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

BW biological warfare
BDO Bomb Disposal Officer
CAM Chemical Agent Monitor
CBDCOM Chemical/Biological Defense Command
CBDE Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment
CG phosgene
CRDEC Chemical Research, Development and Engineering Center
CW chemical warfare
CWA chemical warfare agent
DoD Department of Defense
DRAO Defense Reconstruction Assistance Office
EOD explosive ordnance disposal
EPDS Emergency Personnel Decontamination Station
H mustard
HD sulfur mustard
ICP incident command post
IPE individual protection equipment
IRFNA inhibited red fuming nitric acid
KERO Kuwaiti Emergency Recovery Office
MoD Ministry of Defence
mg milligrams
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NBC nuclear, biological, and chemical
NIST National Institute of Standards and Technology
ppm parts per million
RII report of initial information
RFNA red fuming nitric acid
SIBCA sampling and identification of biological and chemical agents
STEL short term exposure limit
SOP standard operating procedure
UK United Kingdom
UN United Nations
UNSCOM United Nations Special Commission
US United States
UTM Universal Transverse Mercator Grid


AC A blood agent
Chemical Name: Hydrogen cyanide[147]
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.[148 , 149]

Blood agent

A blood agent is a chemical warfare agent that is inhaled and absorbed into the blood, carrying the agent to all body tissues where it interferes with the tissue oxygenation process. The brain is especially affected. The effect on the brain leads to cessation of respiration followed by cardiovascular collapse. Examples of blood agents are AC and CK.[150]

Chemical Agent Monitor (CAM)

A CAM is a hand-held, soldier-operated device that is used to monitor chemical warfare agent contamination on soldiers and equipment. The CAM may give false readings when used in enclosed spaces or when sampling near strong vapor sources (e.g., in dense smoke). Some vapors known to give false readings are aromatic vapors (perfumes, food flavorings, some aftershaves, 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 or PCBs).[151]

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 Soldier and Biological Chemical Command.[152]

Chemical warfare agent (CWA)

A chemical warfare agent is a chemical substance used in military operations to kill, seriously injure, or incapacitate through its physiological effects. Excluded are riot control agents, herbicides, smoke, and flame. Included are blood, nerve, blister, choking, and incapacitating agents.[153]

Chromatography A process in which a chemical mixture carried by a liquid or gas is separated into its individual components.[154]
CK A blood agent
Chemical Name: Cyanogen chloride[155]
Contaminant A substance that, when present in the absence of a chemical warfare agent or the presence of chemical agent at the blank level causes a false positive when otherwise a true negative would have resulted[156]

Phosgene oxime (see urticant and blister agent)
Chemical Name: Dichloroformoxime


A nerve agent known as GF
Chemical Name: O-Cyclohexyl-methylfluorophosphonate

Detection Paper

Detection paper works because certain dyes are soluble in chemical warfare agents. Normally, two dyes and one pH indicator are mixed with cellulose fibers in a paper without special coloring (unbleached). When the paper absorbs a drop of chemical warfare agent, it dissolves one of the pigments. Mustard agent dissolves a red dye and nerve agent a yellow dye. In addition, VX nerve agent causes the indicator to turn to blue—which, together with the yellow, will become green or green-black. Detection paper can thus be used to distinguish between three different types of chemical warfare agents. A disadvantage with the papers is that many other substances can also dissolve the pigments. Consequently, detection papers should not be located in places where drops of solvent, fat, oil, or fuel can fall on them. Drops of water cause no reaction.[159]

Distilled Mustard A blister agent known as HD
Chemical name: Bis-(2-chloroethyl) sulfide[160]

Difficult or labored respiration.[161]


Any of the numerous complex proteins that are produced by living cells and catalyze specific biochemical reactions at body temperatures.[162]


Abnormal redness of the skin due to capillary congestion.[163]

Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD)

The detection, identification, on-site evaluation, rendering safe, recovery, and final disposal of unexploded explosive ordnance. It may also include removal of explosive ordnance that has become hazardous by damage or deterioration.[164]


Also known as silver sulfadiazine. A sulfa medicine used to prevent bacterial or fungus infections. It works by killing the fungus or bacteria. It is applied to the skin.[165]

Fox Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) Reconnaissance System

The Fox 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.[166]

Fuller’s Earth An earthy substance that consists chiefly of clay mineral but lacks plasticity and that is used as an adsorbent, as filter medium and a carrier for catalysts.[167]
GA A G-series nerve agent known as tabun
Chemical name: Ethyl N,N-dimethylphosphoroamidocyanidate[168]

A G-series nerve agent known as sarin
Chemical name: Isopropyl methyl phosphonofluoridate


A G-series nerve agent known as Soman
Chemical name: Pinacolyl methyl phosphonofluoridate


A G-series nerve agent known as cyclosarin
Chemical Name: O-Cyclohexyl-methylfluorophosphonate

G-series nerve 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.[172]

GulfLINK A World Wide Web site maintained by the Office of the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) for Gulf War Illnesses, Medical Readiness, and Military Deployments (

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


A blister agent known as mustard—lewisite
Chemical names: HD: Bis-(2-chloroethyl) sulfide
L: Dichloro-(2-chlorovinyl)arsine

HN (-1, -2, & -3)

A blister agent known as nitrogen mustard
Chemical names: HN-1: Bis-(2-chloroethyl) ethylamine
HN-2: Bis-(2-chloroethyl)methylamine
HN-3: Tris-(2-chloroethyl) amine


A blister agent known as sulfur-mustard/sesqui-mustard
Chemical names: HD: Bis-(2-chloroethyl) sulfide
Q: 1,2-Bis (2-chloroethylthio) ethane

H-series blister 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).[177] , [178]


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


A hydrocarbon is an organic compound containing only carbon and hydrogen and often occurring in petroleum, natural gas, coal, and bitumens.[180]

Incapacitating agent

An incapacitating agent is a chemical warfare agent that produces a temporary disabling condition (physiological or psychological) that persists for hours to days after exposure has ceased.[181]


A blister agent known as lewisite

Chemical Name: Dichloro-(2-chlorovinyl)arsine[182]


To seal or cover (as a joint or surface) with lute.[183]

M18/M18A2 Chemical Agent Detector Kit

The M18 and improved M18A2 kits are portable, expendable items capable of surface and vapor analyses. The M18A2 kit is designed primarily for detecting dangerous concentrations of vapors, aerosols, and liquid droplets of chemical agents. Distinctive color changes indicate the presence of a chemical warfare agent.[184]

M19 Sampling and Analyzing Kit The M19 kit is a portable, expendable item used to identify chemical agents, perform the preliminary processing of unidentifiable chemical or biological warfare agent samples, and delineate contaminated areas.[185]
M256 chemical warfare agent detector kit

In the field, the M256-series chemical warfare agent detector kit is simply referred to 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. US forces used both the M256 kit and the M256A1 kit during the Gulf War.

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.[186]

M8A1 chemical alarm

The M8A1 is an automatic chemical agent detection and warning system designed to detect the presence of nerve agent vapors or inhalable aerosols. The M8A1 will automatically signal the presence of the nerve agent in the air with both an audible and visual warning. The US military fielded the M8A1 to replace the wet chemical M8 detector—which eliminated the M229 refill kit, the logistic burden, and associated costs. The M8A1 operates in a fixed, portable, or vehicle mounted configuration.[187]

Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP)

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

At MOPP Level 0 soldiers carry their protective mask while their remaining MOPP gear must be readily available (e.g., within the work area, fighting position, living space, etc.) At MOPP Level 1, soldiers wear their overgarment and carry the rest of their MOPP gear. At MOPP Level 2, soldiers wear their overgarment and overboots while carrying the mask with hood and gloves. At MOPP Level 3, soldiers wear their overgarment, overboots, and mask with hood, but not the gloves. At MOPP Level 4, soldiers wear all their MOPP gear.[188]Commanders can raise or lower the amount of protection through five levels of MOPP. In addition, commanders, under certain situations, can exercise a mask-only option.[189]

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.[190]


A group of agents that includes the sulfur mustards (H and HD) which are chlorinated thioethers, and the nitrogen mustards (HN-1, HN-2 and HN-3) which are considered derivatives of ammonia. Mustards can penetrate skin and a great number of materials. These materials include wood, leather, rubber and paints. Because of their physical properties, mustards are very persistent under cold temperature conditions. [191]


m/z represents mass-to-charge ratio. A mass spectrum (e.g., what is seen on the MM-1 screen) represents the detection of ion fragments with a specific m/z. Each vertical line on the X-axis represents a fragment of a particular mass to charge ratio. The intensity of the lines (measured along the Y-axis) represents the count (the number of fragments detected with that ratio).[192]

Nerve agents

Nerve agents are highly toxic and among the deadliest of chemical warfare agents. Nerve agents may be absorbed through any body surface; the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract, and through the gastrointestinal tract when ingested with food or water. They affect the nervous and the respiratory systems and various body functions. Nerve agents include the G-series and V-series chemical warfare agents such as G-agents Tabun (GA), Sarin (GB), Soman (GD), and GF. A V-agent is VX. Detailed descriptions of nerve agents are found in US Army Field Manual 3-9.[193]

pH A chemistry measurement of acidity and alkalinity, the pH scale ranges from 0 to14, with 7 as the neutral point. A substance with a pH lower than 7 is acidic, while a pH above 7 is alkaline.[194]
Pulmonary Edema

Abnormal accumulation of fluid in the lungs.[195]


A blister agent, known as sesqui-mustard, Q is a more effective chemical warfare vesicant than sulfur mustard (H). 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) helped to eliminate this problem.
Chemical name: Ethylene bis (2-Chloroethyl) sulfide, or 1,2-Bis (2-chloroethylthio) ethane

Riot control agent

A riot control agent is a chemical that produces transient effects that disappear within minutes after exposure and rarely require medical treatment. Riot control agents are effective in quelling civil disturbances and in some military operations, in preventing unnecessary loss of life.[197]


A nerve agent known as GB
Chemical name: Isoproyl methylphosphonofluoridate

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.[199]

Soman A nerve agent known as GD
Chemical name: Pinacolyl methyl phosphonofluoridate[200]
Tabun A nerve agent known as GA
Chemical name: Ethyl N, N-dimethylphosphoroamidocyanidate[201]
Task force

A temporary grouping of units, under one commander, formed to carry out a specific operation or mission; a semi-permanent organization of units, under one commander, formed to carry out a continuing specific task; or a component of a fleet organized by the commander of a task fleet or higher authority to accomplish a specific task or tasks.[202]

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.[203]

Urticant A substance that causes a burning or itching of the skin such as that caused by nettle stings.[204]
V-series agents V-series agents are persistent, highly toxic nerve agents developed in the mid-1950s and absorbed primarily through the skin. V-series agents are generally odorless liquids which do not evaporate rapidly. The standard V agent is VX.[205]
Vesicant Agent that acts on the eyes and lungs, capable of producing blisters, and blisters the skin[206]
VX V-series nerve agent
Chemical Name: O-ethyl-S-(2-diisopropylaminoethyl)methyl phosphonothiolate[207]


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