VI. LESSONS LEARNED

A. Chemical Warfare Agent Detection

During the Gulf War, two primary methodologies existed for detecting chemical weapons and chemical warfare agents. One was visual—munitions markings, like painted bands or symbols, or physical characteristics like thin, double-walled casings; burster tubes; welded construction; fill plugs; etc. However, these visual characteristics are not always reliable. Chemical detectors were the second available method. Unfortunately, a properly designed, manufactured, and filled chemical munition will often not emit enough chemical warfare agent vapor to be reliably detected by current M256 kits or CAMs. This presented explosive ordnance disposal technicians with the very impractical and dangerous task of having to disassemble an unknown munition in order to positively identify if it is filled with a hazardous agent. The technology now exists to reliably detect munitions contents by external sensors and should be fielded as soon as possible.

B. Policies and Procedures for Munition Destruction

Under normal non-combat conditions, explosive ordnance disposal technicians will carefully identify each munition to be destroyed, and implement a plan that, with a high degree of safety and reliability, would render each munition inert. Due to the large quantities of munitions captured during Desert Storm, and the limited amount of time, explosives, and E