TAB A - Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary

This tab lists acronyms and abbreviations found in this report. Additionally, the glossary section defines selected technical terms not found in common usage.

Acronyms and Abbreviations

AD   Armored Division
ARCENT   US Army Central Command


Chemical and Biological Defense Command


Central Intelligence Agency




Chemical Research, Development, and Engineering Center


chemical warfare


chemical warfare agent


Director of Central Intelligence


Defense Intelligence Agency


Department of Defense




nuclear, biological, chemical


non-commissioned officer in charge


National Institute of Standards and Technology


Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses


petroleum, oil, lubricants


Soldier and Biological Chemical Command


United Nations Special Commission


United States


US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense


Universal Transverse Mercator




(Immunology) Pertaining to, caused by, affected with or of the nature of allergy.[94]

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, arsenicals like lewisite, and mustard and lewisite mixtures. Blister agents are also called vesicants or vesicant agents.[95, 96]

Chemical and Biological Defense Command (CBDCOM)

CBDCOM was a US Army command with a mission to provide research, development, and acquisition for nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC), and obscurant equipment for the US Forces; to act as the Army NBC defense commodity command; to provide management of joint service NBC defense material; to provide US chemical stockpile management and safe storage; to provide installation management; to prepare for and respond to chemical biological emergency events/accidents; provide weapons of mass destruction (chemical or biological) domestic preparedness support; to conduct emergency remediation/restoration actions at chemical sites; to provide successful planning, management, and execution of treaty responsibilities; and to provide demilitarization support. The Chemical and Biological Defense Command merged with the Soldier Support Command to form the US Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command.[97]

Chemical warfare agent

A CWA is a chemical substance excluding riot control agents, herbicides, smoke, and flame, used in military operations to kill, seriously injure, or incapacitate through its physiological effects. Included are blood, nerve, blister, choking, and incapacitating agents.[98]

Contact Dermatitis

(Pathology) A type of immune-mediated inflammatory skin rash that results from an allergy to a particular substance (for example jewelry dermatitis, poison ivy, neomycin ointment, etc.).[99]


(Pathology) Inflammation of the skin.[100]

Distilled Sulfur Mustard

A blister agent known as HD
Chemical name: Bis-(2-chloroethyl) sulfide[101]

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 it does protect the crew from biological hazards, and it allows the crew to mark areas of potential hazard and safely take samples for laboratories to analyze for biological hazards.[102]

H-series blister agents

A series of persistent blister agents that includes levinstein (sulfur) mustards (H), distilled sulfur mustard (HD), nitrogen mustards (HN), a mustard-lewisite mixture (HL), a mustard T mixture (HT), a sulfur-mustard/sesqui-mustard mixture (HQ), and sesqui-mustard (Q)[103, 104]


A blister agent known as distilled sulfur mustard
Chemical name: Bis-(2-chloroethyl) sulfide[105]


A blister agent mixture of sulfur-mustard or distilled sulfur mustard and sesqui-mustard
Chemical names:
     HD: Bis-(2-chloroethyl) sulfide
     Q: 1,2-Bis (2-chloroethylthio) ethane[106]


A blister agent known as mustard-t mixture
Chemical name: HD: Bis-(2-chloroethyl) sulfide
     T: Bis [2(2-chloroethylthio) ethyl] ether[107]


This refers to any substance that causes inflammation following immediate, prolonged, or repeated contact with skin or mucous membranes.[108]


A blister agent known as lewisite
Chemical Name: Dichloro-(2-chlorovinyl)arsine[109]

MM-1 mobile mass spectrometer

The MM-1 mobile mass spectrometer is the primary chemical warfare agent detector 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 of each detected 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 and relationship, 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.[110]


A blister agent, known as sesqui-mustard, Q is a more effective chemical warfare vesicant than sulfur mustard. It produces symptoms consistent with blister type agents, with about five times stronger skin activity than distilled mustard (HD). The fact that it is in solid form at room temperature with a very low vapor pressure hinders its effective use as a chemical warfare agent. Combining sesqui-mustard (Q) with distilled mustard (HD) to form sulfur-mustard/sesqui-mustard (HQ) helps to eliminate this problem.

Chemical names:
     Ethylene-Bis-(2-Chloroethylthio) sulfide or
     1,2-Bis (2-chloroethylthio) ethane[111]

Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM)

Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, SBCCOM has a broad research, development and acquisition mission to ensure the decisive edge and maximum protection for the United States. SBCCOM develops, acquires, and sustains soldier, soldier support, and nuclear, biological, and chemical defense technology, systems, and services. SBCCOM also provides for safe storage, treaty compliance, and destruction of chemical materiel.[112]


A set of signs or series of events occurring together that often point to a single disease or condition as the cause.[113]

Universal Transverse Mercator Grid (UTM)

UTM is a coordinate system used for creating maps. The UTM system projects a series of intersecting grid lines on the Earth's surface, extending from 84 degrees north to 80 degrees south latitudes. Also called UTM Grid.[114]


(Dermatology) A transient condition of the skin, usually caused by an allergic reaction, characterized by pale or reddened irregular, elevated patches and severe itching, hives.[115]


(Chemistry, Pharmacology) Refers to a chemical or agent that causes blisters.[116]

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