TAB A - Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary

Acronyms and Abbreviations

CAM chemical agent monitor
DoD Department of Defense
EPW enemy prisoner of war
I MEF I Marine Expeditionary Force
MCAS Marine Corps Air Station
MM-1 Mobile Mass Spectrometer
NBC nuclear, biological, and chemical
SBCCOM US Army Soldier Biological and Chemical Command


Blister agents 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.[114,115]
Chemical Agent Monitor (CAM) A CAM is a hand-held, soldier-operated device that is used to monitor chemical warfare agent contamination on individuals and equipment. The chemical agent monitor may give false readings when used in enclosed spaces or when sampling near strong vapor sources (for example, in dense smoke). Some vapors known to give false readings are aromatic vapors (perfumes, food flavorings, some after shaves, peppermints, cough lozenges, and menthol cigarettes when vapors are exhaled directly into the nozzle), cleaning compounds (disinfectants, methyl salicylate, menthol), smokes and fumes (exhaust from some rocket motors, fumes from some munitions), and some wood preservative treatments (polychlorinated biphenyls).[116]
Chemical warfare agent


A chemical warfare agent is a chemical substance, used in military operations to kill, seriously injure, or incapacitate though its physiological effects. Excluded are riot control agents, herbicides, smoke, and flame. Included are blood, nerve, blister, choking, and incapacitating agents.[117]


Of, relating to, or affecting the skin.[118]

H-series agents

A series of persistent blister agents that includes levinstein (sulfur) mustards (H), distilled 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).[119,120]

Lewisite A non-persistent blister agent abbreviated as L

Chemical name: Dichloro 2-chlorovinyldichloroarsine[121]

It is a liquid with a geranium-like odor. It is used as a moderately delayed-action casualty agent with a persistency somewhat shorter than that of distilled mustard. It produces effects similar to mustard with one exception: lewisite produces immediate pain.[122]

Marine Expeditionary Force

The largest of the Marine air-ground task forces, is normally built around a division/wing/force service support group team, but can include several divisions and aircraft wings, together with an appropriate combat service support organization. The Marine Expeditionary Force is capable of conducting a wide range of amphibious assault operations and sustained operations ashore. It can be tailored for a wide variety of combat missions in any geographic environment.[123]


MM-1 mobile mass spectrometer

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 10 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 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 MM-1 must analyze the spectrum of the suspected chemical against the 60 detection algorithms stored in the MM-1 chemical library. For more detailed analysis later, the complete ion spectrum can be printed on a paper tape.[124]

NBC Reports NBC Reports are formatted messages designed to rapidly disseminate key information on NBC threats.   Included are the following:
NBC-1 An NBC-1 report is used by the observing units to give basic initial and follow-up data about an NBC-attack.   Battalion and higher elements consolidate reports and decide which to forward.
NBC-2 An NBC-2 report is based on two or more NBC-1 reports.  It is used to pass evaluated data to units, usually by division level or higher elements.
NBC-3 An NBC-3 report is used to disseminate information on predicted downwind hazard areas based on the analysis of NBC-1 reports.  Each unit evaluates the NBC-3 report, determines which of its subordinate units may be affected, and further disseminates the report as required.
NBC-4 An NBC-4 report is used to report possible detection of NBC-hazards determined by monitoring equipment, survey or reconnaissance.
NBC-5 Information from NBC-4 reports is plotted on maps and an NBC-5 report is generated showing areas of contamination.  This report is usually disseminated as a map overlay by division level elements.
NBC-6 This report summarizes information concerning a chemical or biological attack(s) and is prepared at battalion level, but only if requested by higher headquarters.  It is primarily used as an intelligence tool to help determine future enemy intentions. [125]
Spectrum analysis

All chemical compounds are made up of small pieces called molecules. A mass spectrometer excites each molecule, breaking it into smaller charged particles called "ions," and then counts each ion in a sample. These ions are sorted by their atomic weights, providing a unique signature for each chemical substance. The MM-1 graphically displays the relative intensities of selected ion patterns to the operator’s screen.[126]

Vesicant A chemical warfare agent that acts on the eyes, lungs and skin, capable of producing blisters.[127]

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