TAB A - Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary

This tab provides a listing of acronyms and abbreviations found in this report. Additionally, the glossary section provides a definition for selected technical terms not found in common usage.

Acronyms and Abbreviations

BDA   bomb damage assessment
CIA   Central Intelligence Agency
COAMPS   Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System
CW   chemical warfare
DoD   Department of Defense
ECMWF   European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
FNE   first noticeable effects
GB   sarin
GBU   guided bomb unit
GPL   general population limit
HPAC   Hazard Prediction and Assessment Capability
IDA   Institute for Defense Analyses
SCIPUFF   Second-Order Closure, Integrated Puff
OMEGA   Operational Multiscale Environmental Model with Grid Adaptivity
TLAM   Tomahawk Land Attack Missile
USAF   United States Air Force
UNSCOM   United Nations Special Commission
VLSTRACK   Vapor Liquid Solid Tracking Model
WEAPDA   Weapons Effects and Performance Data Archival



Blister agent

A blister agent is a chemical warfare agent that produces local irritation and damage to the skin and mucous membranes, pain and injury to the eyes, reddening and blistering of the skin, and when inhaled, damage to the respiratory tract. Blister agents include mustards (HD, HN, HQ, HT, and Q), arsenicals like lewisite (L), and mustard and lewisite mixtures (HL). Blister agents are also called vesicants or vesicant agents.[64,65]

Bomb Damage Assessment

The determination of the effect of all air attacks on targets (e.g., bombs, rockets, or strafing).[66]

Bomb laser unit

A laser guidance unit fitted to a conventional free-fall bomb that guides the bomb to its target.

Central Intelligence Agency

The US government agency charged with conducting and managing intelligence activities.

Chemical warfare agent

A chemical substance used in military operations to kill, seriously injure, or incapacitate through its physiological effects including blood, nerve, blister, choking, and incapacitating agents. Riot control agents, herbicides, smoke, and flame are not considered to be chemical warfare agents.[67]

Chemical ammunition

A type of ammunition, whose filler is primarily a chemical agent.[68]


An ad hoc arrangement between two or more nations for common action.[69] In this narrative, the term refers to the group of nations that provided troops to the allied effort to expel Iraq from Kuwait.

Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System

A mesoscale weather prediction model developed by the Naval Research Laboratory as an existing, short-term (up to 48 hours) forecast tool applicable to any given region of the earth.[70]

Cruciform bunker

Iraq’s large, cross-shaped standard design ammunition storage bunker constructed of reinforced concrete and covered by sand.

Cruise Missile

A guided missile, the major portion of whose flight path to its target is conducted at approximately constant velocity; that depends on the dynamic reaction of air for lift and upon propulsion forces to balance drag.[71]

Defense Special Weapons Agency

Formerly the Defense Nuclear Agency, recently incorporated into the Defense Threat Reduction Agency

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

An international organization headquartered in the United Kingdom that maintains a global weather database.[72]

First noticeable effect

The dosage at which exposed personnel could reasonably be expected to demonstrate effects from a chemical agent.[73]

Forward line of own troops

A line, which indicates the most forward positions of friendly forces at a specific time.[74]


A guided bomb unit with a 2000-pound warhead.


A guided bomb unit with a 2000-pound warhead designed to penetrate hard targets

General population limit

The safe exposure limit for toxic chemicals for the general population, including infants and the infirm. The general population limit is a level where a lifetime exposure would cause no perceptible symptoms in the general population.[75]

Global Data Assimilation System

A large-scale weather model run by The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, DC.



A World Wide Web site maintained by the Office of the Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses (

Hazard Prediction and Assessment Capability, and Second-Order Closure, Integrated Puff

A transport and dispersion model run by the Defense Special Weapons Agency.

Intelligence community

The Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, National Security Agency, National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the military services’ intelligence staffs and centers, and other organizations in the Departments of Defense, Treasury, Justice, and Energy. Intelligence related to military efforts includes information at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels.


An arsenic-based blistering agent similar to mustard with moderately delayed action but somewhat shorter persistency than mustard.[76]


A free-fall non-guided 2,000-pound bomb dropped on a target from fixed-wing combat aircraft.[77]

Mesoscale Meteorological Models

Models that project regional and local weather conditions required by transport models. Essentially, mesoscale models simulate how atmospheric systems on a horizontal scale of a few to several hundred kilometers influence wind patterns at various altitudes.[78]


A highly persistent blister agent spread as a vapor or liquid that causes casualties primarily by contact with eyes, lungs, or exposed skin.[79]

Muthanna State Establishment

Nucleus of Iraq’s chemical warfare agent program: at the State Establishment for Pesticide Production, located at Al Muthanna, near Samarra on the Tigris River, north of Baghdad.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The US government agency responsible for weather and atmospheric research and analysis.

Naval Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System

A global large-scale weather model run by the Naval Research Laboratory, Monterrey, CA.

Nerve agents

The most toxic of the chemical warfare agents. The body absorbs nerve agents through breathing, injection, or absorption through the skin. They affect the nervous and the respiratory systems and various bodily functions. They include the G-series and V-series chemical warfare agents.[80]

Occupational limit

The safe exposure limit determined for toxic chemicals for workers without respiratory protection during an average 8-hour workday over a working lifetime of 40 years.[81]

Operational Multiscale Environmental Model with Grid Adaptivity

A mesoscale model developed for the Defense Special Weapons Agency.

Operation Desert Shield

The Persian Gulf military operation during which the Coalition formed and deployed troops deployed on the ground preceding the onset of hostilities.

Operation Desert Storm

The period of armed conflict in the Gulf War.


An expression of the duration of the effectiveness of an agent. This depends on the physical and chemical properties of the agent, weather, methods of dissemination, and conditions of the terrain.[82]

Precision guided munitions

Weapons that use a seeker to detect electromagnetic energy reflected from a target or reference point, and through processing, provide guidance commands to a control system that guides the weapon to the target.[83]


An intermediate chemical compound used to produce chemical warfare agents.


A nerve agent known as GB
Chemical name: Isoproyl methylphosphonofluoridate[84]

Second-Order Closure, Integrated Puff

A transport and dispersion model run by the Defense Special Weapons Agency.

Shelf life

The period during which an item or material may be stored and remain suitable for use.[85]

Source characterization

Description of the source of a chemical or biological release into the environment supporting further analysis to determine the potential threat to a population. They may include such data as identification of the chemical warfare agent by type, purity, and quantity, results of analysis to define the amount of agent released, its physical characteristics, and whether it is an instantaneous or timed release.

Synoptic Weather Modeling and Observations

The science of describing large-scale meteorological systems (500-10,000 km,) and how they influence local weather patterns.[86]

Tomahawk Land Attack Missile

An air-, ship-, or submarine-launched cruise missile.[87]

Transport and Dispersion Models

Models that project how natural forces of wind and weather disperse a chemical or biological agent after it is released into the environment.

United Nations Resolution 687

The United Nations Resolution defining the steps Iraq needed to take to end the sanctions imposed at the end of the Gulf War.

United Nations Special Commission

The United Nations organization formed to perform compliance inspections in Iraq.

Weapons Effects and Performance Data Archival

An automated file system storing data on weapons effects and performance maintained at the Defense Special Weapons Agency.

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