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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


NBC Warning and Reporting System

The NBCWRS consists of standard NBC Reports and Strike Warnings. This system is broken down into the following areas:

  • NBC threat status
  • NBC warning and reporting system (NBCWRS)
  • Friendly strike warnings
  • NBC weather and wind messages

NBC Threat Status
(STANAG 2984)

a. Serial 0 (none).

The opposing force does not possess any NBC defense equipment, is not trained in NBC defense or employment, and does not possess the capability to employ NBC warfare agents or systems.

b. Serial 1 (low).

The opposing force has an offensive NBC capability, has received training in defense and employment techniques, but there is no indication of the use of NBC weapons in the immediate future.

c. Serial 2 (medium).

The opposing force is equipped and trained in NBC defense and employment techniques. NBC weapons and employment systems are readily available. NBC weapons may have been employed in other areas of the theater.

Employment of NBC weapons is considered probable. Indicators would be:

  • NBC munitions deployed to field storage sites.
  • Enemy troops wearing or carrying protective equipment.
  • NBC recon elements observed with conventional recon units.
  • NBC decon elements moved forward.

d. Serial 3 (high).

The opposing force possesses NBC warfare agents and delivery systems. NBC defense equipment is available and training status is considered at par or better than that of the United States. NBC weapons have already been employed in the theater and attack is considered probable in the immediate future. Indicators are:

  • NBC attack in progress but not in area of operation.
  • NBC warnings/signals to enemy troops.
  • NBC munitions delivered to firing units within range of friendly forces.
  • Movement of surface-to-surface missiles to a launch site.

The threat status can be used for any size or type unit. It is possible to have a CB (chemical-biological) status of three and a nuclear status of zero.

Vulnerability Analysis

To assist field commanders in developing the NBC threat status, refer to tables 1-1, 1-2, and 1-3.

For more detailed discussion of chemical agents, see FM 3-3, Chapter 1 or FM 3-4, Chapter 3.

Flow of NBC Reports

NBC reports 1 through 6 move between units and higher headquarters as shown in Figure 1-4.

NBC 1 Observers' Initial Report.

This report is used by the observing unit to give basic initial and follow-up data about an NBC attack. It is sent by platoons and companies to battalion headquarters. Battalion and higher elements must consolidate reports and decide which NBC 1 to forward. The NBC 1 report following the first use of NBC weapons is sent with a FLASH precedence. Subsequent reports are sent with a precedence of IMMEDIATE. Only observers specifically designated by the division NBC center send NBC 1 (nuclear) reports.

NBC 2 Evaluated Data Report.

The NBC 2 report is based on two or more NBC 1 reports. It is used to pass evaluated data to units. Division is usually the lowest level to prepare an NBC 2 report. However, a brigade or battalion might do so, especially during independent operations.

NBC 3 Warning of Predicted Contamination Report.

The NBCC uses NBC 1 reports and wind information to predict downwind hazard areas. This is disseminated as an NBC 3 report. Each unit evaluates the NBC 3 report, determines which of its subordinate units may be affected, and disseminates the report as required. This report warns commanders when they may be within a downwind hazard area so they may take protective measures.

NBC 4 Reconnaissance, Monitoring and Survey Report.

When a unit detects NBC hazards through monitoring, survey, or reconnaissance, this information is reported as an NBC 4 report. Reports from various units are plotted on the NBCC situation map to show where hazards exist. These reports are prepared and submitted by company-level organizations.

NBC 5 Actual Contaminated Areas Report.

Once the NBC 4 reports are posted on the situation map, an NBC 5 report is prepared showing the contaminated area. NBC 5 reports usually are prepared by division. The preferred method of dissemination is by map overlay.

NBC 6 Detailed Information on Chemical/Biological Attack Report.

This report, summarizing information concerning a chemical or biological attack, is prepared at battalion. It is submitted to higher headquarters only when requested. If desired, it can be sent from higher to lower for information purposes.

STRIKWARN (Friendly Nuclear Strike)


Effective Downwind Message (EDM)



Date-Time Group
Winds Were Measured (ZULU)



Over 0 thru 2 KT



Over 2 thru 5 KT



Over 5 thru 30 KT



Over 30 thru 100 KT



Over 100 thru 300 KT



Over 300 thru 1 MT



Over 1 thru 3 MT

1. The first three digits (ddd) give the effective wind direction, in degrees, from grid north.

2. The second three digits (sss) give the effective wind speed in kilometers per hour.

3. The last three digits (---) give the expanded angle in degrees (in NATO use 7th digit as follows:

4 = 40 degree angle

0 = 100 degree angle

5 = 50 degree angle

1 = 110 degree angle

6 = 60 degree angle

2 = 120 degree angle

7 = 70 degree angle

3 = more than 120 degree angle

8 = 80 degree angle


9 = 90 degree angle


4. If wind speed is less than 8 kmph, the preselected yield group line will contain only the 3-digit radius of Zone I.

Each EDM is valid for 12 hours. It is used in conjunction with the NBC 2 Nuclear Report to form a simplified fallout prediction (discussed in Chapter 2).

Chemical Downwind Message

1. Each chemical downwind message (CDM) is valid for only 6 hours.

2. The area affected may be a map sheet number or an area, such as I Corps.

3. Lines WHISKEY MIKE, XRAY MIKE, and YANKEE MIKE each contain coded weather information. Line WHISKEY MIKE is valid for only the first 2 hours; line XRAY MIKE for the next 2 hours; and line YANKEE MIKE for the last 2 hours of the six covered.

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