A commander relies on advice from NBC trained personnel in the unit to decide if decontamination
operations will be beneficial. To provide this advice, you must be able to identify the conditions which
must exist and the time factors which should be considered before decontaminating. They must:
■ Understand contamination hazards and avoid contamination when possible.
■ Protect forces and equipment when contaminated.
■ Conduct only as much decon as is needed to continue the mission until more thorough
decontamination may be done.
■ Leave as much combat power forward as possible during decontamination. When necessary,
units may conduct small-group decontamination.
Conditions Which Must Exist.
a. Contamination must be present.
Detection and identification are undertaken before a chemical decontamination operation is initiated.
b. Need for decontamination.
The type of agent present and the mission will dictate the urgency of the need for decontamination.
Contaminated objects, equipment, or personnel creating an obstacle to mission accomplishment must be
The first priority for all chemical decontamination is personnel. Contaminated personnel must be
decontaminated at the earliest chance.
Liquid agent on exposed skin requires immediate
decontamination by the individual soldier.
When personnel are not in immediate danger, those pieces of equipment that are needed to accomplish
the mission are decontaminated, according to priorities established by the commander. If a
contaminated item does not interfere with the mission, it should not be decontaminated. Contaminated
objects or terrain that will have no effect on the unit mission should be posted with contamination
markers and avoided.