obtaining temporary relief from MOPP 4, based on its own equipment and missions. Use on-the-spot
protection, and decontamination. Standardize those methods when possible and publish them in unit
field standing operating procedures (FSOPs). Even when methods have been standardized, every
operation is unique. You must:
■ Recognize and understand contamination hazards and avoid contamination when possible.
■ Protect yourself and your equipment when contaminated.
■ Know the limitations of your MOPP gear.
■ Know how to neutralize or remove the hazards of contamination.
■ Do only as much decontamination as you need to continue your mission until you are
released for more thorough decontamination and reconstitution.
h. Deciding whether to decontaminate, how much to decontaminate, and when and where to
decontaminate are tactical decisions. There is no formula that can exactly answer these questions. It
takes judgment, like deciding the best place to put your heavy weapons or locate a defensive position.
You must have a good idea of the reasons for decontamination and the levels of decontamination. You
must assess your tactical situation, know the principles of decontamination, and know how
decontamination affects your combat power.
a. Besides immediate, operational, and thorough decontamination, patient decon is absolutely
essential. Injuries from chemical munitions will need to be triaged separately and decontaminated
before medical care can be rendered. Patient decon is done as far forward to limit spread of
b. Casualty decon presents problems for units and health care service support personnel.
Contaminated wounded soldiers create hazards to rescuers and health service support personnel.
c. On the NBC battlefield, two classifications of casualties will be encountered: Contaminated
and uncontaminated. Those contaminated may be suffering the effects of a chemical or biological agent,
or a conventional wound, or both. Some may be battle fatigue or heat casualties, induced by the stress
of NBC conditions and MOPP 4. Follow proper decon procedures to limit the spread of contamination.