Chemical-Biological Defense: U.S. Military Policies and Decisions in the Gulf War

By Albert J.Mauroni | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3

Building Up the Defense

If there was one absolute hole in our repertoire of capabilities, it was chemical reconnaissance…. Getting the Fox into the field was a tremendous confidence builder and ended up being a major factor in how we task-organized for battle.

—Major General Barry McCaffrey, 1992

As September began, Pentagon military planners were increasingly concerned about the fact that no one knew the exact numbers of protective clothing, masks, medical autoinjectors, and agent detectors; where all this equipment was located; and how quickly it would be consumed. Since the Army had been appointed the lead DoD executive agency for NBC defense in 1976, DoD expected the Army to assist the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps to prepare for chemical warfare. The other services were also in the dark due in large part to their traditional reluctance to spend funds on NBC defense, and they had difficulty determining their NBC defense logistics status. While the Army could use its Chemical Corps officers to track units' readiness and logistics, the other services did not have a similar resource. They saw this as the combat unit commander's, rather than one central agency's, responsibility; these unit commanders, for their part, had never seriously considered preparing for the immense logistics burden that came with a chemical battlefield.

To provide ODCSLOG with an immediate action office, the Joint Chiefs of Staff J-4 (Director for Logistics) appointed a Joint Service Coordination Committee for Chemical Defense Equipment (JSCC-CDE). Its mission was to assist in NBC defense equipment logistics prioritization and allocation of resources, maintain all DoD CDE inventory, and coordinate CDE transactions relating to the industrial base. While two other joint NBC defense panels existed (the Joint Panel for Chemical-Biological Defense and the Joint Service Review Group), this organization was formed strictly for the management of fielded CDE during the Persian Gulf conflict. This committee reported to the Assistant DCSLOG, who in turn reported on CDE readiness through the DCSLOG to the Joint Staff. Colonel

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Chemical-Biological Defense: U.S. Military Policies and Decisions in the Gulf War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Abbreviations xix
  • Chapter 1 - Incidents in the Gulf 1
  • Chapter 2 - Deployment to the Desert 19
  • Chapter 3 - Building Up the Defense 43
  • Chapter 4 - Move to the Offense 61
  • Chapter 5 - Tensions Rise in the Gulf 75
  • Chapter 6 - Operation Desert Storm Begins 91
  • Chapter 7 - “…and Then We Are Going to Kill It” 109
  • Chapter 8 - After-Action Report 129
  • Chapter 9 - Agent Orange Revisited? 151
  • Chapter 10 - Conclusion 169
  • Appendix A 187
  • Appendix B 191
  • Appendix C 201
  • Notes 209
  • Selected Bibliography 227
  • Index 231
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