TAB A - Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary

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

Acronyms and Abbreviations

CAM chemical agent monitor
DoD Department of Defense
HMMWV high-mobility, multi-purpose wheeled vehicle
MAGTF Marine Air-Ground Task Force
MARDIV Marine Division
NBC nuclear, biological, chemical
NCO non-commissioned officer
SNCO staff non-commissioned officer
UNSCOM United Nations Special Commission on Iraq
US United States


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.[74] , [75]

Chemical warfare agent

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.[76]


One of a group of acquired muscle diseases called inflammatory myopathies. Characterized by a short and relatively severe onset, with patchy, bluish-purple rashes and muscle weakness. Some patients develop bumps of hardened calcium deposits under the skin. Muscle weakness is the most common symptom; others include fatigue, weight loss, discomfort, and low-grade fever.[77]

False positive

A false positive occurs when a chemical warfare agent detector falsely indicates the presence of a chemical warfare agent.[78]

Grover's Disease

A disease lasting weeks to months whose cause is unknown and whose symptoms include a common, itching rash that takes the form of small red bumps on the chest, stomach, back, arms, and/or legs.[79]

Infectious folliculitis

A skin condition: inflammation of hair follicles, caused by bacterial or fungal infections.[80]


A parasitic disease spread by the bite of infected sandflies. The most common forms are cutaneous, causing skin sores, and visceral, affecting some internal bodily systems (e.g., the spleen, liver, and bone marrow).[81]

Marine Air-Ground Task Force

A task organization of Marine forces (division, aircraft wing, and service support groups) under a single command and structured to accomplish a specific mission. Components normally include command, aviation combat, ground combat, and combat service support elements, including Navy support elements. The three expeditionary types are the Marine unit, brigade, and force. The four elements of a Marine air-ground task force are command, aviation combat, ground combat, and combat service support.[82]

Marine Expeditionary Force

The largest of the Marine air-ground task forces. Normally built around a division, wing, and force service support group team, but can include several divisions and aircraft wings, together with an appropriate combat service support organization. A Marine expeditionary force is capable of conducting a wide range of amphibious assault operations and sustained operations ashore and can be tailored for various combat missions in any geographic environment.[83]

NBC Reports

Formatted messages of six types designed to rapidly disseminate key information on NBC threats:

NBC-1. Used by the observing unit 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. 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. Disseminates information on predicted downwind hazard areas based on 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. Reports possible detection of NBC hazards determined by monitoring equipment, survey, or reconnaissance.

NBC-5. Shows possibly contaminated areas based on information from NBC-4 reports plotted on maps. Usually disseminated as a map overlay by division-level elements.

NBC-6. Summarizes information about a chemical or biological attack(s); prepared at battalion level, but only if higher headquarters so requests. Primarily used as an intelligence tool to help determine future enemy intentions.[84]

Polymorphic light eruptions

Skin lesions caused by an abnormal sensitivity to sunlight. Commonly associated symptoms may include sunburn, red skin rash with small blisters, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. The reaction often occurs when certain substances are combined with ultraviolet light. Such substances may be taken orally (e.g., common drugs and antibiotics) or applied externally (e.g., perfumes and after-shave lotions). Even deodorant soap and sunscreen ingredients can cause a photosensitive reaction.[85]

Urticaria (Hives)

Pale red swellings of skin, also called "wheals," occurring in groups on any part of the skin, varying in size from as small as a pencil eraser to as large as a dinner plate; they may join together to form larger swellings. Each hive lasts a few hours before fading without a trace. New areas may develop as old areas fade. Hives usually itch, but also may burn or sting. They are caused by blood plasma leaking out of small blood vessels in the skin.[86]

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