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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Adequate logistics support is vital to any combat operation and must continue under all conditions. Sustainment under NBC conditions maybe even more difficult than other aspects of military operations.

When developing his plan, the commander balances requirements against limited resources. His challenge is to accomplish the mission with the assets given to him. Logistical considerations often drive the courses of action open to a commander.


Logisticians assist the commander in making the best use of available resources by following the sustainment characteristics of Army operations. They are anticipation, integration, continuity, responsiveness, and improvisation. These characteristics apply to operations under NBC conditions as well as to any other. Chemical staffs and units must understand and observe them while planning their operations.


Sustainment planners foresee future operations as accurately as possible and accumulate assets needed to accommodate any likely contingency. NBC defense and smoke operations feature high consumption rates of fuel, fog oil, decontaminants, water, and protective clothing. They require a commitment of logistical resources to sustain operations.


Tactical and operational plans must fully integrate logistic considerations. Include additional requirements for NBC defense, recon, smoke, and smoke into the overall plan. Protection of supplies and equipment is included. The effects of contamination on MSRs, supply points, and fixed sites are incorporated into overall planning.


Committed forces must continuously receive supplies and services to maintain fighting strength. Operations under NBC conditions cause additional needs, such as more decontaminants or water. Modify operational procedures to control/minimize contamination.


The sustainment system must react rapidly to crises or fleeting opportunities. It must keep pace with the shifting of units around the battlefield. Awareness of battlefield NBC hazards also ensures needed logistic support is provided in uncontaminated areas.


CSS organizations must improvise to meet unforeseen emergencies. Degradation of CSS operations under NBC conditions will cause the need to alter work schedules because of increased times needed to handle contaminated supplies and equipment. Logistic planners may fabricate expedient covers and shelters to protect critical supplies from contamination. Logistics commanders will prioritize to accomplish mission-essential tasks.

When incorporating NBC considerations into the sustainment characteristics, it becomes apparent that the sustainment system must accomplish three complementary tasks: protect itself and sustainment resources in order to continue operations; provide the support needed by units operating under NBC conditions; and provide the support that chemical units need to accomplish their battlefield missions. Field expedient supply and equipment must also be considered due to limited and sometimes inadequate supplies of mission critical items.


The manner in which the logistics system supports a particular chemical unit is based on a variety of factors. These factors include the unit's parent organization, its location in the theater of operations, and the command or support relationship under which it is operating. chemical units must then develop this organization and relationship with all possible supporting units or higher headquarters.


The CSS organization provides sustainment support to chemical units at each echelon as described below.

Army Service Component Command

The Army Service Component Commander (ASCC) is responsible for preparing, maintaining, training, equipping, administering, and supporting Army forces assigned to a unified command. Chemical units operating in the COMMZ will receive support from functional units (that is, logistics, personnel, transportation, medical, finance, and so forth) as required.


The COSCOM normally sustains corps chemical units, including corps units deployed in the division areas. COSCOM units habitually locate near the division rear boundary and in the division area itself; they provide responsive support to corps chemical units and other units that operate in the division rear. Corps chemical units sometimes operate too far forward in the division area for COSCOM units to render effective support. In this case, the chemical unit must coordinate support requirements through its parent unit, with COSCOM units and the division support command (DISCOM).


The DISCOM sustains the division's chemical units. The division and corps G4s coordinate required augmentation.


The DISCOM provides CSS elements in the brigade support area (BSA) to sustain the brigade. Chemical unit assets in the brigade area may receive support through the BSA or from the parent chemical unit. The brigade chemical officer, working with the S4, coordinates brigade support if required.

Battle Command Considerations

The command or support relationship under which the chemical unit operates establishes responsibility for its support. However, this must be clearly stated during the planning phase of an operation.

A chemical unit in direct or general support of another unit depends upon its parent organization for sustainment. Prior coordination can alter this to fit the situation. For example, an ASCC chemical unit performing a task in the corps area could receive support from the COSCOM instead of the ASCC.


A chemical unit under the OPCON of another unit continues to receive support from its parent organization, but the supported unit could provide some assistance through prior coordination. For example, a chemical company in an OPCON relationship could receive rations or POL from the unit they are supporting. OPCON relieves the maneuver commander of formal responsibility for chemical unit sustainment. However, frequently it is simpler for him to provide common classes of supply (for example, fuel and rations). Logistics planners coordinate and ensure that the CSS structure is in position to make this a viable option.

A chemical unit attached to another unit receives its support from that unit. This support usually requires detailed coordination by the logistics planners; they must ensure that the chemical unit receives repair parts and other maintenance support needed to keep it operational. Relevant OPLANs define support relationships for nonroutine support.

Logistics support for NBC readiness involves two levels of concentration. The fist is CSS for NBC defense of all units. This is the supply and transportation of adequate stocks of chemical defense equipment to support the operation. The second is sustainment of chemical units--smoke, decon, and recon organizations. At both levels, support for the chemical mission involves analysis of maneuver force responsibility, tactical considerations, and staff coordination.

Maneuver Force Responsibility

A chemical unit attached to a maneuver force identifies the resources needed to accomplish the mission; it passes that requirement to the maneuver staff S4/G4. The S4/G4 then coordinates with the supporting CSS elements to fill the requirement.

The materials and transportation needed for chemical missions often compete with the requirements of other units. The maneuver staff satisfies competing demands based upon the commander's priorities. The resource-intensive nature of NBC defense and smoke operations must be a key consideration for the staff in resolving those demands.

Tactical Considerations

CSS elements must deliver materiel as far forward as possible. This delivery enables chemical units to minimize the time spent on trips to the rear to load and transport materiel forward in their own vehicles. This minimization is particularly critical for chemical units operating in the forward brigade areas. CSS operators assist this minimization by transporting material to the forward supply points.

A chemical unit basic load enables them to start their mission without waiting to pick up supplies; however, the basic load may not be sufficient for the entire mission. Chemical units must be able to task organize their forces to execute missions specified in the OPORD. For example, decon platoons maybe involved with resupply of smoke platoons if smoke operations are the priority effort. Logistics planners start pushing supplies (for example, fog oil) forward as soon as they identify a requirement, even if the exact quantities are not immediately known. That way, the supplies begin to arrive before the unit exhausts its basic load.

The rapid pace of combat operations may consume materiel faster than the ground transportation system can replenish them. For that reason chemical units may occasionally need support by aviation assets to deliver critical materiel directly to using units.

Staff Planning, Coordination, and Supervision

The chemical staff planner's involvement in sustainment operations begins with an order from higher headquarters. The chemical staff planner prepares a staff estimate for the chemical unit(s), providing prioritized input into the order and to the G4/S4. The logistical channels such as G4/S4, DISCOM, and BSA start their planning, coordinating, and pushing supplies forward.

Once the basic planning is done, the chemical staff officer coordinates with the logistics section to ensure operational needs will be met. Some items may be command regulated and require release from the higher headquarters. Changes in mission often require a shift in the priority given to certain units or for particular items of equipment.

As units execute the plan, the chemical staff coordinates with the logistics staff element to track the logistical status of both units and missions. In particular, they assist as needed to solve problems of supply or delivery that threaten the successful completion of critical tasks. Combat losses and breakdowns of key equipment continuously force adjustments to the original plan.


Personnel and logistics units will sustain, man, arm, fuel, fix, move, and protect our force. They sustain our soldiers, enabling them to continue to fight under NBC conditions. CSS operations are crucial for ensuring retaliatory, NBC battlefield management, and force protection actions are accomplished successfully.

Managing Battlefield Operations Under NBC Conditions

Support control elements will assist in informing all personnel of contamination hazards.

Two of the four primary military police missions-battlefield circulation control (BCC) and area security-are essential to support missions under NBC conditions. BCC involves route recon and/or surveillance, MSR regulation, straggler and refugee control, and information dissemination on NBC warnings or reports. Area security involves area recon, NBC detecting and reporting, and areas damage control.

Highway regulating point teams from the movement control element will use NBC and intelligence reports to monitor contaminated routes and regulate traffic on MSRs. As necessary, they will recommend diverting supply convoys to alternate routes. Coordination is made using the services of the Joint Movement Control Center (JMCC).

With prior coordination logistics units may provide or assist resources for smoke, decon, and recon units. Operations on an NBC battlefield may require increased fuel because of the increased time to conduct battlefield movement in MOPP. Additionally, supply companies will issue fog oil. Chemical units that require large amounts of fog oil may request transportation assets to deliver the fog oil to a designated site. However, higher priority movements, such as fuel or ammunition, may delay movement of fog oil.

Protecting Forces From NBC Hazards

Support units cover equipment and supplies to protect them from NBC contamination. Outerwraps and containers help to protect truck cargo and reduce the spread of contamination. While surface transport can cross contaminated areas, the situation may require that critical supplies (rations, emergency medical equipment and supplies, ammunition, and fuel) be flown over contaminated areas. The G3 will make the decision based on METT-T and the commander's intent.

Support elements will aid in returning NBC casualties to duty. Cargo vehicles used to deliver supplies to forward supply points can be used to evacuate casualties to medical treatment facilities. In an emergency, cargo trucks can be used to transport soldiers from targeted areas to safe areas. As required, transportation assets will be used to move replacement personnel and to return soldiers to their parent unit. Transportation assets may also be used to move personnel and equipment to reconstitution sites in the rear area.

Support from logistics units enables forces to continue their mission performance for extended periods under NBC conditions. Specifically--

  • Class II points operated by supply units will issue protective masks and overgarments as well as protective shelters to help prevent or limit casualties from NBC warfare. Supply units will normally package protective clothing as complete sets of MOPP equipment to support a predetermined number of soldiers. Decon supplies maybe issued in preconfigured "push" packages.

  • Field services units will provide laundry, shower, and clothing repair service to supported units.

  • Water supply units will purify NBC contaminated water for use as potable drinking water and provide nonpotable water for decon of personnel and unit equipment. Water purification operations, however, will not occur in areas where vapor or liquid agent contamination hazards are present. Units must use their organic equipment to transport water.

  • Contaminated remains will be recovered and decontaminated for return to CONUS.

The decision to reconstitute a unit will be made at corps or EAC level. The large-scale infusion of personnel, equipment, and supplies involved in reconstitution is approved and controlled at the level that has the resources to perform reconstitution.

Normally, units will withdraw to a reconstitution site in the rear area that is safe from enemy interdiction and harassment . Theater-level assets will be used to return the units to combat-ready or mission-ready status. Personnel replacements will come from the replacement system, medical returns, and redistribution assets.

The surface transport system will continue to move fuel, ammunition, rations, and medical supplies as far forward as possible to supply distribution points.

Mortuary Affairs Decontamination

The Army Component Commander, in coordination with the Joint Mortuary Affairs Officer, will establish the necessary task force to support a mortuary affairs decon collection point (MADCP) (Figure 8-1). The MADCP will be task organized with a mortuary affairs unit and decon unit. The size and scope of the MADCP is dependent on the threat and tactical situation. Much of the necessary equipment to operate the MADCP is located in operational project stock (OPS) in CONUS and will be deployed to the theater of operations as necessary.

Chemical personnel at the MADCP will provide general decon support and technical assistance. FM 10-63, Handling of deceased Personnel in Theaters of Operation, and the annex to JP 4-06, Joint Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for Mortuary Affairs in Joint Operations Provide detailed information on the set-up and operation of the MADCP (Figure 8-2).

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