NBC Drills - How effective do you think they are?

Discussion in 'The Training Wing' started by CDT_Dodger, Sep 13, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Was thinking back to my time spent in the inf about NBC drills which were carried out during trg/ex.

    I have always believed that however slick the drills were, in reality we would have had no chance during a full blown conflict involving nukes. Im talking about the drills carried out after the blast i.e. fighting & surviving in the aftermath of fallout.

    Unsure whether the drills or kit have changed since 80's/90's but training at that time was a joke. With most of the drills performed your skin would nearly always be exposed. The difficulty in trying to connect your waterbottle to your ressi for a sip of water (which may have been contaminated) for example. That was the drink drill, I cant remember ever performing an eating drill? A classic was the take a dump drill - go dig a hole, open up nbc suit, dab your exposed skin with those powder thingys, take crap etc.. I never did get that one? All I ever remember at the end of the trg was to be covered in fullers earth which was probably the same colour as fallout dust.

    That was basic survival drills carried out in non-tac environment. The fun came when trying to implement these drills into an excercise. I think the longest ever time spent on ex inside an NBC suit was about 6 hours and that was a killer. It was ok when stuck inside a trench waiting for an attack but tasks such as a section attack - forget it. I remember everyone at the time, when carrying out fire & manoeuvre, had to lift the ressi up to actually breath after running a short distance - and this was first contact. Even the old sweats who had empty filters would lift the mask to get a breath.

    So what was the point in carrying out these drills when in reality they were a complete waste of time. How were we supposed to function for days/weeks on end in these suits? We would have needed a spare bergan just to carry the fullers earth required for each drill.

    Anyone else ever wonder about this?
     
  2. It is now CBRN...get with the programme old timer
     
  3. You seem to be getting confused between chemical and nuclear, for example fullers earth is to absorb chemicals, it has no effect on fallout.

    Note that our predecessors in WW1 did operate in a chemical environment for long periods of time.
     
  4. Cheers - gave the game away didnt I
     
  5. Yes - but did they wear any form protection such as an NBC suit?
     
  6. Nothing comparable to the suit on general issue, however, it is the respirator that causes the most problems and theirs were probably harder to work in than ours.
     
  7. The idea was that we were supposed to be able to fight 'dirty' so that the WP couldn't just force us to withdraw from a position with a good dose of sarin. Notice that straight after that threat went away the doctrine changed to surviving long enough to bug out somewhere clean where we could decontaminate.

    The WWI generation had to operate under repeated chemical attack, but they'd rarely have to stay masked up for more than an hour or two due to the comparative non-peristency of most of the CWs used. Mustard gas was the only really persistent agent around and that lasted up to a week in summer and as long as 8 weeks in winter. Thickened persistent nerve agent can stay around for months and is a vapour contact hazard as well as a vapour hazard. It's also far more difficult to decontaminate modern weapons than the old ones.

    I can't honestly say I ever had much faith in the long-term drills. The kit's good and the decontamination works if you do it properly, but breaking the seal to eat, drink and shit? Bollocks. You'll just wind up ingesting something nasty or wiping it on your hoop.
     
  8. With plenty of warning and a fully fueled 110 I think it would be possible to survive any chemical attack. However I always thought that "GAS GAS GAS" should have been relaced with "FCUKING LEG IT".
     
  9. Agreed - could never understand why we advocate increasing the risk.

    Worth also considering that the technology of today's battlespace, has improved greatly, in respect of accurate inbound targetting. I think the "you're patrolling in North European woods, you smell new-mown grass, in your own time, carry-on" routine, has (for the moment) been replaced by much greater advance warning - coupled with the JNBC, we're better placed to deal with the threat.

    That said, when the logistics' chain's ability to issue suitable protective measures, is so poor, resulting in soldiers being lucky to have a sealed cannistor (many relying on trg spares), you've got to wonder, just how seriously the MOD takes the whole threat?
     
  10. Considering on Op Telic 1 my spare cannister was one I found on the training area during my Phase 2 FTX in Warcop and my NBC jacket was easily 5 sizes too big... Probably not very. If that wasn't bad enough my trousers had rips sealed with 'Green-n-nasty' and the PSM on my Resi eventually started trying to fall out before they called End Ex.

    Still I had NAPS and Combopens so nothing to complain about their except the rumour that NAPS made you impotent. Just gave me a good excuse for when I got home :D
     
  11. LOL CJ - Yeap, pretty much the same experience - could never work out how CBRN trg, was not carried out, in at least 45 degrees for the best part of a day, at a time!

    The threat to one side, my view was that Saddam's mob, gave in at the first sight of 1(UK) Div, advancing on them, sweating like MDN on his way to one of Max Mosley's little get togethers.

    The infamous "45 minute" headline - more like "lose a lb ever 45 minutes, with the scud diet" - Fern and Philip could have been minted with that campaign.
     
  12. Running round Ripper like a lunatic because someone had set fire to plastic water bottles near a NAIAD... Get in there!
     
  13. Once had a senior bloke from Sellafield in my unit. He sat totally absorbed through NBC training, particularly the "N" bit.

    At the end of the lesson, he asked the instructor how long the suit would provide protection against nuclear fall-out.

    On being informed of the answer, he responded, "Must get some of these suits ordered for my blokes. They wear lead-lined suits that weigh a ton and only allow a few minutes exposure. Must be VERY special paper, I suppose..."
     
  14. Survive to fight mate, not live a long happy life. :)
     
  15. I'm seeing a flaw here. :D