Case Narrative

US Marine Corps Minefield Breaching


Case Narratives are reports of what we know today about certain events of the 1990-1991 Gulf War. This case narrative focuses on US Marine Corps minefield breaching operations. Task Force Ripper in the 1st Marine Division, and the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment in the 2d Marine Division, reported the Fox incidents discussed in this narrative. This is an update to the interim Minefield Breaching report, published July 27, 1997, not a final report. In addition to new information, this update includes changes prompted by veterans' comments and a US General Accounting Office report. We hope that you will read this report and contact us with any information that would help us better understand the events reported here. With your help, we will be able to report more accurately on the events surrounding US Marine Corps minefield breaching operations. Please contact my office to report any new information by calling:


Bernard Rostker
Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses
Department of Defense

1999309-0000004 Ver 2.0

Last Update: March 24, 2000


Many veterans of the Gulf War have expressed concern that their unexplained illnesses may result from their experiences in that war. In response to veterans’ concerns, the Department of Defense established a task force in June 1995 to investigate incidents and circumstances relating to possible causes. The Office of the Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses assumed responsibility for these investigations on November 12, 1996, and has continued to investigate reports of chemical warfare agent incidents.

To inform the public about the progress of these efforts, the Department of Defense is publishing on the Internet and elsewhere accounts that may contribute to the discussion of possible causes of illnesses among Gulf War veterans, along with documentary evidence or personal testimony used in compiling the accounts. This narrative is such an account.



A.  Background
B.  Situation
          C.   The Iraqi Chemical Weapons Threat at the Time of the Gulf War 
D.  Fox Capabilities
E.  Breaching Details
F.  Operations of the 1st Marine Division
1.  Initial Report
2.  Additional Information
3.  Analysis
4.  Assessment of the Presence of Chemical Warfare Agents in the 1st Marine Division Breaching Lanes
G.  Operations of the 2d Marine Division
1.  Task Organization for Breaching Operations
2.  Breaching Lane Red 1 Chemical Warfare Agent Alert
3.  CAM and M9 Chemical Detection Paper Indications
4.  Analysis of the Breaching Lane Red 1 Chemical Warfare Agent Alert
5.  Possible Sources of a Chemical Warfare Agent in Breaching Lane Red 1
6.  Possible Chemical Warfare Agent Injuries
7.  Assessment of the Presence of Chemical Warfare Agents in Breaching Lane Red 1
A.  Fox MM-1 Tapes
B.  Documenting the Presence of Chemical Warfare Agents
C.  Treatment of Possible Chemical Warfare Injuries
D.  Communications Feedback
TAB A - Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary
TAB B - Units Involved
TAB C - Bibliography
TAB D - Methodology for Chemical Incident Investigation
TAB E - Other Chemical Warfare Issues
A.  Did Another Fox Confirm the Lane Red 1 Alert?
B.  Other 2d Marine Division Fox Operations
C.  Report of Decontamination Operations in the 2d Marine Division
D.  Report of Chemical Warfare Agent Contamination on 2d Marine Division Vehicles
E.  Report of a Possible Chemical Attack
TAB F - Did Iraq Have Chemical Mines?
TAB G - Why the MM-1 is Not a Suitable Warning Device Using the Air/Hi Method of the Air Monitor Operating Mode
TAB H - General Accounting Office Comments
A.  Finding 1 - Iraqi Artillery Fire in the First Minefield Breach
B.  Finding 2 - Chemical Agent Detector Paper Indications
C.  Finding 3 - Review of the Fox Vehicle Printout
D.  Finding 4 - Intelligence Evidence Not Included
E.  Finding 5 - Assessment Subject to Question
TAB I - Changes in this Report

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