Chemical and Biological Defense: Units Better Equipped, But Training and Readiness Reporting Problems Remain
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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At the request of the late Herbert Bateman, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Readiness, and in response to his concerns about the readiness of early deploying U.S. forces to operate in a chemically or biologically contaminated environment, we selected three Army divisions, two Air Force fighter wings, and one Marine Corps expeditionary force,2 and determined if they had 1 their required personnel protection, detection, and decontamination equipment and medical supplies and 2 incorporated chemical and biological defense training into readiness exercises and had their authorized personnel to provide this training. We also examined DODs actions to improve the Status of Resources and Training Systems value in determining the readiness of units to operate in a chemically or biologically contaminated environment. The units requirements for chemical and biological equipment and medical supplies are derived from their services guidance and regulations and computed based on various factors, such as the size of the unit, its wartime mission, and type of unit. We did not independently compute or verify the equipment and supply requirements for the forces in the units that would deploy within 30 days of a conflict, but accepted the units requirements computations, which are reported to higher headquarters within their services.
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare