In the past, Army Doctrine stated that when you became contaminated you
stopped fighting, pulled out of the battle, and found a chemical unit to
decontaminate you. The decontamination process was an 18-hour ordeal. It
was neither tactically feasible nor logistically supportable.
Contamination causes casualties; it restricts the use of equipment and
terrain. Decontamination reduces or eliminates the hazard; it permits units
to continue their mission.
Decontamination can be accomplished by the
Leaders in NBC
Operations must plan and supervise decontamination operations.
This subcourse emphasizes decontaminating just enough to sustain operations
and keep fighting, rather than enough to make a contamination-free
environment. Most decontamination should be done in or very near the area
of operation. Most decontamination will be done with a battalion's assets
and without the aid of chemical units.
Chemical units will operate
primarily in the division, corps, and theater support areas. Contaminated
forces will usually wait until they reconstitute before they attempt to
Seven standard decontamination techniques have been specified for the
They range from individual actions that soldiers use for
survival to complex activities that chemical decontamination companies use
to help reconstitute a fighting force. These techniques use the equipment
The term Mission-Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) clothing and equipment
This term was chosen because it is easy to say and read.
It has been
adopted in the field.
MOPP Gear includes the items a soldier needs to
assume a mission-oriented protective posture. They are:
Chemical protective suit (overgarment) or battledress overgarment
Chemical protective gloves set (rubber gloves with liners).
Protective mask (field, tank, or aviation versions).
Chemical protective helmet cover.