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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


This publication is the doctrinal guide for NBC reconnaissance. It provides guidance on the planning and execution of NBC reconnaissance missions and chemical/biological (CB) sampling operations. This manual applies to any unit that has the primary or implied mission of performing NBC reconnaissance.

NBC recon is the active contamination avoidance measure that provides commanders with information on NBC hazards in the area of operations as a component of battlefield management. With knowledge of where NBC contamination hazards are and, just as important, where they are not, commanders can make better decisions. Commanders may modify their plans or protective postures with the information from NBC recon.

NBC recon provides early warning, determines the concentration and type of agent, and locates the boundaries of contamination. The information derived from the intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) and the conduct of effective NBC recon operations are key factors for battlefield management. The avoidance of NBC contamination facilitates freedom of movement and maneuver for our forces. Contamination avoidance procedures are discussed in greater detail in FM 3-3 and FM 3-3-1.

NBC recon performs five critical tasks on the battlefield-- detect, identify, mark, report, and sample. Early detection of NBC hazards is required for timely warning of units and personnel in affected areas. Detection of contamination is the cornerstone of contamination avoidance. Rapid identification is needed to adequately protect soldiers against NBC hazards. Identification dictates preventive measures and treatment of casualties. Contaminated areas are marked to allow friendly forces to avoid them. Data concerning contamination is useless unless it reaches decision makers. Timely, accurate reporting is essential for decision making and hazard warning. Samples are taken to aid in the identification of unknown agents. Sampling and subsequent laboratory analysis are the primary means of identifying biological agents.

This manual also provides the principles and techniques used by NBC recon units. It defines the capabilities and limitations of these organizations.

Commanders and staff officers at all echelons will find guidance on the employment of NBC recon units. These units are located in chemical companies assigned to armored and light cavalry regiments and heavy divisions. NBC recon companies are assigned to corps and theater armies. The doctrine contained in this manual applies for commanders, staffs (chemical officers/S2s/G2s/S3s/G3s), trainers, and unit leaders responsible for NBC recon units and NBC recon operations.

The employment of M93 NBC reconnaissance system (NBCRS) (Fox)-equipped units is integrated throughout the manual. The M93 NBCRS is designed to improve the capability and increase efficiency for conducting NBC recon operations. The M93 NBCRS provides a faster response time, quicker detection, and identification rates, and quicker marking capability, while using basically the same NBC recon tactics, techniques, and procedures.

Although this manual does not implement any particular international agreement, material presented herein complies with related international agreements. A list of related international agreements and other references can be found in the references section.

Unless otherwise stated, whenever the masculine gender is used, both men and women are included.

The proponent for this manual is HQ, TRADOC. Submit changes for improving this publication on DA Form 2028 (Recommended Changes to Publications and Blank Forms) and forward it to Commandant, US Army Chemical School, ATTN: ATZN-CM-FNB, Fort McClellan, AL 36205-5020.

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