■ Speed. Decontaminate as soon as possible to restore full combat potential as soon as
possible. This is the most important principle of the four. Consider this principle before you
consider any other.
■ MOPP Levels. Contamination hazards force you into higher levels of MOPP and
immediately begin to degrade your combat power. The sooner the contamination is
removed, the sooner you can reduce MOPP levels and begin restoring combat power.
■ Need. Decontaminate only what is necessary. Consider the mission, time, and extent of the
contamination. To survive and win on the contaminated battlefield, you cannot waste
precious resources decontaminating everything. Decontaminate only what is necessary to
continue your mission. This will help sustain your combat power. Consider the following
factors when you decide whether decon will interfere with the mission or help you continue
the mission: Mission ("tempo of battle"), time available, degree of contamination, length of
time you have been in MOPP 4, and decon assets available.
■ Limit Spread of Contamination. Decontaminate as far forward as possible and as close to
the site of contamination as possible to limit the spread of contamination. Do not move
contaminated equipment, personnel, or remains away from the operational area, if it is
possible to bring decontamination assets (organic or supporting units) forward safely. This
will keep the equipment on location, limit the spread of contamination to other areas, and
■ Priority. Decontaminate the most important items first and the least important items last.
For instance, howitzers of an artillery battery get decontaminated before the ammunition
carriers. Unit commanders decide which vehicles are most important to the unit's mission.
Brigade and battalion commanders decide which elements to first pull "off line" to
decontaminate and/or decontaminate during the reconstitution process. Division and corps
commanders must set priorities and concentrate decon assets to best support the battle.
Every decontamination mission is unique. Commanders use on-the-spot judgment to combine the
fundamental principles of NBC defense. Leaders must be well advised of the guidelines for