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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Immediate control of a military chemical surety materiel accident site will be established by the nearest military commander pending arrival of the on-scene commander, the CAIC officer, or the representative of the service having possession of the material. Control requirements will vary according to the magnitude of the accident effects.

In controlling the chemical accident site, the first consideration is saving lives. Untrained military personnel or civilians may have performed some emergency actions in the contaminated area. These individuals should be detained and inspected for possible contamination and observed for effects of the material involved. Injured personnel requiring evacuation should be decontaminated as rapidly as possible and local medical authorities should be notified of the possibility of contamination.

Fires in which high explosives are involved should not be fought except to save lives or with the advice of EOD personnel (TM 5-315).

The on-scene commander (OSC) will request additional support personnel as required from the nearest military installation to augment the emergency teams and to provide security and control of the area.


A CAIC organization will be formed to control personnel, materiel, and CAIC operations at the scene of a chemical accident. Teams and equipment will be formed from local assets. Minimum composition of a CAIC organization is shown in figure 2.

On-Scene Commander (OSC). When the OSC, a general officer, arrives at the accident or incident scene, he commands all emergency forces and directs all operations at the scene, including but not limited to--

  • Security, safeguarding and disposition of all classified material involved.

  • Surveys to determine actual and potential hazards.

  • Actions to minimize the hazardous effect of a chemical accident/incident.

  • Requests for required assistance.

  • Reports.

  • Public information.

  • Control and logistic support of observers and other authorized personnel.

  • Claims.

  • Requests to local intelligence units for counter-intelligence inspections and surveys.

  • Relations with local civilian groups.

  • Communications between the accident or incident site and higher headquarters.

Chemical Accident and Incident Control Officer (CAICO). A CAICO, normally a field grade, is designated by the commander responsible for CAIC. The CAICO acts as the designated representative of the OSC when the latter is not present at the accident site. Each CAICO will be qualified by experience or training to command and coordinate the activities associated with CAIC. The CAICO and staff will respond as soon as possible after notification of a chemical accident or incident. The CAICO will be responsible for the duties of the OSC until the arrival of the OSC.

  • The CAICO'S staff consists of:

    • Assistant CAICO Operations Officer

    • Provost Marshall

    • Staff Judge Advocate

    • Public Affairs Officer

    • Communications Officer

    • Engineer Officer

    • Medical Officer

    • Safety Officer

    • Chaplain

  • The supporting teams working under the direction of the CAICO consist of:

    • EOD Team

    • NBC Team

    • Medical Team

    • Physical Security Team

    • Communications Team

The CAIC organization augmented by specialized teams is shown in figure 2. All members of the CAIC organization will be equipped with individual protective masks and three atropine injectors, and will wear the field uniform during operations unless other types of protective clothing are needed. Other minimum essential equipment will be designated by the CAICO.


Upon arrival at the scene of the accident, the senior military representative will establish a command post to coordinate all activities. Measures must be taken to control the area for physical security, personnel, traffic, and contamination.

Area Control. The nature of the accident, meteorological conditions, and terrain conditions will determine the area control measures to be employed. The following guides should be used to establish the exclusion and downwind hazard areas.

  • Exclusion Area. The initial exclusion area is that area inside a 450 meter radius circle around the accident site. This area (fig. 3) should be marked on an overlay and maintained on the situation map at the command post. Criteria for adjustment of the initial exclusion area is based on the explosive hazard of the munitions in question as determined by the EOD Personnel.

  • Downwind Hazard Area. An initial downwind hazard tires should be established when the amount and or type agent are unknown. This area may be adjust after coordination with EOD, technical escort. and NBC team leaders. The initial downwind distance extends 2,000 meters downwind from the accident site. The downwind hazard area is established by extending two radial lines at an angle of 20 degrees on either side of the primary wind direction (total angle of downwind hazard area is 40 degrees). Two buffer zones, extending from the edge of the initial exclusion area, are then drawn to intersect the right and left radial lines as shown in figure 3. All unprotected personnel should be evacuated from this area. The personnel performing the evacuation operations must wear a protective mask.

  • Evacuation. The CAICO will make a determination of the area that should be evacuated after evaluating reports from the emergency team leaders.

Physical Security and Personnel Control. The Provost Marshal will advise the CAICO on physical security matters and coordinate the use of military security forces with representatives of state or local governments and with other military services. Control of news media personnel will be coordinated with the information officer (AR 360-5 and AR 360-80).

  • Command Post (CP). The command post will be established upwind from, and a minimum of 50 meters outside the exclusion area. Control of activities around the accident site will be exercised from the CP.

  • Personnel Decontamination Station (PDS). Personnel entering and departing the exclusion area will pass through the personnel decontamination station.

Traffic Control. Upon the report of an accident/incident, a designated military police unit will dispatch traffic control elements to the accident area. These elements are under the control of the CAICO once they arrive at the area.

  • Traffic Control posts will be established at:

    • Entrances to and exits from the area.

    • Assembly areas.

    • Critical points.

  • Traffic patrols will cordon off the area by their patrol activity and reroute traffic.

  • A military police team will erect temporary direction signs, traffic signs, and contamination markers, as appropriate.

Contamination Control. Every effort must be made to contain the contamination. Personnel and animals should be evacuated quickly to the control point on the hotline.

  • Personnel and animals evacuated from the immediate accident site should be inspected for contamination and processed through the PDS as necessary. Personnel and animals evacuated from the downwind hazard area should be placed under observation. Identification of personnel and their location at the time of the accident/incident is essential to the processing of claims.

  • Equipment will be decontaminated in place or in a designated area established for that purpose.

  • Leaking chemical munitions or containers of hazardous material should be leak sealed, packaged, and placed in a storage area by technical escort or EOD personnel until further disposition instructions are received.

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