NBC Warning and Reporting System
The primary means of warning units of an actual or predicted nuclear hazard is the NBCWRS. It is a key in limiting the effects of nuclear attacks. The NBCWRS allows units to determine required protective measures and plan operations. Units take action depending on the mission and type of hazard present. If the mission allows, affected units alter plans to avoid the hazard. Otherwise, the units upgrade protective measures and occupy or cross the hazard area. Units use the NBCWRS as battlefield intelligence.
The NBCWRS, to support radiological defense, consists of five reports. Each is standardized by ATP 45/STANAG 2103 and the US Message Text Format (USMTF). The United States and its NATO, British, Canadian, and Australian (ABCA) allies use the same message formats. This improves the accuracy, comprehension, and interoperability of the system. It also increases the speed of dissemination and submission. The five standard reports used to exchange information are--
The reports use standard formats to shorten the message being passed. The warning and reporting system is based on a code letter system. The meaning and use of each letter used to transmit an NBC message is described in Table 2-1. The following paragraphs describe each report. Specific instructions for acquiring the information and sending the report are discussed later in this chapter.
The NBC 1 report is the most widely used report. The observing unit uses this report to provide nuclear attack data. All units must be completely familiar with the NBC 1 report format and its information. The unit must prepare this report quickly and accurately, and send it to the next higher-headquarters.
Battalion and higher elements decide which NBC 1 reports to forward to the next higher headquarters. If several reports are received on the same nuclear attack, then a consolidated NBC 1 report is forwarded, instead of separate reports. This reduces the number of reports to a manageable level. NBC 1 reports are not routinely passed to corps or higher NBC centers (NBCC) except fix the initial use report Precedence of the NBC 1 report depends on whether or not it is an initial report. The initial use report is FLASH precedence, all others are IMMEDIATE precedence.
Individuals identified by unit SOP submit raw data to the unit NBC defense team at company/battery or troop level. NBC 1 format should be used. However a Size, Activity, Location, Unit, Time, Equipment (SALUTE) or Spot report may also be used. And should be submitted to the unit's NBC defense team. The unit NBC defense team normally consists of the unit chemical NBC NCO (54B20) or an NCO that has been school trained at an area NBC defense two-week school, an officer and an enlisted soldier (corporal or above) who has attended the same two-week school. These soldiers will have the special duties at unit level of advising the commander on NBC defense matters and formatting NBC reports.
Normally, the unit NBC defense team checks NBC 1 reports. This ensures that the content of the report is known to the commander or his or her representative. It also ensures that the report is in the proper format and is as correct as possible.
All data observations are sent in a single, complete NBC 1 report. Do not divide data into two parts to create a subsequent report. NBC 1 reports are not used as attack notification. They simply pass data. Separate procedures must be developed for attack notification and are beyond the scope of this manual. Attack notification may take the form of a SALUTE, Spot, or Situation Report (SITREP) report and should be addressed in detail in unit standing operating procedures (SOPs.)
The first time a nuclear weapon is used against US forces, the designated unit will send the NBC 1 report with a FLASH precedence. Each intermediate headquarters will forward the report with a FLASH precedence (or IMMEDIATE precedence, if a previous NBC 1 report has been forwarded). For the first NBC 1 nuclear report in the brigade, use FLASH precedence. If the report is of a second attack within the division, use IMMEDIATE.
The observer determines the date-time of attack, flash-to-bang time, illumination time, type of burst, location of (GZ) or azimuth to attack, and stabilized nuclear cloud measurements. Under conditions of limited visibility, the observer determines illumination time. Chapter 3 lists equipment needed to make necessary observer calculations.
Personnel qualified to operate this equipment gather data, such as azimuth to the attack from the observer, observer location, and cloud width at H+5 minutes, or cloud top/bottom angle at H+10 minutes. Aerial observers report cloud top/bottom height at H+10 minutes. If such equipment is not available to the unit, use the lensatic compass to take measurements as accurately as possible.
If the unit is a designated observer unit, it may submit a subsequent NBC 1 nuclear report if new data concerning actual GZ location or the presence or absence of a crater is obtained. Nondesignated observer units should not submit subsequent reports unless requested. By choosing designated observer units, the NBCC can limit the number of reports and ensure the accuracy of the reports received.
Electromagnetic pulse (EMP), transient radiation effects on electronics (TREE), blackout, and an active enemy electronic warfare threat will also take their toll on our communications systems. NBC 1 reports will have to compete with urgent requests for status and damage information from the affected and nearby areas.
All reports from ground observers must contain line items Bravo (position of observer), Delta (date-time group), Hotel (type of burst), and either Charlie (direction of attack) or Foxtrot (actual or estimated location of attack). If line item Lima (cloud width) is reported, the report must contain line items Bravo and either Charlie or Foxtrot.
All reports from aerial observers must contain line items Bravo (position of observer) and Charlie (direction of attack) or Bravo (position of observer) and Foxtrot (actual location of attack) if cloud width (line item Lima) is reported.
Transmit only those line items of the format for which data are available. Use the word "Unknown" only with line item Hotel (type of attack).
Transmit line item Mike (cloud top/bottom angle at H +10) only when data for line item Lima (cloud width) cannot be obtained.
The NBC 2 report is based on one or more NBC 1 reports. It is used to pass evaluated data to higher, subordinate, and adjacent units. Division NBCC is usually the lowest level that prepares NBC 2 reports. However, brigade and battalion NBC personnel may prepare the NBC 2 report if they have sufficient data. However, these units will not assign a strike serial number.
Division NBCC prepares the NBC 2 nuclear report, assigns it a strike serial number, and disseminates it to the appropriate units. Each subordinate unit then decides whether to disseminate the report further. Subsequent data may be received after the NBC 2 nuclear report is sent. If this data changes the yield or GZ location, send this data in an NBC 2 nuclear update report. Use the same strike serial number and date-time of attack. Line items Alfa (strike serial number), Delta (date/time group), Foxtrot location of attack), Golf (means of delivery), Hotel (type of burst), and November (yield) are always contained in the NBC 2 nuclear report.
Division NBCC uses the NBC 2 reports and the current wind information to predict the fallout area. This is sent as an NBC 3 report. It is sent to all units that could be affected by the hazard. Each unit plots the NBC 3 report and determines which of its subordinate units are affected and warns those units accordingly.
The NBC 3 report is a prediction of the fallout area. This prediction is safesided to ensure that a militarily significant hazard will not exist outside of the predicted hazard area. In other words, Zone I will represent areas where the dose rate will exceed 150 centigray per hour (cGyph) within 4 hours; and Zone II is no more than 50 cGyph in 4 hours and less than 150 cGyph in 24 hours. Commanders should use the report as battlefield intelligence when planning missions.
When a unit is in a fallout area, the commander must decide whether to stay or move. This decision is based on the mission, exposure status of the unit, and higher headquarters guidance. As the ANBACIS is improved, the commander will be able to view the modeled hazard area on a computer screen instead of basing his decision on the safe-sided STANAG plots. This will provide a more realistic depiction of the hazard area. ANBACIS is addressed in more detail later in this chapter.
The NBC 3 nuclear report (fallout prediction) is used to plan recon and survey operations. If time is critical, units may also use it to plan operations. Lines Alfa (strike serial number), Delta (date/time group), Foxtrot (location of attack), Yankee (left and right radial lines), and Zulu (effective wind speed, downwind distance of Zone I, and cloud radius) are used for a nuclear hazard.
When any unit detects NBC hazards through monitoring, survey or reconnaissance, this information is reported using an NBC 4 report. Separate NBC 4 reports are consolidated and then plotted on the tactical map to show where the hazard exists. If monitoring information is incomplete, a survey may be directed. Line items Quebec (date-time group of reading), Romeo (dose rate), and Sierra (location of reading) are reported for a nuclear hazard. These items are used as often as necessary to complete the report. Other items may be included if available and necessary to complete the report.
NBC 4 nuclear reports are normalized to H +1 readings, as necessary, and plotted on the map. From this data a contamination plot overlay is created. This overlay is sent to all units. Methods used to send the overlay to the field are, in descending order, computer data base update, electrical facsimile, messenger, liaison officer, and the NBC 5 report. Chapter 5 contains examples of NBC 4 reports. In any case, NBC 4 reports will contain only correlated data. The raw readings must be correlated and reflect the true hazard (outside) for that time.
The NBC 5 report is prepared from the contamination plot. This report is last in order because it consists of a series of grid coordinates. Often this message must be sent on FM radio nets. This requires lengthy transmission. The recipient is required to plot each coordinate and redraw the plot. Line items Alfa (strike serial number), Delta (date/time group), Foxtrot (location), Tango (H+1 date-time group), or Oscar (reference time), Romeo (dose rate), Uniform (1,000 cGyph), Victor (300 cGyph), Whiskey (100 cGyph), and X-Ray (20 cGyph) may be reported for radiologically contaminated areas.
For most avoidance situations, only the outer boundary of the area is necessary. Complete details can follow later on the facsimile or messenger-delivered plot. Some contamination situations cannot be reported through use of the NBC 5. These are areas of neutron-induced contamination. These areas must be reported via the overlay.
With the exception of line item Alfa, when a user has previously received data through other NBC reports, the data need not be repeated on the NBC 5.
For example, a unit receives an NBC 3 showing GZ location (line item Foxtrot). The GZ location does not have to be reported on the NBC 5.
The NBC 5 nuclear report is also used to transmit the decay rate of fallout to field units. All units assume decay rate of fallout to be n = 1.2 until informed otherwise. The NBCC determines the decay rate and sends a report such as the one below:
NBC 5 Nuclear
This message may be sent before or after a contamination plot has been received. Since decay rate of fallout will decrease with time, the report could be sent several times during the period of interest for a contaminated area. The NBC 5 report is also used to report the closure of a decontamination site. The NBC 5 report should include coordinates for the site and sump, so as to notify other units of the contamination area.
Managing the NBCWRS is crucial for the success of a command. To be useful, nuclear information must be collected, reported, and evaluated. Once evaluated, it can be used as battlefield intelligence. Obtaining and converting nuclear information into usable nuclear intelligence does not just happen. The volume of information that needs to be collected and reported could easily disrupt both communications and tactical operations if not properly managed. This section describes what information is available and how that information gets to the person or unit needing it.
The first step in managing the NBCWRS is to determine what information is available and who is available to collect it. Two types of data must be collected. Observer data provides information that a nuclear attack has occurred. Monitoring, survey, and recon data provide information on where the hazard is located.
Every unit is responsible for observing and recording nuclear attacks. But every unit does not automatically forward NBC 1 reports.
Many units may observe a nuclear burst. But if every unit forwarded a report, nothing would get through. For this reason, selected units with equipment to make accurate measurements submit NBC 1 nuclear reports. These units are called designated observers. The division NBCC selects designated observers and lists them in the FSOP/OPORD/OPLAN.
Additional units are selected during tactical operations based on their physical locations. They are listed in the operations order. The designated observer unit is discussed later in this chapter. Only selected units automatically submit NBC 1 nuclear reports to the NBCC.
NBC 1 reports allow the NBCC to predict where the hazards will be. This prediction (NBC 3 report) is only an estimation of the hazard area. Feedback is needed from units to determine exactly where the contamination is located.
This feedback comes from monitoring, survey, and recon (NBC 4 reports). Monitoring and recon operations give the initial location of NBC hazards to the NBCC. Initial monitoring and recon reports are generally forward through intelligence channels to the NBCC. This information may also be sent to the NBCC by ANBACIS. ANBACIS is the automated NBC information system and is described later in this chapter.
The NBCC then plots the information on the situation map. If more information is needed, the NBCC directs a unit (picked because of its location and/or capability) to collect and forward the necessary data. This unit may be an organic company NBC defense team or an NBC reconnaissance platoon from the divisional chemical defense company.
Special operations forces will depend on special forces operational detachments (SFOD) with attached LB teams, special forces group (SFG) Chemical detachments, or organic company NBC defense teams. The reconnaissance platoon may be tasked organized to support a maneuver brigade in NBC reconnaissance collection efforts. This information could be from additional monitoring reports or a survey of the area in question.
Collecting nuclear information is a joint effort of units and the NBCC. The unit does the actual collecting of information. The NBCC plans for and directs the collection effort. The division FSOP/OPORD/OPLAN should describe who collects and forwards nuclear information for evaluation. More detailed information concerning this collection effort is addressed in Chapter 5 and in FM 3-19.
After nuclear data has been collected, it is evaluated. It is then used as battlefield intelligence. The NBCC is the primary evaluation center. Units and intermediate headquarters use the raw data to develop nuclear intelligence for their own use until detailed results are available from the NBCC.
The outer perimeter of militarily significant contamination is the important information for the unit. Unit procedures are simplified and leas accurate than NBCC procedures. Emphasis is on speed rather than accuracy. Fallout predictions are estimated quickly using simplified predictions. NBC 4 reports are plotted, but minimal effort is spent in analyzing the degree of contamination.
With exception of designated observer reporting units, intermediate headquarters (such as battalion and brigade) consolidate and screen NBC reports. By doing this, they reduce the number of reports sent to the NBCC.
Procedures used at NBCCs are more detailed and complex than those at unit level. They are based on information from the entire division area and are more accurate than unit procedures. NBCC procedures also take more time to complete. This is why units use a simplified procedure while waiting for the NBCC analysis.
NBC 2, NBC 3, and NBC 5 reports from division NBCC always supersede those done by subordinate units.
Procedures used to transmit nuclear information to and from the NBCC are an important part of the NBC information system. Figure 2-1 shows the direction that various NBC reports travel. Usually the flow is through the chain of command: from company to battalion to brigade to division. There are exceptions to this:
The method of transmitting information depends on the tactical situation and mission of the unit. Methods are specified in FSOP/OPLAN/OPORD and unit SOP. At brigade and higher headquarters, NBC reports usually are passed on the intelligence net rather than the command net. At battalion level and lower, there is generally only one FM net available. This net is required to communicate command information. Therefore, NBC reports should be formatted ahead of time and be as short and concise as possible. In this case, wire communications are best.
Support units use admin-log nets. However, these units need to also inform the brigade TOC or division TOC when operating in that unit's area of operations. Wire communications are excellent, if available. There are numerous methods to communicate nuclear information. One is ANBACIS, which accesses information from the maneuver control system (MCS). The NBCC should evaluate all possible methods and select those that best suit the purpose. Again, this information should be contained in the unit SOP or current operations order.
Each unit and command element has a specific function in a nuclear environment. This function is in addition to normal combat functions. The exception to this is the NBCC whose primary function is NBC operations. The preceding pages described procedures and requirements for collecting, evaluating, and transmitting nuclear information. This section described responsibilities at each command level and is intended to be a guide only.
Unit level collection, processing, and analysis techniques are designed for rapid evaluation of nuclear data. The results are not as accurate as those obtained by the NBCC, but they are sufficient for planning until they can be replaced by those from the NBCC. Although analysis techniques are similar for company, battalion, and brigade, each level has specific responsibilities for collecting and processing nuclear information. The responsibilities are listed here (The major portion of nuclear information is collected and reported by company-, battery-, or troop-level units.):
Organization and training of personnel to perform these tasks must be according to AR 350-42.
The battalion level monitors the information gathering of subordinate units. Battalion chemical personnel ensure that each subordinate unit is trained. Battalion personnel also are trained to--
The chemical personnel at brigade must perform the same functions as battalion chemical personnel. Brigade personnel also must--
NBCC techniques involve more complicated procedures and are based upon the comparison of data from many sources. Much of this data is not available to a single unit. In addition to performing detailed analysis, the NBCC also--
Although all units have some information-gathering responsibilities, certain units, because of their capabilities and/or location, are chosen as designated observers for nuclear attacks. Designated observers must be as accurate as possible when providing data on nuclear bursts. Observers are selected to provide total coverage over the entire area of interest. This requires both ground and aerial observers. The designated observer system provides the essential data to prepare hazard location predictions and nuclear damage assessments. It provides raw observer data, using a standard report format. The NBCC specifies the primary and alternate means of communication.
Ground units are selected for the designated observer system based on the following factors:
Field artillery and air defense artillery units are best suited as designated observer units. These units have organic optical equipment ideal for sighting measurements. See FM 101-10-1 for more information about which divisional units have this equipment. These items, in order of preference, are--
Any other unit (for example, a mortar platoon) having this or similar equipment may be designated an observer. Radar should also be considered. Many radars can define the nuclear cloud. Field artillery and air defense artillery radars are positioned in the division and corps areas.
Aircraft provide excellent observer coverage for nuclear attacks. The NBCC coordinates with the appropriate aviation officers to have several aircraft crews designated as observers. The aviation unit commander selects the crews. Designated aircrews are instructed to report data about the type of attack and when and where it occurred. If aviators measure cloud parameters, they must also provide the location from which it was measured.
Aviators have the advantage of height. They are able to see and report actual GZ locations. They also can see and estimate crater width. Such data is usually not obtainable from ground observer units.
All units are required to record (in the prescribed format) their observations concerning nuclear strikes. Nondesignated observer units or any battalion or brigade units that have not been specifically tasked will transmit their reports only on request. However, these units must report a nuclear attack only to the next higher headquarters according to local SOP.
Friendly troops close to an attack could be subjected to the same casualty-producing effects as the enemy. Advance warning of a friendly nuclear attack ensures that friendly forces can protect themselves from the effects of the attack. This warning is in the form of a STRIKWARN message. OPSEC and SIGSEC measures are taken to prevent the enemy from intercepting the warning message and taking protective measures.
The executing commander is responsible for initiating the warning. Commanders authorized to release nuclear attacks must ensure that attacks affecting the safety of adjacent or other commands are coordinated with those commands. Attack notification will normally be transmitted from the division NBCC or from DIVARTY. This gives adjacent commands enough time to warn their personnel, take protective measures, and prepare to exploit the weapons' effects.
STRIKWARN messages must be sent to--
Warning of impending attacks is initiated no earlier than necessary to warn personnel. Use any means of communication (preferably secure) to ensure all affected personnel are warned. It is crucial that all friendly forces, down to the lowest level, have time to react to the warning and take appropriate precautions.
Warning messages should be classified according to current OPSEC instructions and the speed of dissemination required. If secure electronic means are not available, the message should be encoded. STRIKWARN messages may be sent in the clear if the issuing commander determines that safety warnings override security requirements. Do not send a warning message in the clear earlier than 60 minutes before the attack. Lines Delta and Foxtrot of the STRIKWARN should not be sent in the clear. The word "STRIKWARN" is never sent clear text.
Battalion is the lowest level to receive a STRIKWARN message. At no time will messages be transmitted below battalion level. Instead, subordinate units are given specific instructions on what actions to take. These instructions are brief and use the code words and formats described in unit SOP/FSOP/OPORD/OPLAN. They include--
When a nuclear attack is cancelled, units previously warned must be notified by the fastest means available. The cancellation message consists of line item Alfa from the STRIKWARN plus the word "cancelled." Line item Delta of the attack warning should be used also. Units receiving cancellation messages must always request authentication from the sender.
As with the other NBC messages, STRIKWARN messages have been standardized. The United States and its NATO and ABCA allies use the same message formats. This speeds transmission of messages and improves accuracy and understanding. The meaning and use of each line item is described in Table 2-2.
Alfa, Delta, Foxtrot, Hotel, and India are the only line items transmitted for a STRIKWARN. If fallout is produced and will be a hazard to friendly troops, send an NBC 3 nuclear report to all affected units. Figure 2-2 shows examples of STRIKWARN messages in standard and USMTF formats.
The closer a unit is to a nuclear attack, the greater are the precautions it must take. That is why there are three minimum safe distances (MSDs) in the STRIKWARN. Each MSD corresponds to a degree of protection needed to remain in the area. Thus, if a unit cannot achieve the protection required, it must exit that zone. Table 2-3 explains the relationship between MSD and protection.
The protection requirements in Table 2-3 are for negligible risk to all personnel--the preferred risk. If the commander decides additional risk is necessary, the protection can be modified. Appendix A describes the risk categories in greater detail. Refer to it before making any decisions. The protection requirements chart (Table 2-3) is set up primarily for ground troops. Aircraft are sufficiently protected if they remain outside MSD3. However, pilots are susceptible to dazzle and may be affected at much greater distances.
When a unit receives a STRIKWARN message, the first action is to plot it on the tactical map. This identifies ground zero and how far the effects will extend. The commander can then determine what action to take. Figure 2-3 shows a plotted STRIKWARN for a single burst.
The Alfa team in Figure 2-3 will have to dismount and get in foxholes with overhead cover or evacuate the area. On the other hand, Bravo team must, as a minimum, assume a prone position. Battalion headquarters would only have to be concerned with dazzle and EMP.
Nuclear weapons are often targeted as a group of weapons (package) to defeat a particular threat. It would be time consuming to send separate STRIKWARNs for every weapon in a package. For that reason, multiple bursts are grouped as a package, and the outer limits of the MSDs plotted as a box. The coordinates for the comers of the box are then transmitted. Plot the points nearest friendly troops first. Figure 2-4 shows a plotted STRIKWARN for a multiple burst.
By drawing a box, large safe areas are included in the hazard area. If maneuver space is limited, additional coordinates could be added to the STRIKWARN. Figure 2-5 shows a plotted STRIKWARN with additional coordinates added.
ANBACIS is a software information system that supports the chemical staff officer and NCOs, as well as chemical units (squad to brigade). It furnishes the communication, recordkeeping, and calculation of NBC warning and reports, tactical decision aids, and databases essential to accomplish their tasks. One module is the NBCWRS--an automation of the manual data processing described in this manual. ANBACIS was designed to operate on the Army Common Hardware and to operate in the stand-alone mode on any IBM compatible computer. ANBACIS is user friendly with drop-down windows.
It can receive any number of NBC 1 reports and create the correct number of NBC 2 reports. It will then convert the NBC 2 reports to NBC 3 reports, using the correct weather information previously received electronically from the staff weather officer. It will take the basic wind report and create the effective downwind report in seconds. This is done without drawing the wind vector plots outlined in Chapter 3 and Appendix D.
It has other modules to create smoke plans and to calculate radiological/chemical problems and flamefield expedient operations.
For additional information on ANBACIS, refer to the ANBACIS user's guide.
*This equipment is preferred because it is set to grid north (GN) and measures in mils.
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