The best defense against a chemical attack is
constant monitoring with equipment to detect chemical
agents as soon as possible. To provide adequate time to
take protective measures, commanders should use all
available chemical detection equipment.
The protective measures taken by individuals and
units when operating under the threat of chemical attack
or in a chemical environment are governed by the nature
Figure 9-1.--M9 chemical agent detector paper.
of the threat, mission, situation, and weather. Movement
of troops and supplies should be planned so
contaminated terrain is avoided to the maximum extent
where it cannot be stepped on. The M9 paper may be
possible. Contaminated terrain is crossed only when
used in any weather, in temperatures above 32°F or 0°C.
absolutely necessary and then as quickly as possible.
However, take care not to expose it to extremely high
Preferably, you should move in vehicles at speeds and
temperatures, scuffs, or certain types of organic liquids
and DS2, as they all cause false readings. If spots or
situation and mission permit, heavy work-rate activities
streaks on the paper appear pink, red-brown, red-purple,
of personnel dressed in chemical protective clothing and
or any shade of red, assume it has been exposed to a
equipment should be minimized. Essential work should
be planned for the coolest part of the day, when possible.
ALERTNESS AND PROFICIENCY.-- Individ-
uals must remain alert and constantly aware of the
Protective Measures before Chemical Attack
chemical threat, especially when duty requirements
preclude the wearing of full protective equipment.
In any combat situation, the commander should
Individuals must understand the chemical alarms and
designate a level of Mission-Oriented Protective
signals and be proficient in attaining the maximum level
Posture (MOPP) for the unit. MOPP is discussed in
of protection when alerted to a chemical attack.
detail later in this chapter. The following protective
measures must be taken before a chemical attack.
PROTECTION OF INDIVIDUAL EQUIP-
MENT.-- To the extent possible, individuals must
EXTENDED WEAR OF PROTECTIVE
protect equipment and supplies against liquid chemical
CLOTHING.-- Based on the MOPP level designated by
the commander, the individual may have to adapt to
covered. Hastily constructed fighting hole covers,
requirements for wearing his or her protective clothing
ponchos, shelter halves, or other suitable materials can
and equipment for extended periods. The amount of time
be used for protection. Individuals should wear full
required to put all of these items on during a chemical
protective clothing and equipment when sleeping and,
attack exceeds the amount of time required to receive a
to the extent possible, cover themselves and their
casualty-producing dose of chemical agent.
equipment before they go to sleep.
M9 CHEMICAL AGENT DETECTOR
PAPER.-- The M9 chemical agent detector paper (fig.
Protective Measures during Chemical Attack
9-1) detects the presence of liquid chemical agents
encountered by the individual. It does NOT detect
chemical agent vapors. The paper indicates the presence
A chemical attack may come directly in the area in
of a nerve agent (G and V) or a blister agent (H and L)
which individuals are located or upwind from that area
by turning a red or reddish color.
In either case, when alerted to a chemical attack they
must take the following immediate defensive actions:
The M9 paper is self-adhesive; you can attach it to
most surfaces. When you attach it to clothing, place it
on the upper portion of the right arm, left wrist, and
Don protective mask
either the left or right ankle to allow adequate
representation of contamination encountered by the
Give the alarm.
Seabee. When you place it on a piece of equipment, it
must be in a location free of dirt, oil, and grease and
Continue the mission and wait for further orders.