OPERATIONAL DECON OPERATIONS
The preparation stage, as its name implies,
Operational decon generally follows immediate
includes all of the things that must be done before any
decon. The objective is to reduce the level of
operational decon can take place.
contamination to regenerate needed combat power.
Therefore, the unit can sustain its mission in a
contaminated environment. Operational decon will
The COC, along with the CBR officer, selects an
spread of contamination, and the speed of the
operational decon site where little preparation is
weathering process by removing much of the gross
required and considers the following factors when
selecting a decon site:
Good overhead concealment.
Decontaminate only what is necessary by
conducting immediate equipment decon before
operational decon. Once operational decon is
Off the main route but with easy access for
completed, the contamination hazard on the
equipment is neutralized. So, operator's spray down,
combined with operational decon, increases the
opportunities to conduct unmasking procedures.
Large enough area to handle vehicle wash down
Operational decon is accomplished primarily by using
and MOPP gear exchange for a squad-size
the following assets currently in the battalion TOA:
element (100 square meters per site).
A water source. Plan for about 100 to 150
M12A1 or M-17 (contains pump, tank,
gallons of water for each vehicle. Of course,
personnel shower assembly, and water heater
larger or dirtier vehicles need more water.
NOTE: The M12A1 PDDA can carry 450 gallons
M11 (fire extinguisher-like device for spraying
to a decon site; the M17 LDS (with collapsible
bladder) can hold 1,500 gallons but must be setup and
M13 (brush apparatus for scrubbing with DS2)
filled up at the decon site.
Chemical agent monitor (CAM)
Individual chemical agent detector (ICAD)
The battalion decon crew will setup the vehicle
washdown area. An operational decon site takes
Vehicles must be identified as contaminated or
minimal setup and preparation. The site setup
noncontaminated before arriving at any operational
requires positioning the M12A1 or the M17 LDS
power-driven decon equipment (PDDE) along the
equipment can be neutralized with immediate decon
roadway, ready to dispense hot, soapy water. The
procedures, decontaminate and go on with the
vehicle washdown process consists of contaminated
mission. To be most effective, you should accomplish
vehicles moving forward into a site to be washed down
operational decon as soon as possible.
(removing gross contamination) and then moving out.
Additionally, at least two Seabees that are
MOPP gear exchange and vehicle wash down
contaminated set up a MOPP gear exchange site.
are done in conjunction. The COC establishes a
Prepare MOPP gear exchange at a clean site 50 meters
MOPP gear exchange site, upwind of the vehicle
upwind of vehicle wash down. Both the vehicle wash
wash area. This is the site where Seabees exchange
down and MOPP gear exchange operations should
contaminated MOPP gear for a reserve set of MOPP
gear. The exchange is normally accomplished by
If water for the M12A1 PDDE has been preheated,
squad-size elements. Unmasking may or may not be
preparation for vehicle wash down should take no
possible during this exchange. A well-practiced
more than 10 minutes (this is a guideline). Preparation
unit Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) will
for vehicle wash down using the M17 LDS will take
greatly simplify and ease the carrying out of
more time if the water bladder must be filled.
operational decon procedures.