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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)



AC--hydrogen cyanide, a blood agent.

ACR--armored cavalry regiment.

a suspension or dispensing of small particles (solids or liquids) in a gaseous medium. Examples are mist, fogs, and smokes.

AirLand Battle--
an approach to military operations that realizes the full potential of US forces by extending the depth of the battlefield and integrating conventional, nuclear, chemical, and electronic means to describe the battlefield where the enemy is attacked to the fall depth of its formation. AirLand Battle seeks, through early initiative of offensive action by air and land forces, to bring about the conclusion of battle on our terms.

ANBACIS--Automated Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Information System.

AO--area of operations.

APC--armored personnel carrier.

ARTEP--Army training and evaluation program.

AUIB--aircrew uniform integrated battlefield.

AWS--Air Force Weather Service.


basic skills decontamination--
immediate neutralization or removal of contamination from exposed portions of the skin. Each soldier must be able to perform this decontamination without supervision.

BDO--battledress overgarment.

BDU--battledress uniform.

beta particle--
form of radiation emitted from the nucleus of an atom with a mass and charge equal in magnitude to that of an electron. Beta particles have a range of approximately 10 to 15 meters in still air. The primary hazard from this radiation is through prolonged contact with the skin, resulting in beta burns.

biological agent--
a microorganism that causes wither disease in man, plants, or animals, or deterioration of material.

biological defense--
methods, plans, and procedures involved in establishing and executing defensive measures against attack, utilizing biological agents.

biological operations--
the intentional use of germs, toxins, or novel compounds to cause death and disease among personnel, animals, and plants, or to deteriorate material.

biological warfare--
see biological operations.

biological weapons--
an item of material that projects, disperses, or disseminates a biological agent, including arthropod vectors.

blast effect--
destruction or damage caused by the shock wave and high velocity transient winds caused by an explosion, particularly a nuclear explosion.

blister agent--
a chemical agent that injures the eyes and lungs and burns or blisters the skin.

blood agent--
a chemical compound, including the cyanide group, that affects bodily function by preventing the normal transfer of oxygen from the blood to the body tissue. Also called cyanogen agent.

BOS--battlefield operating systems.



CAM--chemical agent monitor.

CANA--convulsant antidote for nerve agents.

CARC--chemical agent resistant coating.

CB--chemical and biological.

CCA--contamination control area.

CCM--compartment control module.

CDM--chemical downwind message.


a unit of absorbed dose of radiation. The term replaces rad.

CG--phosgene, choking agent.

chemical agent--
a chemical substance intended for use in military operations to kill, seriously injure, or incapacitate through its physiological effects. Excludes riot control agents, herbicides, smoke, and flame.


chemical defense--
methods, plans, and procedures involved in establishing and executing defensive measures against chemical agents.

chemical operations--
employment of chemical agents to kill, injure, or incapacitate for a significant period of time man or animals, and deny or hinder the use of areas, facilities, or material, or defense against such employment. chemical warfare--all aspects of military operations involving the employment of lethal and incapacitating munitions/agents and the warning and protective measures associated with such offensive operations. Riot control agents and herbicides are not considered chemical warfare agents but are included under the broader term chemical munitions/agents collectively. (See FM 3-9 for a listing of chemical agents.)

chemical warfare agent--see chemical agent.

CK--cyanogen chloride, a blood agent.

COA--course of action.

collective protection--
the use of shelters to provide a contamination-free environment for selected portions of the force. collective-protection shelter--a shelter, with filtered air, that provides a contamination-free working environment for selected personnel and allows relief from continuous wear of MOPP gear.

to introduce an impurity; for instance, a foreign microorganism developing accidentally in a pure culture. Clothing containing microorganisms is said to be contaminated.

the deposit and/or absorption of radioactive material or biological or chemical agents on and by structures, areas, personnel, or objects; food and/or water made unfit for human or animal consumption by the presence of environmental chemicals, radioactive elements, bacteria, or organisms; the byproduct of the growth of bacteria or organisms in the decomposing material (including the food substance itself), or waste, in food or water.

contamination avoidance--
individual and/or unit measures taken to avoid or minimize NBC attacks and reduce the effects of NBC hazards. Passive contamination avoidance measures are concealment, dispersion, deception, and use of cover to reduce the probability of the enemy using NBC weapons if they are used. Active contamination-avoidance measures are contamination control; detection, identification, and marking of contaminated areas; issuance of contamination warnings; and relocation or rerouting to an uncontaminated area.

contamination control--
procedures to avoid, reduce, remove, or render harmless, temporarily or permanently, NBC contamination for the purpose of maintaining or enhancing the efficient conduct of military operations.

CP--command post.

CPE--collective-protection equipment.

CPFC--chemical protective footwear cover.

CPOG--chemical protective overgarment.

CVC--combat vehicle crew.

CW--chemical warfare.



to break down, neutralize, or remove a chemical, biological, or radioactive material posing a threat to equipment or personnel.

the process of making any person, object, or area safe by absorbing, destroying, neutralizing, making harmless, or removing chemical or biological material, or removing radioactive material clinging to or around it.

deliberate decontamination--
operation/techniques intended to reduce contamination to a level at which personnel can perform their mission without wearing MOPP gear.

detailed equipment decon--
process of removing or neutralizing contamination on interior and exterior surfaces of unit equipment to negligible risk levels to allow MOPP level reduction for extended periods.

detailed troop decon--
process of decontaminating individual fighting equipment to negligible risk levels; removing contaminated MOPP gear, including protective masks; decontaminating protective masks; and monitoring personnel equipment for decon effectiveness. This is done to reduce MOPP levels for extended periods.

measures to detect by use of chemical detectors or radiological monitoring/survey teams the location of NBC hazards placed by the enemy. It includes identifying and marking contaminated area.

detector paper--
either of two chemical agent detector papers that detect liquid chemical agents under any weather conditions: ABC-M8 detector paper or M9 detector paper.

deviation from the normal state or function of a cell, an organ, or an individual.

DS2--decontamination solution No. 2. It is available in 1-1/3-quart cans and in 5-gallon pails for filling portable decontaminating apparatuses.

DZ--drop zone.


electromagnetic pulse--
the high-energy, short-duration pulse (similar in some respects to a bolt of lightning) generated by nuclear detonation. It can induce a current in any electrical conductor and can temporarily disrupt or overload and damage components of improperly protected or unprotected electronic equipment.

EMP--electromagnetic pulse

EOD--explosive ordnance disposal.


precipitation to earth of radioactive particulate matter from a nuclear cloud; also applied to the particulate matter itself.

fixed shelter--
collective protection, usually in a rear area in a permanent location, such as a building basement, bunker, or expandable rigid-wall, tactical shelter. Uses are field hospitals, operating rooms, maintenance shops, data processing centers, field kitchens, fire control centers, and supply storage areas.

fixed site--
the location of a military operation that requires developed real estate to accomplish its wartime mission. Examples of fixed sites are ports, airfields, hospitals, and railheads.

fixed site--
the location of a military operation that requires developed real estate to accomplish its wartime mission. Examples of fixed sites are ports, airfields, hospitals, and railheads.

FLOT--forward line of own troops.

FSO--fire support officer.


G2--assistant chief of staff, G2 (intelligence).

G3--assistant chief of staff, G3 (operations and plans).

gamma radiation--
electromagnetic emissions of short wavelength from the nucleus of the atom. The hazard is primarily internal. Gamma rays are the soldier's primary radiation hazard on the battlefield.

GB--sarin, a nerve agent.

GDP--general deployment plan.

a disease-producing microorganism; microbe; a pathogenic bacterium. The term includes bacteria, rickettsiae, viruses, and fungi.

GPFU--gas-particulate filter unit.

GVO--green vinyl overboot.



high-mobility shelter--
collective protection that can be removed with relative ease.


HSFC--hermetically sealed filter container.

hybrid collective protection--
a combination of overpressure and ventilated-facepiece system.


ICE--individual chemical equipment.

process of positively identifying field concentrations of blood, blister, and nerve agents, using an M256, M256A1, or M256A2 detector kit. Almost all biological agents require a laboratory facility for identification. Nuclear radiation is measured by the unit's radiac instruments.

IFV--infantry fighting vehicle.

IHADSS--integrated helmet and display sighting system.

to render resistant to a specific disease.


incapacitating dose--
the concentration/dose that renders an individual unfit for duty or combat.

individual nuclear, biological, and chemical protection--
that protection provided to the individual soldier in a nuclear, biological, or chemical environment by protective clothing and/or personal equipment.

intelligence preparation of the battlefield--
a systematic approach to analyzing the enemy, weather, and terrain in a specific geographic area. It integrates enemy doctrine with the weather and terrain as they relate to the mission and the specific battlefield environment. This is done to determine and evaluate enemy capabilities, vulnerabilities, and probable courses of action.

IPB--intelligence preparation of the battlefield.

IPE--individual protective equipment.



kmph--kilometer per hour.


LCE--load-carrying equipment.

deadly, fatal.

lethal dose--
amount of toxic substance that has an absolutely fatal effect.

LIC--low-intensity conflict.

limited mobile shelter--collective protection that is not easily moved.

LP--listening post.

LZ--landing zone.



protective posture that provides some relief from MOPP gear for personnel who must work in a contaminated environment. Personnel must be within protective shelters, some kinds of vans, tanks, or buildings where danger of transfer hazards is minimal. A soldier in mask-only posture can tolerate exposure to vapor hazards but not transfer hazards. Mask-only permits longer work periods, but personnel must assume full MOPP level before exiting their sheltered area.

MCC--microclimate coding.

METL--mission-essential task list.

METT-T--mission, enemy, terrain, troops, and time available.

mission--specific stated tasks and the purpose of an operation; implies other tasks that may become necessary by battlefield changes.

MOPP--mission-oriented protective posture. A flexible system that provides maximum NBC protection for the individual with the lowest risk possible and still maintains mission accomplishment.

MOPP gear--combination of all individual protective equipment.

MOPP closed--fill MOPP overgarment, overboots or GVOs, gloves, mask with hood, antidote, and decon kits.

MOPP open--opening the overgarment jacket (at MOPP 3/4) and rolling the protective mask hood. mph--miles per hour. m/s--meter per second

MULO--multipurpose lightweight overboot.


NAAK--nerve agent antidote kit.

NAI--named area of interest.

NAPP--nerve agent pretreatment pyridostigmine.

NATO--North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

NBC--nuclear, biological, and chemical.

NBCC--nuclear, biological and chemical center.

NBC-PC--NBC protective cover.

NBCWRS--NBC warning and reporting system.

NCO--noncommissioned officer.

nerve agent--
a lethal chemical that causes paralysis by interfering with the transmission of nerve impulse.

nonpersistent agent--
a chemical agent that, when released, dissipates and/or loses its ability to cause casualties after a passage of 10 to 15 minutes.

nuclear blast effect--
see blast effect.

nuclear warfare--
the employment of nuclear weapons.


OP--observation post.

OPLAN--operations plan.

OPORD--operation order.


PASGT--personnel armor-system ground troop.

PE--protective entrance.

through the skin.

permanently frozen subsoil usually 3 to 6 inches below the surface.

having pores or small openings that allow liquids or gases to penetrate.

a measure of the ability of NBC weapons to continue in their casualty-producing effects after they have been released and downwind for indefinite distances.

personal wipedown--
performed by each soldier on mask, hood, gloves, and essential gear. For chemical and biological contamination, soldiers use the skin decon kit to decontaminate. Soldiers should not attempt to remove chemical contamination from their BDOs; special protective properties of BDOs minimize the effects of chemical hazards. Soldiers should brush radiological or biological contamination from BDOs.

POL--petroleum, oils, and lubricants.

PT--physical training.

act or process of removing unwanted substances, such as contaminated air.




derived from the words "radioactivity, detection, indication, and computation." Radiac is used as an all-inclusive term to designate various types of radiological measuring instruments or equipment. Radiac is usually used as an adjective.

radiac dosimeter--
an instrument used to measure the ionizing radiation absorbed by that instrument.

portable, battery-operated radiation detector and indicator used to detect and measure beta and gamma radiations.

radiation dose--
total amount of ionizing radiation absorbed by material or tissues, commonly expressed in centigray. The term is often used as the exposure dose expressed in roentgens, which is a measure of the total amount of ionization that the quantity of radiation could produce in air. This should be distinguished from the absorbed radiation per gram of specified body tissue. Further, the biological dose, in reins, is a measure of the biological effectiveness of radiation exposure.

RCA--riot control agent.


RES--radiation exposure status.

residual contamination--
that amount that remains after steps have been taken to remove it. These steps may consist of nothing more than allowing the contamination to decay normally.

riot control agent--
chemical compounds that produce only temporary irritating or incapacitating effects when in field concentrations.

RTO--radio telephone operator.


S2--intelligence officer (US Army).

S3--operations and training officer (US Army).

S4--supply officer (US Army).

SCALP--suit, contamination avoidance and liquid protection.

SCPE--simplified collective-protection equipment.


SOP--standing operating procedure.

an asexual, usually single-celled, reproductive body of plants such as fungi, mosses, or ferns; a microorganism, as a bacterium, in a resting or dormant state.

SWO--staff weather officer.


TAI--target area of interest.

TAP--toxicological agent protective.

thermal effect--
heat and light produced by a nuclear explosion; energy emitted from the fireball as thermal radiation. The total amount of thermal energy a unit receives at a specified distance from a nuclear explosion. It consists essentially of ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation.

threshold dose--
the smallest amount of a toxic substance that can produce the first recognizable injuries (for example, irritation of skin or eyes, nose; or miosis).

TOE--table of organization and equipment.

total system--
a collective-protection overpressure system plus environmental control.

TOW--tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided.

a class of biological poison resulting from the byproduct of living organisms. A toxin may be obtained naturally, that is, from secretions of various organisms or synthesized.

transfer hazards--
liquid or solid contamination.

TREE--transient radiation effects on electronics.

marshy, vast, level, treeless plains of the arctic.


VB--vapor barrier.

a carrier; especially the animal or intermediate host that carries a pathogen from one host to another, as the malaria-carrying mosquito.

ventilated facepiece--
a series of individual respiration systems or masks serviced by a common filter system.

VGH--relating to V-and G-type nerve agents and H-type blister agents.


WBGT--wet bulb globe temperature.

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