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


armored cavalry regiment


ammunition storage point


biological warfare


chemical or biological warfare


Central Intelligence Agency

CONUS Continental United States


chemical warfare


Department of Defense


explosive ordnance disposal


Foreign Material Intelligence Battalion



high explosive


Joint Captured Material Exploitation Center


Kuwait theater of operations

Mk-82/83/84 A family of US general purpose bombs


mission oriented protective posture





Uniform Code of Military Justice


United Nations


United Nations Special Commission on Iraq


United States



white phosphorous



Anthrax is a disease normally associated with plant-eating animals (sheep, goats, cattle, and to a lesser degree swine). It is caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. Transmission is made through scratches or abrasions of the skin, wounds, inhalation of spores, eating insufficiently-cooked infected meat, or by flies. Recovery from a mild exposure to the disease may be followed by immunity. However, if anthrax is used as a biological weapon, breathing anthrax spores would develop an infection leading to inhalation anthrax disease.

Symptoms of inhalation anthrax can begin as early as 24 hours after breathing the spores. Initial symptoms include fever, cough, and weakness and usually progress to breathing problems, shock, and death. The spores are very stable and may remain viable for many years in soil and water, and they can resist sunlight for varying periods of time.[119]

Biological toxins

Biological toxins are toxic substances of natural origin produced by an animal, plant, or microbe. They are different from chemical warfare agents in that they are not man-made. The utility of many toxins as military weapons is potentially limited by their inherent low toxicity (too much toxin would be required), or by the fact that some which are very toxic can only feasibly be produced in minute quantities.[120]

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.[121,122]

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.[123]

Chemical warfare agent (CWA)

A CWA is a chemical substance excluding riot control agents, herbicides, smoke, and flame, used in military operations to kill, seriously injure, or incapacitate through its physiological effects. Included are blood, nerve, blister, choking, and incapacitating agents.[124]


A riot control agent
Chemical Name: O-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile[125]

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 a drop of chemical warfare agent is absorbed by the paper, 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.[126]

Distilled Mustard

A blister agent known as HD
Chemical name: Bis-(2-chloroethyl) sulfide[127]

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.[128]


A type of Russian 500 or 250 kilogram high explosive bomb

Fox Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) Reconnaissance System

The Fox vehicle 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.[129]

GA A G-series nerve agent known as tabun
Chemical name: Ethyl N,N-dimethylphosphoroamidocyanidate[130]

A G-series nerve agent known as sarin
Chemical name: Isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate[131]

G-series 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.[132]

HD A blister agent known as distilled mustard
Chemical name: Bis-(2-chloroethyl) sulfide[133]
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)[134,135]

HMMWV (Humvee)

The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle is a type of four-wheeled drive utility vehicle.[136]

M256 chemical warfare agent detector kit

In the field, the M256-series chemical warfare agent detector kit is referred to simply 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 were used 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.[137]

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 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.[138]

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 individuals protection against most known chemical warfare agents, biological agents, and toxins.

At MOPP Level 0 individuals 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, individuals wear their overgarment and carry the rest of their MOPP gear. At MOPP Level 2, individuals wear their overgarment and overboots while carrying the mask with hood and gloves. At MOPP Level 3, individuals wear their overgarment, overboots, and mask with hood, but not the gloves. At MOPP Level 4, individuals wear all their MOPP gear.[139] 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.[140]


A family of US 500, 1,000, and 2,000 pound general purpose bombs

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.[141]

Nerve agents

Nerve agents are the most toxic of the 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.[142]


A commercial air particulate sampler used for the detection of biological agents.[143]


A barricade to provide shelter, as against bomb fragments or strafing.[144]

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.[145]


A nerve agent known as GB
Chemical name: Isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate[146]


A nerve agent known as GA
Chemical name: Ethyl N, N-dimethylphosphoroamidocyanidate[147]

UN Security Council Resolution 687

This resolution was adopted by the UN Security Council at its 2981st meeting, on April 3, 1991. The pertinent section of this resolution, as it relates to the An Nasiriyah SW ASP narrative, follows:

"6. Notes that as soon as the Secretary-General notifies the Security Council of the completion of the deployment of the United Nations observer unit, the conditions will be established for the Member States cooperating with Kuwait in accordance with resolution 678 (1990) to bring their military presence in Iraq to an end consistent with resolution 686 (1991);"

"Invites Iraq to reaffirm unconditionally its obligations under the Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, signed at Geneva on 17 June 1925, and to ratify the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, of 10 April 1972;"

"Decides that Iraq shall unconditionally accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless, under international supervision, of:"

"(a) All chemical and biological weapons and all stocks of agents and all related subsystems and components and all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities;"

"(b) All ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers and related major parts, and repair and production facilities;

Decides, for the implementation of paragraph 8 above [paragraph 6 is only numbered paragraph in document], the following:"

"(a) Iraq shall submit to the Secretary-General, within fifteen days of the adoption of the present resolution, a declaration of the locations, amounts and types of all items specified in paragraph 8 and agree to urgent, on-site inspection as specified below;"

"(b) The Secretary-General, in consultation with the appropriate Governments and, where appropriate, with the Director-General of the World Health Organization, within forty-five days of the passage of the present resolution, shall develop, and submit to the Council for approval, a plan calling for the completion of the following acts within forty-five days of such approval."[148]

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.[149]

White phosphorous (WP)

A form of phosphorus which creates spectacular bursts when used in artillery shells. It is very damaging to the skin since it continues to burn upon exposure to oxygen.[150]

XM2 biological detector

An air particulate sampler used by the military for the detection of biological agents.[151]

| First Page | Prev Page | Next Page |