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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)



This appendix describes the format of orders and plans used by chemical units to issue their instructions. It also describes the annexes used by chemical staffs to transmit NBC defense instructions.


Warning orders are used to notify subordinate units of upcoming operations or missions. The warning order may be an oral or written message. There is no format for warning orders; however, it should contain much of the following--

  • Brief description of the situation.

  • Mission.

  • Time of operation.

  • Earliest time of movement.

  • Any specific instructions.

  • Time and location where the order will be issued.


Chemical units will issue operation orders and plans using the five-paragraph combat order format.

Task Organization. This portion lists supporting chemical units under the proper control headquarters. The command or support relationship for each chemical unit is provided.

1. Situation.

    a. Enemy forces. Provides information on the composition, location, and strength of opposing forces. Concentrates on the enemy capabilities of value to the chemical officer.

    b. Friendly forces. Provides information on higher, adjacent, and supporting chemical units.

    c. Attachments and detachments. Lists attached and detached units not shown in the task organization.

2. Mission. The mission of the supporting chemical elements is clearly stated, including who, what, when, where, and why.

3. Execution

    Intent. A brief paragraph written by the commander that states his vision of the operation, describes the purpose, visualizes the end state, and illustrates how the operation will facilitate future operations.

    a.Concept of the operation. Clearly states the commander's plan for chemical support. Informs and visualizes the commander's concept. It must be brief and provide sufficient detail to ensure understanding of the commander's intent and purpose. It should specify the general priority of support and the tasks allocated to subordinate units.

    b. Subsequent subparagraphs list supporting chemical units numerically. Give specific responsibilities and identify tasks to be performed by each unit.

    c. The final subparagraph, "Coordinating Instructions, " details coordination and control applicable to two or more elements of the command.

4. Service Support. A statement of combat service support instructions and arrangements for chemical units. It addresses the materials necessary for decon and smoke operations.

5. Command and Signal.

    a.Command. Specifies command post locations for supported units and chemical units. It designates the succession of chemical staff responsibility and alternate chemical headquarters.

    b.Signal. Provides instructions for coordinating and establishing communications by different means. The signal operating instructions in effect at the time are listed. Backup means are provided to reestablish communications in case of radio failure.

Fragmentary Orders

The chemical commander will publish fragmentary orders in fast-paced combat situations. Fragmentary orders are pertinent extracts that provide specific instructions to subordinate commanders or timely changes to existing orders. Fragmentary orders do not have a specified format. However, the five-paragraph combat order is normally used. It includes only necessary elements changed from the original order. The fragmentary order may be issued orally. In general, the fragmentary order--

  • Is addressed to each action commander.

  • Is addressed to higher and adjacent units for information, as applicable.

  • Refers to a previous order, if applicable.

  • Includes changes in task organization, situation, and mission, as necessary.

  • Clearly provides brief and specific instructions.


Chemical support/NBC defense annexes are prepared by chemical staffs to issue instructions to subordinate units concerning NBC defense measures and responsibilities. Additionally, subordinate/supporting chemical units may be given missions or taskings in this annex instead of the basic order/plan. The format for this annex is shown below:



Time Zone Used Throughout the Order/Plan:______

1. SITUATION. Items of information affecting NBC defense not included in paragraph 1 of the OPLAN/OPORD or that need further explanation.

    a. Enemy Forces.

      (1) Reference to intelligence annex, if applicable.

      (2) Enemy NBC capabilities.

    b. Friendly Forces.

      (1) Outline higher headquarters plan.

      (2) Outline higher and adjacent unit NBC plans.

      (3) Note additional decon, smoke, NBC reconnaissance, and chemical staff elements supporting the unit.

    c. Attachments and Detachments. Decon, smoke, NBC reconnaissance, and chemical staff elements are task-organized to include effective times, if appropriate.

2. MISSION. A clear, concise statement of the NBC defense task.


    a. Concept of Operation. A brief statement of the NBC defense operation to be carried out, to include subordinate/supporting chemical unit tasks/missions and priorities.

    b. NBC Defense Tasks to Subordinate and Supporting Units.

    c. Coordinating Instructions.

      (1) Instructions applicable to two or more subordinate/supporting units.

      (2) References to supporting appendices not referenced elsewhere in the annex.

      (3) MOPP level guidance.

      (4) Automatic masking criteria.

      (5) Operational exposure guidance (OEG).

      (6) Troop safety guidance.

      (7) Location of decon sites:

      (8) Procedures for providing support to local population.


    a. Information about the availability, procedures for distributing, prestock points, and transportation of NBC equipment and chemical defense equipment.

    b. Procedures for the handling of contaminated casualties and remains, if not established in SOP.

    c. Information on the availability and location of field expedient decon supplies, materials, and decontaminates.


      a. Command. Location of chemical staffs and subordinate/supporting chemical unit headquarters.

      b. Signal.

        (1) Special signal instructions to subordinate/ supporting chemical units.

        (2) Information concerning NBC warning and reporting system (NBCWRS).

        (3) Information concerning the dissemination of strike warn messages.


    Matrix-type orders use an execution matrix to convey combat instructions. They are designed to assist the commander and staff to develop an order in a short period. Execution matrices can be used by both chemical unit commanders and chemical staffs.



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