The one [threat] that scares me to death—even more so than attack of nuclear weapons and the one we have even less capability against—is biological weapons.
—General Colin Powell, 1992
The Pentagon officially mobilized VII Corps on November 9, 1990; certainly, however, VII Corps had begun planning its deployment much earlier. Plans had been kicked around for the past month as to which corps within the Army should deploy to augment CENTCOM. General Vuono was emphatic that the III Corps, although partially mobilized, should not be fully deployed, leaving the United States without a major Army corps. VII Corps in Europe had been planning a drawdown since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and so it seemed the logical choice. The Seventh Army commander, General Crosbie Saint, chose VII Corps headquarters, with its 1st AR DIV and 2d ACR, and V Corps's 3rd AR DIV and the US-based 1st IN DIV to deploy. On November 13, Lieutenant General Franks, as VII Corps commander, brought his commanders and primary staff to Saudi Arabia for a leaders' reconnaissance. General Schwarzkopf emphasized his desire to see VII Corps in place by mid-January. VII Corps began deploying on November 21; and it would take the rest of the year and part of January to move into the theater. There were a number of immediate issues for the Corps NBC Center to work on.
One of the first issues was to collect all available CAMs in Europe for the deploying units. As mentioned, there were not many CAMs fielded, and every one was critical to preparedness. VII Corps made a considered decision not to deploy any of the M20 SCPEs that the units already had, based on the trials conducted by XVIII ABN Corps. It seemed unlikely that VII Corps would have any more luck erecting these shelters in the desert. A team of technical experts from Pine Bluff Arsenal deployed to Germany, where they spent two weeks checking hundreds of protective masks for soldiers with abnormal face requirements. During the two-