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SUBJECT: MUNITIONS AND AIR BASE OPERABILITY DIVISION CHEMICAL DEFENSE EQUIPAGE POLICY MEMORANDUM FOR AF/LEYS/LRC 19 SEP 1990 SUBJECT: Chemical Defense Equipage Policy 1. (U) This is in response to your request for input on Lt Gen Viccellio's comments regarding guidance for chemical defense gear following his visit to the AOR. We believe CENTAF's current policy of 3 ensembles per person is adequate for the present. Until current studies to better define chemical and heat stress risks and how we can best use our protective gear are complete, we recommend no changes in current policy/guidance. 2. AFR 355-1 establishes guidance calling for all personnel in or deploying to threat areas to be equipped with 4 chemical ensembles. However, in recognition of funding limitations and theater/unit commanders' prerogatives with regard to equipage levels, WMP-1 calls for an incremental increase in equipage level from 2 ensembles per person by FY88 to 4 ensembles per person by FY92. As an interim standard, current SORTS reporting guidance authorizes units to report their on hand versus author- ized chemical bag status based on 3 vice 4 ensembles per bag. 3. The factor of 4 ensembles per person was the AF's best guess on a reasonable number of suits needed for 30 days of war, the previous Defense Guidance goal. This number is substantiated by an Army-contracted study, which predicted an ensemble use rate of between 3 and 4 per month. However, there is no compelling evidence that 4 ensembles per person is an absolute must for Desert Shield. Heat stress is likely to be a far bigger problem than the having too few suits. AFSC has begun an accelerated 30 day study to better define and compare chemical and heat risks associated with mission accomplishment in the AOR. 4. As far as we know, CENTAF made their decision to go with 3 ensembles per person based on the guidance described above and their actual equipage levels. We have not attempted to override CENTAF's policy. Although some commands deployed personnel with 4 ensembles per person, there are no indications this has caused any major problems. Also, we do not see any inconsistency with the LRC asking commands to report quantities of equipment against the AFR 355-1 standards, since the LRC asked the MAJCOMs to indicate whether they were reporting 3-ensemble or 4-ensemble bags. 5. [(b)(2)] [(b)(6)] JOSEPH. SHACKELFORD, Colonel, USAF Deputy Chief, Munitions and Air Base Operability Division Directorate of Operations, DCS/P&O .
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