In determining the need for equipment decontamination, you should consider the type of agent present.
Non-persistent agents will dissipate rapidly and do not require decontamination. Persistent agents will
require decontamination. In combat, partial decontamination is likely to be performed first, followed by
complete decontamination when time and mission allow.
c. Means of decontamination must be available.
When determining the degree and method of decontamination, the equipment, supplies, and personnel
available must be considered. The decontamination contemplated must fit the means available. For
example, initial equipment decontamination will consist of only those parts necessary to allow operation
of the equipment and continuation of the mission. These are operator controls and other areas that come
into contact with personnel. The resources, M11 Decontaminating Apparatus and M13 DAP, for this
operation fit the level of the operation.
More extensive equipment decontamination requires decontaminating apparatuses, operators,
decontaminants, large volumes of water, and a suitable site. It also requires planning for the operation
and the time to perform it. A radiologically contaminated runway cannot be effectively brushed and
vacuumed with equipment designed for home use.
Time factors which must be considered.
a. Time contamination will remain if no action is taken.
The time contamination will remain if no action is taken depends upon the persistency of the attack
agent. The more persistent agents remain longer. The persistency of the agent and extent of
contamination affect the decision to decontaminate.
Gross contamination created by a persistent agent would definitely require decontamination, while very
light contamination by a non-persistent agent would require little or no decontamination. Non-persistent
agents usually require no decontamination since they dissipate rapidly.
sufficient time can be allowed, decontamination will not be required.
b. Time contamination can remain before it interferes with the mission.
The time that contamination can remain before it interferes with the mission also impacts on the decision
to decontaminate. For example, light contamination on critical equipment or individual