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 commonly used.

Acronyms and Abbreviations

AWACS   Airborne Warning and Control System
CWA   chemical warfare agent
DoD   Department of Defense (U.S.)
DS/DS   Desert Shield/Desert Storm
EOD   explosive ordnance disposal
EPMU-2   Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit Number Two
FMA   Force Management Area
HQ   headquarters
IFF   Identification, Friend or Foe
I MEF   I Marine Expeditionary Force
KAANB   King Abdul Aziz Naval Base
MAW   Marine Air Wing
MOD   United Kingdom Ministry of Defence
MOPP   Mission Oriented Protective Posture
NMCB   Naval Mobile Construction Battalion
NAF   Naval Air Facility
NBC   Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical
OIC   officer-in-charge
OSAGWI   Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses
PSU   Port Security Unit
RAOC   Rear Area Operations Center
SIF   Selective Identification Feature
UDATS   Underwater Damage Assessment Television System
UIC   Unit Identification Code
UK   United Kingdom
US   United States
USCENTCOM   United States Central Command


AC Hydrogen cyanide, a blood agent.[208]
Blister agent Also known as a vesicant, a blister agent is a chemical warfare agent which 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 and HN) and an arsenical mustard (L). Although phosgene oxime (CX) is not a blister agent, it is treated as one in the operation of the M256 kit. Phosgene oxime is more correctly referred to as an urticant. [209]
Blood agent A chemical warfare agent that is inhaled and absorbed into the blood. The blood carries the agent to all body tissues where it interferes with the tissue oxygenation process. The brain is especially effected. The effect on the brain leads to cessation of respiration followed by cardiovascular collapse. Examples of blood agents are AC and CK.[210]
Chemical warfare agent A chemical substance used in military operations to kill, seriously injure, or incapacitate humans (or animals) through its toxicological effects. Excluded are riot control agents, chemical herbicides, and smoke and flame materials. Chemical agents include nerve agents, incapacitating agents, blister agents (vesicants), lung damaging agents, blood agents, and vomiting agents.[211]
CK Cyanogen chloride, a blood agent.[212]
Condition Black The highest level of alert, condition black refers to the strongest defensive actions a unit takes in response to a perceived chemical weapon attack.[213]
CS Tear gas. Chemical name: O-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile.[214]
CX Phosgene oxime (see urticant and blister agent).[215]
Detection Paper Detection paper relies on certain dyes being soluble in chemical warfare agents. Normally, two dyes and one pH indicator are mixed with cellulose fibers in unbleached paper (a without special coloring). When the paper absorbs a drop of CWA, it dissolves one of the pigments. Mustard agent dissolves a red dye and nerve agent a yellow. In addition, VX (a form of liquid nerve agent) causes the indicator to turn to blue that, together with the yellow, will become green/green-black.

Detection paper can 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, they should not be located in places where drops of substances such as solvent, fat, oil, or fuel can fall on them. Drops of water produce no reaction.

Depending on the spot diameter and density on the detection paper, it is possible to gauge the original size of the droplets and the degree of contamination.[216]

Dusty Chemical Warfare Agent

A chemical warfare agent (CWA) that is dispersed in aerosol form is referred to as a dusty agent. A dusty agent results from a process in which a chemical warfare agent is absorbed onto a to a very small particle, e.g., silica. The particle then becomes a carrier for the chemical warfare agent. The small size of the carrier allows it to penetrate some types of clothing, including protective clothing. Injuries sustained from exposure to a dusty agent are the same as those received from exposure to other forms of mustard agent.[217]


Shortness of breath, a subjective difficulty or distress in breathing, usually associated with disease of the heart or lungs; occurs normally during intense physical exertion or at high altitude.[218]
Edema An accumulation of an excessive amount of watery fluid in cells, tissues, or serous cavities.[219]
Epistaxis Profuse bleeding from the nose, a nosebleed.[220]
Erythema Redness of the skin due to capillary dilatation.[221]
GA Tabun nerve agent Chemical name:

Ethyl N,N-dimethylphosphoroamidocyanidate.[222]

GB Sarin-nerve agent Chemical name:

Isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate.[223]

GD Soman nerve agent, Chemical name:

Pinacoly methyl phosphonofluoridate.[224]

General Quarters A condition of readiness when naval action is imminent. All battle stations are fully manned and alert; ammunition is ready for instant loading; guns and guided missile launchers may be loaded.
GF Cyclosarin nerve agent Chemical Name: O-Cyclohexyl-methylfluorophosphonate or cyclohexyl methylphosphonoflouridate.[225]
GulfLINK A World Wide Web site maintained by the Office of the Special Assistant,
H H-series blister agents: A series of persistent blister agents, that include Levinstein (Sulfur) Mustards (H), Distilled Mustard (HD), Nitrogen Mustards (HN-1, HN-2, HN-3), and Mustard-Lewisite Mixture (HL).[226]
HD Distilled mustard, a blister agent[227]
Hyperpnea Breathing that is deeper and more rapid than is normal at rest.[228]

Lewisite, a blister agent Chemical Name:


Miosis Contraction of the pupil.[230]
Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) 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 all known chemical warfare agents, biological agents, and toxins. MOPP Level 0 requires individuals to carry their protective mask; personnel in MOPP Level 4 wear all MOPP gear. MOPP gear consists of the following items: chemical suit, overboots, butyl rubber gloves, and protective mask with hood.[231]
M256A1 Chemical Agent Detection Kit The M256A1 kit is a portable, expendable item capable of detecting and identifying hazardous concentrations of chemical agent. The M256 kit is used after a chemical attack 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. This improvement was accomplished by using an eel enzyme for the nerve test in the M256A1 kit in place of the horse enzyme used in the M256 kit.[232]
Nerve agents The most toxic 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.[233]
OSA fast patrol boats OSA fast patrol boats are Russian-made naval vessels used for coastal patrol and defense. These boats were produced in two classes: class I and class II. Missiles are the OSA’s primary weapon system. The boat is 110.2 feet long, 24.9 feet high, 8.8 feet wide, and displaces 210 tons. It is powered by three diesel engines. The boat’s top speed is 35 to 37 knots. Its range depends on class (I or II) and speed. A class I boat can travel 400 miles at 34 knots while class II boats can travel 500 miles at 35 knots. Iraq was one of several nations to import OSA patrol boats.[234]
Rhinorrhea A discharge from the nasal mucous membrane.[235]
Temperature Inversion

A temperature inversion is a meteorological condition in which a layer of warm air traps a cooler layer of air beneath it. This prevents pollutants and other airborne substances from escaping into the atmosphere.[236]

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.[237]
V 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 that do not evaporate rapidly. The standard V agent is VX. [238]
Vesiculation The formation of vesicles. Synonym: blistering, vesication.[239]
Vestibular dysfunction Abnormal function, impaired function, or other disturbance of the vestibular system. The vestibular system consists of the three semicircular canals which sense and transduce angular acceleration; and the otolithic apparatus which senses and transduces linear acceleration and static gravitational forces, the latter providing a sense of head position in space. The vestibular system is one of three sensory systems, which subserve spatial orientation and posture. (The others are the visual system and the somatosensory system which conveys peripheral information from the skin, joints, and muscles.) When there is disturbance of the vestibular system, the following may result:

Vertigo - a hallucination of self- or environmental movement, most commonly a feeling of spinning. It is frequently accompanied by nausea, nystagmus (rapid eye movements in one direction), postural unsteadiness, and gait ataxia (unsteadiness or uncoordination). Since vertigo increases with rapid head movements, patients tend to hold their heads still.

Acute unilateral dysfunction may be caused by infection, trauma, and insufficient blood flow. Often no specific etiology is uncovered.

Acute bilateral layrinthine dysfunction is usually the result of toxins such as drugs or alcohol. The most common offending drugs are aminoglycoside antibiotics.[240]


V-series nerve agent. Chemical Name:

O-ethyl-S-(2-isopropylaminoethyl)methyl phosphonothiolate.[241]

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