In order to survive, individual soldiers must be the first to react to contamination. They use Immediate
Decontamination to survive the attack and stop agent penetration of surfaces that must be constantly
touched. By attacking the contamination early, the decontamination effort is very effective. But, this
does not affect the slower reduction of combat potential caused by the performance degradation of
Next, elements of the unit use Operational Decontamination to reduce the overall level of contamination
and limit the spread. Areas free of contamination are identified and protected. Soldiers may begin to
briefly restore their combat power because they can move to clean areas, rest, and eat in reduced MOPP
Finally, units can elect to perform Thorough Decontamination. It requires that the unit be taken out of
battle; but, when it is finished decontaminating, the unit's combat power is restored.
In order to successfully complete these three methods of decontamination, the equipment and
decontaminants must be available and properly used in a timely fashion. In this lesson you will learn
what decontamination equipment is available, as well as, the standard and natural decontaminants that
may be used. See Appendixes A through C.
PART A - DECONTAMINATION EQUIPMENT
Chemical contamination is usually the most dangerous form of contamination and the most difficult to
remove. Procedures used to decontaminate can also be used for biological contamination.
Decontaminants used to remove chemical contamination are caustic.
M258A1 Skin Decontamination Kit.
The decontaminating solutions used in the M258A1 are acidic and
caustic. Keep solutions out of eyes, wounds, and mouth. Use water to
wash toxic agent or decontaminating solutions out of eyes or wounds
and seek medical attention. Do not store where temperature exceeds
a. The M258A1 Skin Decontamination Kit is used to decontaminate skin contaminated by
liquid chemical agents. This kit may be used to decontaminate the protective mask, hood, butyl rubber
gloves, helmet, and individual weapon.