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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


This manual provides guidance for training, equipping, and utilizing teams for contamination control during accidents/incidents involving chemical surety material. Specific guidance is provided for nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC) teams and decontamination teams, but the general principles presented apply to all special teams and personnel concerned with chemical accident/incident control (CAIC). Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) unit operations for CAIC are specified in FM 9-15.


This manual covers procedures and techniques for reducing chemical hazards from accidents and incidents. It describes procedures for detecting, identifying, controlling and decontaminating chemical contamination. This manual is designed primarily for peacetime operations but is applicable in wartime operations.


The Commander, United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) is responsible for all Army chemical accident/incident control (CAIC) activities within CONUS except on DARCOM or TRADOC installations.

The Commander, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is responsible for CAIC on TRADOC installations.

The Commander, United States Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command (DARCOM) is responsible for CAIC on DARCOM installations and will assume complete CAIC responsibility when the effect of an accident/incident on a USADARCOM Installation in CONUS extends beyond the boundaries of that Installation.

The Commander, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) will develop standardized CAIC training for technical escort personnel, EOD teams, and CAIC officers and teams, and is responsible for CAIC on TRADOC installations.

The Commander, United States Army Technical Escort Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground is responsible for providing technical escort in accordance with AR 50-6.


Chemical Accident -- Any situation involving chemical surety materiel which results in:

  • Injury to personnel or exhibition of physiological symptoms requiring more than standard first aid procedures.

  • Off-post contamination by a chemical agent.

  • Property damage of $10,000 or more.

  • An unintentional or uncontrolled release of a chemical agent which exceeds maximum agent concentration-time levels for exposure of unprotected personnel.

  • Unusual interest by the public news media.

Chemical Incident -- Any situation that results in:

  • Unintentional exposure of personnel to a chemical agent.

  • Release of a chemical agent without exposure of personnel which is not reported as a minor leak or an accident.

  • Property damage of at least $250, but less than $10,000.

  • Actual or attempted theft or diversion of chemical surety materiel.

  • Actual or attempted penetration of a chemical exclusion area.

Technical Escort -- Individuals technically qualified and properly equipped to accompany shipment of designated materiel which requires a high degree of safety and security.



Some chemical munitions may contain explosives when shipped. In the event of an accident, these explosives constitute an additional hazard. Fires should be fought in accordance with the provisions of TM 5-315 and TM 9-1300-206.


Chemical material may present hazards if inhaled, ingested, absorbed, or any combination thereof. Technical escort personnel accompanying shipments should be consulted, as should the shipper, for specific hazards associated with military chemical agents. A listing of commercial publications appears at the appendix under that heading.


If contamination is suspected, protective masks and protective clothing will be worn when approaching the accident /incident site. The site shall be approached from upwind, avoiding visible concentrations of liquids, powders, and smoke.

When the specific chemical hazard is known, wear the recommended protective clothing, as indicated in Table 3 of this manual. When entering the contaminated area, wear the maximum protective uniform if the type of hazard is initially unknown and if identification is necessary.

The hot line (fig. 1) must be established in a clean area, upwind of, and as close as possible to, the accident site. The hot line must be outside the fragmentation radius of the munition involved. All personnel and equipment entering or leaving the accident area will be channeled through the control point on the hot line, which must be at least 50 meters downwind from the Command Post (CP).

The contamination reduction area (fig. 1) is located upwind from the hot line in a clean area. This area contains several stations and various items of equipment and supplies used to eliminate, or reduce to an acceptable level, contamination picked up by personnel. The contamination reduction area, although established on a clean site, can, and probably will, become contaminated during operations. For this reason the area should be considered contaminated and no one allowed in this portion of the contamination control station (CCS) if not wearing the proper protective clothing.

The contamination control line (fig. 1) is an arbitrary line separating the contamination reduction area from the clean area. Individuals will not step across this line into the clean area until they have been monitored and found to be free of contamination or be down to an acceptable level of contamination. The contamination control line is also a control line used to prevent personnel from entering the contamination reduction area without proper protective clothing. Foodstuff and smoking material will not be permitted in the contaminated area. Unnecessary contact with possible contamination surfaces (puddles, powder spills, and vegetation) should be avoided. Any contamination on protective clothing should be decontaminated immediately.

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