PART H - MANAGING NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL, CHEMICAL OPERATIONS
NBC Operations. Contamination of field water supplies with deadly NBC agents must be regarded as a
distinct possibility. A water source may be contaminated by sabotage, disaster, or warfare. Contaminants can
be N-nuclear, B-biological, or C-chemical agents. All available evidence indicates that ingestion of any
quantity of radioactive material is harmful. However, complete abstinence is not possible since small
Water units must be prepared to continue operations in an environment filled with NBC hazards.
Naturally, these hazards complicate operations far beyond problems posed by the primary effects of NBC
weapons. Therefore, it is necessary to defend against NBC attacks. It is also necessary to use NBC defense
personnel and equipment to reduce NBC hazards.
equipment decontamination limits the spread of contamination and makes future decontamination easier.
The capabilities for reconnaissance and decontamination must be maintained. Enemy use of NBC weapons
places excessive demands on the supply system for water. Water support elements do not maintain
contingency stocks of water to accommodate the demands of an NBC environment. Time may not allow for
deliberate decontamination operations. Therefore, you may have to operate equipment while it is still
During normal peacetime conditions, the US Army follows the peacetime nuclear standards as set by the
EPA. The Army in the field is subject to the short- and long-term MPC tables designed to show the allowable
amount of radioactive substances taken into the body by drinking water (Tables 1-6 and 1-7). The
decontamination factor of a 600-GPH ROWPU is 99 percent.
Biological Contaminants. Biological operations are the use of biological agents to produce casualties
in humans or animals and damage plants. The United States policy on biological agents (including toxins) is:
(1) The United States renounces the use of all methods of biological warfare.
(2) The United States confines military programs for biological research to defensive measures, such as
immunization, prophylaxis, therapy, and sanitation.
Although the true potential of biological war (BW) is untested, the devastating effects of naturally occurring
diseases are well known.
BW agents are classified into three general groups:
The antipersonnel group is further classified as:
You should inform the personnel under your command that every effort is being made to develop a
quick, simple, and reasonably accurate method of detecting pathogenic microorganisms in water in the field.
However, until a practicable BW water detection kit is developed, the Army must rely on recognizing one or
more of the following suspicious circumstances:
Enemy aircraft dropping unidentified material or spraying unidentified substances.
New and unusual types of bombs, particularly those which burst with little or no blast.
Smoke and mists of unknown source or nature.
Unusual or unexplained increase in the number of insects, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas.
Any weapon not seeming to have any immediate casualty effect.
An increased occurrence of sick or dead animals such as dogs, livestock, or birds.
An increased incidence of sickness and disease among troops.
Intelligence reports indicating the possible use of BW by the enemy.
Chemical Contaminants. Chemical agents can be delivered on target by a wide array of weapon
systems. Consequently, CW agents are usable in a diversity of military situations. Chemical agents are of a
search-and-destroy nature. They can harm an enemy if they are widely dispersed in the open or in fortified
positions, such as the use of mustard gas in World War I. Chemical agents are antipersonnel in makeup.
They do not destroy buildings, emplacements, power plants, communication installations, equipment, or
vehicles. These facilities can be used by friendly forces.
Chemical agents have an excellent capability of area denial. They are effective for both overt and covert
operations. They can travel around corners, diffuse through woods, and seep into dugouts and fortifications.