framed house. You can put a lot of money into trying to fix it, but it will never be right. As incredible as it may seem, engineers were not involved in the site selection and layout of all the base camps in OJE. Engineer support was requested only after the base camp was confronted with problems.

Location (siting) decisions must include a full range of force protection considerations and all of the potential risks involved with those decisions. There may also be political considerations, but most of these should be identified during the planning phase. Environmental considerations, to include preventive medicine issues, are critical pieces to integrate into location decisions. The internal siting of a base camp should start from a generic template (just like the template for a tactical assembly area) that identifies the relational positioning of maintenance areas to dining facility areas.

The emerging doctrine in FM 42-424, Force Provider Company, provides some recommendations and insights for site planning and layout. Although focused on the force provider packages, it is still valid for general design and layout work. Relationships between base camp planning, placement, and construction are critical to the layout and ultimate success of the camp. Evaluating the effects of the site using these subsystems will help in making the decision about whether a site meets the intended and projected needs. The planning factors for the duration (life) of a given base camp are important. Does the base camp have the potential and likelihood to be expanded over time? Contracting considerations (cost) will also be an important factor, but will rarely be the defining factor in the decision.

The competing demands between force protection issues, political and contracting realities, and tactical concerns and considerations may force the commander, in some cases, to get less than the optimum solution in each of the areas. Risk management must be applied. Good staff work ensures that base camp decisions are ultimately informed decisions made by the commander and not final imposed decisions.


DISCUSSION: Spill response contracts and plans need to be developed prior to deployment so that units can react quickly during the initial stages of deployment. Regardless of preventive actions taken, spills will occur. While the first responsibility for spill response always belongs to the unit, the size of some spills or the follow-up work will probably require outside assistance.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: In the case of OJE, comprehensive emergency spill response contracts were not in place until four months into the operation. Prior to their establishment, spills were handled on an individual basis. This resulted in more complicated contracting mechanisms and greater clean-up costs. Regardless of who is providing the personnel and assets to implement the handling of spills (civilian contractor or the military), a contingency plan should be in place in case the preferred method fails. Events may restrict the ability of the contractor or the military to respond to a given spill. Examples may include force protection rules that require four military vehicle elements for any movement, or a hostile environment which prohibits the contractor to enter in a timely manner. Rapid spill response reduces clean-up costs and future liability. Untreated spills do not "go away" or get better with time; they only get worse and become a public affairs concern.

The planning for spill response contracts and their integration into plans is identified in FM 101-5 as a logistics responsibility. The engineer on the staff will frequently be involved, but the logistician (S4/G4) is responsible for "coordinating unit spill prevention plans." This is an intelligent linkage of responsibility, since the logistician is also responsible for "coordinating the transportation, storage, handling, and disposal of hazardous material and hazardous waste." The engineer (ENCOORD) works under the operations side of the staff (S3/G3). At the J-staff level the engineer works under the logistics side of the staff. EUCOM (J-staff) correctly gave this responsibility to the engineer section as a part of the J4. However, as the responsibility went down to lower levels of command, the logisticians failed to handle the mission, leaving the mission to the engineer. Logisticians must stay involved and be the overall coordinators for their areas of responsibility at all echelons of command. The engineer must remain heavily involved and solve problems at lower levels along with the logistician.


DISCUSSION: Integrating the spill response duties into the HW management program reduces operational costs and increases military effectiveness. As a logistical responsibility, it is probably the preferred solution to contract spill response duties. This will free military manpower to focus on other issues. The cap on military manpower to support operations in Bosnia made it not only preferable, but absolutely essential to contract these requirements. As with any other contract, adequate lead-time to bring these contracts on-line at the beginning of the operation is necessary. The Logistics Civilian Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) is a valuable tool to ensuring this will occur.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: While spill response is a full-time requirement, elements that are to perform the mission of spill response are not used to their full extent. Generally, there will be a great deal of down time between spill responses. It makes good sense to integrate the spill response duties (contracted services or otherwise) into the HW management program. Typically, the same personnel can perform both sets of duties. This not only reduces operational costs, but in many cases increases the effectiveness and responsiveness to spills.


DISCUSSION: Preventive medicine detachments are not equipped, staffed, or trained to perform environmental monitoring and sampling. Preventive medicine personnel must recognize the need and then plan for and perform environmental sampling during the initial phase of the deployment. They must be trained to recognize environmental hazards, know the necessary sampling procedures, and effectively interpret the results. Preventive medicine detachments should be equipped and trained with simplified environmental monitoring equipment to identify environmental risks of a site, to include industrial hazards. Knowing the linkage to other capabilities (such as the mobile mass spectrometer with its "industrial or environmental" chip on the M93 Fox vehicle) will also enhance their capabilities. The training of personnel should also include how to integrate these results into the staff recommendation for a particular site. This training should be incorporated into basic MOS training for the 91S and 72D/E and into officer training. In addition, FM 8-250, Preventive Medicine Specialist, is outdated and should be updated or replaced.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: While the expertise to perform environmental monitoring and sampling lies in the medical community, the equipment and trained individuals to perform those functions are not currently internal to the preventive medicine detachments. Additionally, there is no policy, doctrine, or process for environmental monitoring during a contingency operation. Efforts to correct environmental monitoring during OJE/OJG/OJF should provide solutions. The lack of a database or centralized management of monitoring results hinders the use of monitoring information.


DISCUSSION: The level of environmental awareness within a country will impact the level of environmental expertise that can be provided by local contractors. In the case of OJE, it was impossible to contract for all services with host nation firms. The firms simply did not exist, and the damage that had been done to the countryside by the conflict meant that the level of environmental awareness was low.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Other contingencies may allow for the contracting of host nation organizations capable of dealing with HW internally to that nation. However, the standard will probably be otherwise, due to either the low industrial/technological level of the nation involved, low environmental awareness in the country, or the results of conflict that will not permit the handling of HW completely within the confines of the nation in question.


DISCUSSION: Do not assume that all of the nations in a given coalition have the same standards and ethical position on the care of the environment as the United States. It would be helpful to operations if the coalition OPLAN/OPORD also contained an environmental annex or appendix, but this will not always be the case. It is difficult for you to maintain preventive medicine standards, for example, when one of the coalition partner units is contaminating the watershed of the area you are using as a base camp. It is critical to convince coalition partners to at least meet the minimum standards of environmental consciousness.

One story that highlights the problems involved with this issue has to do with a U.S. unit inheriting a base camp that had previously been occupied by a former Soviet Bloc nation. The base camp had its own set of problems, but the real environmental issue and danger came from the adjacent base camp of another nation. There was a "yellow ooze" trickling from the base camp that irritated the skin of an American soldier at the U.S. camp -- some nasty stuff, but the sort of thing to be expected when there are no environmental standards. It is critical to establish base line environmental standards in any coalition in which the United States is involved.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Selecting a site to occupy that had been previously used by other IFOR/SFOR nations proved to be a poor decision in some cases during OJE/OJG. The failure to anticipate the conditions of the site or perform a reconnaissance (with a corresponding initial environmental baseline survey) as part of the handover process meant that commanders were once again faced with a reactive situation. In some cases, it would have been better to relocate to avoid the site and start from scratch with a new base camp. This option will not always be available, or you may be required to share a base camp with another nation whose standards are not similar to yours. These issues must be resolved early on at the highest levels to ensure the standards are within the bounds of acceptability.

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