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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)



Operations in rear areas differ from operations in forward combat areas. At the corps level, the corps rear CP in coordination with corps G3, positions units in the rear area. Units will be positioned based upon the corps mission, concept of the operation, commander's intent, and their mission. Because of the size of the corps rear area, the rear CP executes rear operations through subordinate rear area operations centers (RAOCs). A RAOC is responsible for an area that normally coincides with a corps support group's designated area. FM 90-13, Rear Battle provides information concerning rear operations.


Rear area security operations ensure freedom of maneuver and continuity of operations. Once units are positioned in the rear they are designated by the responsible RAOC as either bases (unit or multi-unit positions with definite perimeters) or base clusters (grouping of bases based on mission and/or security requirements lacking a defined perimeter). The RAOC also designates a commander for each base and base cluster. The RAOC has OPCON for rear operations. Normal unit mission guidance and prioritization remains a chain of command responsibility. For example, mission taskings for a chemical battalion operating within a RAOC area of responsibility are assigned by the corps chemical brigade, not the RAOC.


Each base and base cluster develops a defense plan designed to detect, defeat, and minimize the effects of level I and limited level II threat attacks to include chemical attacks. These defense plans are consolidated by the RAOC. Each separate base and base cluster will establish an operations center capable of maintaining 24-hour communications with the respective RAOC. Chemical units may be tasked to act as a response force for bases or base clusters under attack.


Movements in the rear area are often critical to the success of close, deep, and rear operations. Movement planning and control ensures that the freedom of maneuver is not impeded by friendly forces. Movement planning and control is often coordinated with host nation authorities.


The corps G3 is responsible for planning all tactical movements through or within the corps rear area. The corps rear CP assists in the planning and control of these movements. At all levels, tactical movements are planned by the operations officers. Chemical units conducting tactical movements coordinate with the appropriate CP.


CSS cells designate the main supply routes (MSRs) to forward positioned units. For example, division designates the primary and alternate MSRs from their rear area to the subordinate brigades. The CSS cells establish priorities for nontactical movement along the MSRs. Chemical units use the MSRs for their nontactical movement. Movement along the MSRs in the forward combat areas is usually more secure than movement along other routes.



Each mature theater army area command (TAACOM) has an enhanced theater army chemical battalion HHD with two decontamination companies and one NBC reconnaissance company. A JB NBCE team is attached to the TAACOM and each area support group (ASG) to provide NBC staff support. Each theater defense brigade is also supported by a JB team. The chemical battalion can coordinate support operations through the use of area or task assignments. Depending on METT-T, the companies may be task organized to form chemical company teams.

Area support is provided by designating subordinate elements to support all organizations in an area. If possible, the designated areas should coincide with the areas of responsibility of the ASGs, for example, assign a decontamination company to provide decon support to all units in the 23d ASG's area (Figure 9-1).

Allocate workload to chemical units by assigning tasks to specific units, for example, assign a decontamination company to operate four fixed decontamination sites (Figure 9-2).

Units requiring immediate chemical support (decontamination or NBC reconnaissance) would pass their requirements through the base or base cluster to the supporting ASG. The ASG would task the supporting chemical unit. For routine chemical support (not as a result of a NBC attack), the ASG would send the requirement to the TAACOM who processes the request through the chain of command to the chemical unit.


Chemical Brigade

Depending on the corps mission and the NBC threat to the rear area, chemical units will be allocated to support units in the corps rear area. The allocation of a chemical battalion HHD to provide command and control of chemical support in the corps rear area is dependent on the number of chemical companies committed to rear area support. The chemical units supporting the rear area would be in general support (GS). However, their workload is also designated, like the TAACOM chemical assets, through area or task assignments. Requests for immediate chemical support flow through the corps rear CP to the chemical brigade. The chemical brigade TOC then directs the mission or tasking to the appropriate chemical unit. Routine chemical support requests go to the corps chemical section. The corps chemical section analyzes the requirement. The corps G3 assigns a priority to the requirement. The prioritized requirement is passed to the chemical brigade TOC. The chemical brigade staff determines the allocation of support necessary to provide the support and issues instructions to the appropriate subordinate unit.

If a chemical battalion HHD is not providing command and control in the rear area, the chemical brigade does. If beyond the chemical brigade's ability, place these chemical assets in direct support of the corps support groups.

Chemical Battalion

The chemical battalion with command and control of the corps rear area has a challenging mission. The battalion staff must analyze the assigned missions/tasks and develop a feasible support plan. The battalion may place the subordinate chemical units in general support and provide mission or task assignments or place the subordinate elements in a direct support role. The area of responsibility, the threat, and the ability to communicate will dictate which technique to use. The battalion, depending on METT-T, may task organize the subordinate companies to form chemical company teams.

Chemical battalions supporting divisions must plan and execute chemical support operations in the division rear area. Units requiring immediate chemical support will request it through their higher headquarters, usually one of the division's major subordinate commands (DISCOM, DIVARTY, aviation brigade, or separate battalions) to the division chemical section. The division chemical section analyzes the requirement and makes a recommendation to the division G3. The G3 assigns the mission/task to the chemical battalion for execution. Routine support requests are passed to the division chemical section. The chemical section will analyze and coordinate with G3 Plans to determine future requirements. Based on recommendations by the division chemical officer, the division commander issues guidance. The battalion commander executes the commander's guidance and the division chemical section provides staff supervision.

Chemical Companies

The chemical companies may support rear operations in the TAACOM, corps, or division rear areas. Decontamination may be more complex involving CSS vehicles, supplies, and materials. It may be necessary to conduct limited terrain or fixed site decontamination. Host nation support may be required.

Chemical Staff Considerations

  • Conduct an NBC IPB to determine the NBC threat to the rear area.

  • Conduct a vulnerability analysis and provide recommendations to lessen vulnerability.

  • Clarify NBCWRS chain and chemical support request channels.

  • Identify decon sites to support all rear operations.

  • Plan and coordinate NBC recon effort with the PMO to avoid duplication.

  • Identify and request host nation support.

  • Understand the host nation NBCWRS.

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