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


area of operations


ammunition storage point


Commander, United States Army Central Command


chemical warfare agent


Department of Defense


Explosive Ordnance Disposal


fragmentary order


high explosive


Kuwait Theater of Operations


Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical


Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses




United Nations


United Nations Special Commission


United States


US Central Command




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, arsenicals like lewisite, and mustard and lewisite mixtures. Blister agents are also called vesicants or vesicant agents.[66]


A 2000 pound air-delivered hard target penetration bomb.

Chemical agent monitor

A chemical agent monitor is a hand-held, soldier-operated device that is used to monitor chemical warfare agent contamination on individuals and equipment.[67]

Chemical warfare agent (CWA)

A chemical warfare agent 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.[68]

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.[69]


Russian-made 500 or 250 kilogram high explosive bomb

Fox Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) Reconnaissance System

The Fox 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.[70]

G-series nerve 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.[71]

GulfLINK A World Wide Web site maintained by the Office of the Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses (
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 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.[72]

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 to 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.[73]

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 up to 22 pre-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 a more detailed analysis later, the complete ion spectrum of the suspected sample can be printed on a paper tape.[74]

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.[75]

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.[76]

Sarin A nerve agent known as GB
Chemical name: Isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate[77]
Tabun A nerve agent known as GA
Chemical name: Ethyl N, N-dimethylphosphoroamidocyanidate[78]
UN Security Council Resolution 687

The UN Security Council at its 2981st meeting, on April 3, 1991, adopted this resolution. The pertinent section of this resolution, as it relates to the Tallil 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 June 17, 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 April 10, 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... 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.[79]

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