Dirty Fighting Dirty Fighting by dfsiopmhy6


									 Dr Alexander Grabowski, Decontamination Director at Wehrwissenschaftliches Institut für

    Schutztechnologien (WIS) and Lt. Col. Jurgen Bauer, from the German NBC School in
Sonthofen, suggest decontamination technology and its users need to complement each other

          henever a high-tech detection
          device finds a pathogen or agent,
          that agent is there – right there!
And this may be exactly the place where
someone needs to go. Moreover, no
matter how well your individual
protective equipment protects you, it gets

contaminated in the very process. In
principle, this means the employment of
CBRN reconnaissance forces will always
entail the employment of
decontamination forces. Therefore, you
can discuss this matter as often and as
long as you want, but nothing will do
away with the need for decontamination
to restore operational readiness.              component of a military force faces a         tailored implementation in the capability
    This means CBRN reconnaissance             wide spectrum of scenarios ranging            level system described above.
and decontamination are always on the          from crisis prevention to peacekeeping             In the past, things were quite clear:
same level. Defence and procurement            to peace enforcement. The mere                equipment for thorough
agencies simply have to do whatever it         presence of CBRN hazard potential             decontamination was heavy, big and
takes to keep the relevant technologies        holds the risk of CBRN incidents              difficult to use. If something smaller was
up to date in accordance with the              occurring. Even if the probability of         asked for, the developed technical
conceptual requirements and doctrine to        occurrence is small, the risk has to be       solution was not as beneficial as the large
allow task accomplishment. Since the           classified as high due to the large extent    system. Downsizing was automatically
strategic environment is changing              of the damage to be expected.                 concomitant with reducing the system’s
constantly, this is a permanent challenge          On principle, the armed forces as a       capabilities from thorough to operational
and a virtually never-ending story.            whole are always exposed to a CBRN            to immediate decontamination. This does
Generally speaking, the call for the           threat. Hence they must all have the          not mean “heavy” systems are no longer
protection of the forces against the           capability to protect themselves against      in demand. These systems have an
effects of CBRN incidents is risk-             CBRN hazards and to restore operational       important role to play in the overall
induced. Since CBRN defence forces             readiness if they have been                   concept, especially in case of large-scale
cannot prevent CBRN incidents, the             contaminated. This implies that assets        emergency situations with large numbers
prime objective is to ensure protection        and measures of CBRN defence are              of contaminated personnel or materiel.
by avoiding contamination. In other            designed in such a way that missions can           The ideal system is compact and
words, the spread of contamination             be conducted both under a CBRN threat         offers all required decontamination
needs to be minimised.                         and under CBRN conditions. To ensure          functions, be it the decontamination of
    Up to now, decontamination in the          this and to reliably provide its CBRN         personnel and materiel, of sensitive
Bundeswehr has been geared towards             defence capability, the Bundeswehr has        equipment, of large/heavy equipment or
restoring the operational capability of        adopted a graduated system of CBRN            of critical infrastructure. From a
large units contaminated in a high-            defence capabilities in which tasks are       technological point of view, the TEP 90
intensity conflict. This requirement           carried out at the appropriate echelon.       meets all the required parameters for a
stemmed from the assumption that the           With regard to the qualification needed       highly innovative and performant
Bundeswehr would have to deal with an          to perform the individual CBRN defence        decontamination vehicle thanks to the
opponent threatening the territorial           tasks, the Bundeswehr differentiates          use of state-of-the-art decontamination
integrity of the Federal Republic of           between three capability levels: basic        procedures and agents. (For more
Germany. Today, risk factors such as           capability; enhanced capability; and          information on TEP90 see CBRNe World
proliferation, including the proliferation     qualified capability.                         Summer 2008.)
of weapons of mass destruction,                    Within the Bundeswehr, primary                 The new decontaminants (RDS 2000,
destabilisation, international terrorism,      responsibility for CBRN defence is carried    BDS 2000 and GDS 2000) give us the full
“dual use”, non-state actors, organised        solely by the NBC defence forces and          range of highly efficient, rapidly acting
crime and asymmetric warfare, confront         above all by the army’s NBC defence           agents to remove radioactive
the armed forces with new challenges.          corps. With their structure, training and     contamination, to inactivate relevant
Opponents who compensate for their             equipment these are the only forces to        pathogenic micro-organisms and to
conventional inferiority by using              have qualified capability. The                detoxify highly toxic chemical agents.
unconventional tactics take advantage of       decontamination both of personnel and         Thanks to these new capabilities, the TEP
the permanent availability of weapons,         materiel after a CBRN incident is an          90 points way ahead into the future. Even
including weapons of mass destruction,         axiomatic conceptual requirement and an       if, at present, the TEP 90 may well be
on the world market.                           integral part of doctrine. In this context,   called the most modern decontamination
    This explains why the CBRN defence         you will once again find the echelon-         system worldwide, its weight and size do

       CBRNe Convergence 2010, 2-5 November, Rosen Plaza, Orlando, Florida. More information on www.icbrnevents.com

www.cbrneworld.com                                                                                          Autumn 2010 CBRNe WORLD           57

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