TAB A - Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary

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

Acronyms and Abbreviations


Chemical and Biological Defense Command


Department of Defense


explosive ordnance disposal


Environmental Protection Agency


mission oriented protective posture


nuclear, biological, and chemical


National Institute of Standards and Technology


Persian Gulf Illnesses Investigation Team


Soldier and Biological Chemical Command


situation report


United States


United States Central Command


Commander-in-Chief, USCENTCOM


Calibration (calibrate)

To standardize (a measuring instrument) by determining the deviation from a standard so as to ascertain the proper correction factors.[54]

Chemical and Biological Defense Command (CBDCOM)

To provide research, development and acquisition for nuclear biological chemical (NBC) and obscurant equipment for the US Forces; act as the Army NBC defense commodity command; provide management of joint service NBC defense material; provide US chemical stockpile management and safe storage; provide installation management; prepare for and respond to chemical biological emergency events/accidents; provide weapons of mass destruction (chemical or biological) domestic preparedness support; conduct emergency remediation/restoration actions at chemical sites; provide successful planning, management, and execution of treaty responsibilities; and provide demilitarization support. (CBDCOM merged with SSCOM to form SBCCOM)[55]

Chemical warfare agent

A chemical substance used in military operations to kill, seriously injure, or incapacitate though its physiological effects. Excludes riot control agents, herbicides, smoke, and flame. Included are blood, nerve, blister, choking, and incapacitating agents.[56]


Riot control agent
Chemical Name: O-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile[57]


A nerve agent (known as GF)
Chemical Name: O-Cyclohexyl-methylfluorophosphonate[58]

Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD)

The detection, identification, on-site evaluation, rendering safe, recovery, and final disposal of unexploded explosive ordnance.  It may also include explosive ordnance that has become hazardous by damage or deterioration.[59]

Fox Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) Reconnaissance Vehicle

The Fox vehicle is a six-wheeled, light armored vehicle designed primarily for reconnaissance of liquid chemical warfare agent hazards.  On-board chemical warfare agent detection capabilities include the MM-1 mobile mass spectrometer, which is the primary detection device, the M43A1 chemical agent detector (which is an integral component of the M8 alarm system), and the M256A1 chemical agent detector kit. The Fox is also equipped with two radiation detectors. The Fox does not provide any biological warfare agent detection capability, but does protect the crew from biological hazards, and allows the crew to mark areas of potential hazard and safely take samples for laboratories to analyze for biological hazards.[60]

G-series agents

G-series nerve agents are lethal chemical warfare agents that work by inhibiting the proper functioning of the cholinesterase enzymes needed for the transmission of nerve impulses throughout the body. These agents affect the functioning of all bodily systems, including the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, and muscles. The G-series nerve agents include tabun (GA), sarin (GB), soman (GD), and cyclosarin (GF). The normal sequence of symptoms is a running nose, tightness of the chest, dimness of vision and pinpointing of the eye pupils, difficulty breathing, drooling and excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting, cramps, involuntary defecation and urination, twitching, jerking and staggering, headache, confusion, drowsiness, and coma. Cessation of breathing and death follow.[61]


A nerve agent, known as sarin
Chemical name: Isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate[62]


A nerve agent, known as cyclosarin
Chemical Name: O-Cyclohexyl-methylfluorophosphonate[63]

M256 chemical warfare agent detector kit

In the field, the M256-series chemical warfare agent detector kit is referred to simply as the M256 kit.  The M256 kit is a portable, expendable item capable of detecting and identifying hazardous concentrations of blister, blood, and nerve agents.  The M256 kit is used after a chemical warfare agent warning to test for and confirm the presence and type of chemical warfare agent, and to determine if it is safe to unmask.  The M256A1 kit has replaced the M256 kit.  The only difference between the two kits is that the M256A1 kit will detect lower levels of nerve agent. Both the M256 kit and the M256A1 kit were used during the Gulf War.[64]

Some smokes, high temperatures, standard US decontamination solution number two (DS2), and petroleum products may cause false readings. Results may be inaccurate when sampling is performed in smoke from burning debris.[65]

MM-1 mobile mass spectrometer

The MM-1 mobile mass spectrometer is the primary chemical warfare agent detector fielded in the Fox reconnaissance vehicle.  During Operation Desert Storm, the MM-1 monitored against a target list of approximately ten selected chemical warfare agents most likely to be present, based on intelligence reports of the suspected chemical warfare agent threat.   To speed the initial search, the sampling probe operates at 180 C and the MM-1 looks for only four ion peaks for each chemical warfare agent and attempts to match the target list of chemicals against the pattern and ratio of these peaks.   If an initial match is made with these four ion peaks at a pre-determined intensity, the MM-1 sounds an alarm. However, this first alarm does not confirm the presence of a chemical warfare agent, since there are many chemicals that have similar ion peaks and many combinations of chemicals that may yield ion patterns similar to those in the target list.  Consequently, the MM-1 can falsely indicate the presence of dangerous chemical warfare agents.  To more conclusively determine what chemical is present, the operator must lower the sampling probe temperature to 120 C, re-acquire a sample of the suspected substance, and run a spectrum analysis with the MM-1 against all the detection algorithms stored in the MM-1 chemical library.  For more detailed analysis later, the complete ion spectrum of the suspected sample can be printed on a paper tape.[66]


Mission oriented protective posture (MOPP) is a flexible system used to direct the wearing of chemical protective garments and mask to balance mission requirements with the chemical warfare agent threat.   Wearing chemical protective garments and mask provides individuals protection against most known chemical warfare agents, biological agents, and toxins.

In MOPP Level 0 individuals carry their protective mask while their remaining MOPP gear must be readily available (e.g., within the work area, fighting position, living space, etc.). In MOPP Level 1, individuals wear their overgarment and carry the rest of their MOPP gear.  For MOPP Level 2, individuals wear their overgarment and overboots while carrying the mask with hood and gloves.  At MOPP Level 3, individuals wear their overgarment, overboots, and mask with hood, but not the gloves, and at MOPP Level 4, individuals wear all their MOPP gear.[67] During the Gulf War, commanders could raise or lower the amount of protection through five levels of MOPP.  In addition, commanders, under certain situations, could exercise a mask-only option.[68]

Nerve agent

Nerve agents are the most toxic of the chemical warfare agents.  Nerve agents are absorbed into the body through breathing, by injection, or absorption through the skin. They affect the nervous and the respiratory systems and various body functions.  They include the G series and V series chemical warfare agents.[69]

Riot control agent

A chemical which produces transient effects that disappear within minutes after exposure and very rarely require medical treatment.  Riot control agents are effective in quelling civil disturbances and in some military operations, to prevent unnecessary loss of life.[70]


A nerve agent, known as GB
Chemical name: Isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate[71]

Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM)

Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, SBCCOM has a broad research, development and acquisition mission to develop, acquire, and sustain soldier, soldier support, and nuclear, biological, and chemical defense technology, systems, and services to ensure the decisive edge and maximum protection for the United States.  It provides for safe storage, treaty compliance, and destruction of chemical materiel.[72]

Task force

A temporary grouping of units, under one commander, formed for the purpose of carrying out a specific operation or mission, or a semi-permanent organization of units, under one commander, formed for the purpose of carrying out a continuing specific task, or a component of a fleet organized by the commander of a task fleet or higher authority for the accomplishment of a specific task or tasks.[73]

| First Page | Prev Page | Next Page |