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Office of the Special Assistant for Military Deployments Office of the Special Assistant for Military Deployments About Us Current Deployments Medical Readiness Past Deployments Contact Us News Current Issues Lessons Learned FAQs Search

Depleted Uranium
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Non-Traditional Threats
Capabilities & Limitations

Capabilities and Limitations

Part of the mission of the OSA is working to assure future force health protection of servicemembers. While analyzing the findings from the 11th Marines NBC incidents, investigators developed lessons learned that may help the Department of Defense improve NBC protection. Additionally, the importance of reporting results of chemical detection back to the field, as noted in the Final Report of The Cement Factory, helps to avoid speculation and anxiety in servicemembers. It also provides chemical defense specialists with necessary feedback for assessing and improving their own capabilities. The lack of effective feedback at the unit and command level will foster incomplete or erroneous reports about possible agent exposures as addressed in the Fox Alerts Final Report. This report and the Fox NBC Information paper provide information regarding the capabilities and limitations of the Fox NBC Reconnaissance vehicle during the Gulf War and better explains its use.

Another way to combat inadequate communication is to develop a system through which servicemembers can be apprised of the facts and information discovered after an alleged exposure to chemical warfare agents. The U.S Marine Corps Minefield Breaching report addresses the concept that, through such a system, rumors of exposure could be proven true or untrue, before being recorded in official histories. In addition to conducting investigations and veterans outreach, the Office of the Special Assistant is working to assure future force health protection by recommending changes in equipment, policies, and procedures as addressed in the Al Jubayl case narrative. To prevent information losses in the future, the DoD should develop procedures that will ensure retention of records created during special periods.

There are several other information papers that address observations identified by the Gulf War investigations. The new Office of the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses, Medical Readiness and Military Deployments will continue to support appropriate health care for Gulf War veterans and attempt to determine what happened in the theater of operations, while promoting changes in existing military doctrine, policy, and procedures that will minimize any future hazardous exposures during deployments. To ease the transition, OSAGWI will provide the new office with the knowledge and lessons learned from our previous investigations.