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SECTION VI: NBC


Streamlining NBC 1 (Chemical) Reporting Procedures

(FM 3-3 (Draft), Chap 5; FM 71-2J, App E)

Submission of NBC chemical reports on the task force command net during tactical operations obstructs the commander's command and control of the unit. Unlike NBC 1 Nuclear Reports which are prepared and submitted by a designated observer, NBC 1 Chemical Reports are prepared and submitted by every company team in the task force which comes under attack. The subsequent flood of reports coming over the task force command net, especially in the face of enemy jamming and other communications problems, hinders command and control at a critical moment.

The initial NBC 1 Chemical Report for each chemical attack must continue to be submitted on the command net to alert the chain of command to the presence of toxic chemical/biological agents. However, it should contain only the minimum essential items of information; i.e., lines

B: Location of attack

D: Date and time of attack

H: Type of agent/height of burst

C: Direction of attack from observer

F: Location of area of attack

The means of submission of the NBC 1 chemical reports will vary according to the dictates of the present situation and METT-T. Unit SOPs should prescribe appropriate alternate procedures/nets for the submission of subsequent NBC reports.

Alternative Nets

One technique to alleviate the congestion on the command net created by a surge of NBC 1 Chemical Reports is to utilize an alternate net for sending subsequent reports. There are two possible candidates:

  • The task force Admin/Log net.

  • The task force Operations and Intelligence Net (if used by the task force).

Admin/Log Net

The Admin/Log net is an operational net monitored by all units in the task force. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages if utilized to transmit subsequent NBC message traffic:

Advantages:

  • Traffic is substantially reduced on the task force command net during a critical moment in the battle.

  • The NBC 1 Chemical Report is effectively transmitted to all sub-elements of the task force to include the TOC and ALC.

  • The ALC is alerted of the requirement to initiate replacement activities outlined by the unit SOP.

  • The headquarters company commander can direct the preparation of the appropriate unit's LOGPAC for replacement filters and overgarments.

  • Medical personnel are alerted to prepare for the treatment of personnel who have been chemically contaminated and become chemical casualties.

Disadvantages:

  • May tie up the Admin/Log net and inhibit logistics.

  • DS, GS, and OPCON units do not routinely monitor the task force admin/log net.

O & I Net

The task force O & I net is another possible choice for the transmission of subsequent NBC 1 Chemical Reports. The establishment of the task force O & I net was discussed in the NTC Lessons Learned Newsletter, dated 1 May 1986. All NBC reports contain valuable intelligence information needed at the task force and brigade TOC.

Advantages:

  • The command net is uncluttered by subsequent NBC 1 Chemical Reports.

  • All O & I net users are alerted to the scope of the chemical attack and contamination.

Disadvantages:

  • The O & I net is currently an "out of hide" net.

  • The O & I net is monitored by relatively few stations.

Modifying Reporting Procedures

Traffic can also be reduced on the command net by abbreviation of the current requirement for each unit under attack to provide a complete NBC 1 (Chemical) Report to the task force TOC. One alternative to the current procedure is that while all units under chemical attack will prepare the NBC 1 (Chemical) Report, the first station to transmit the message becomes the "designated observer" and the remainder of the units use an abbreviated reporting procedure. These other units acknowledge the attack by transmitting "CALLSIGN, ROGER, GAS THIS LOCATION, OUT" to indicate that they too are under attack by the same agent or "CALLSIGN, NEGATIVE GAS, OUT" to indicate that they are not currently under attack. The exception to this is the unit that is also under attack but detects an agent other than the one in the initially transmitted NBC 1 (Chemical) Report. This unit also prepares and transmits a NBC 1 (Chemical) Report with the required information.

Summary

Transmission of messages under the NBC Reporting system can be further reduced by:

  • Users fully understanding the intent of the system and why certain reports are essential. The system is designed as a means of disseminating intelligence, not to jam nets with an almost continuous flow of NBC reports to the exclusion of all other traffic.

  • Submitting only the essential line items of information.

  • Using alternate nets to submit lengthy reports. Use the O & I net initially and pass follow-on information on a designated net (e.g., the admin-log net).

  • Developing clear, concise instructions in unit SOPs which specify the abbreviated reporting procedures.


Table of Contents
Section V: Mobility/Countermobility/Survivability
Section VII: Combat Service Support



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