NBC Drills - How effective do you think they are?

#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?
 
#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.
 
#6
CDT_Dodger said:
Yes - but did they wear any form protection such as an NBC suit?
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
smartascarrots said:
...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.
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
ABrighter2006 said:
smartascarrots said:
...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.
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?
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
ABrighter2006 said:
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.
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
putteesinmyhands said:
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..."
Survive to fight mate, not live a long happy life. :)
 
#16
vampireuk said:
putteesinmyhands said:
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..."
Survive to fight mate, not live a long happy life. :)
So very very true - Who'd have thought it was staring us all in the face for all these years. :twisted:
 
#17
putteesinmyhands said:
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..."
I'm surprised he got an answer:

First because the suit is for chemical protection and its radiation protection is insignificant.

Second because radiation protective equipment does not protect for a fixed time, it provides a protection factor (PF). How long one can stay in a contaminated environment then depends on the level of radioactivity the PF and the allowable dose.

Overall I would say that the instructor did not know what he was talking about.
 
#18
Mobat said:
putteesinmyhands said:
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..."
I'm surprised he got an answer:

First because the suit is for chemical protection and its radiation protection is insignificant.

Second because radiation protective equipment does not protect for a fixed time, it provides a protection factor (PF). How long one can stay in a contaminated environment then depends on the level of radioactivity the PF and the allowable dose.

Overall I would say that the instructor did not know what he was talking about.
As with most NBC instructors I have met. This comment made based on knowing the blokes in a social environment. The last one insisting the word was "Radiational" and not "Radiological" in the context of our lesson was most amusing. I eventually put him out of his misery by asking him to take his own advice and open his "Survive to Skive" book
 
#19
Closet_Jibber said:
Mobat said:
putteesinmyhands said:
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..."
I'm surprised he got an answer:

First because the suit is for chemical protection and its radiation protection is insignificant.

Second because radiation protective equipment does not protect for a fixed time, it provides a protection factor (PF). How long one can stay in a contaminated environment then depends on the level of radioactivity the PF and the allowable dose.

Overall I would say that the instructor did not know what he was talking about.
As with most NBC instructors I have met. This comment made based on knowing the blokes in a social environment. The last one insisting the word was "Radiational" and not "Radiological" in the context of our lesson was most amusing. I eventually put him out of his misery by asking him to take his own advice and open his "Survive to Skive" book
Its that one.

And I'm an instructor :wink:
 
#20
Mobat said:
I'm surprised he got an answer:

First because the suit is for chemical protection and its radiation protection is insignificant. Yet it is donned as part of the "N" drill.

Second because radiation protective equipment does not protect for a fixed time, it provides a protection factor (PF). How long one can stay in a contaminated environment then depends on the level of radioactivity the PF and the allowable dose. And the gullibility of the person in the contaminated environment.
Overall I would say that the instructor did not know what he was talking about. No, it was probably more a case that he hadn't previously come across people who knew more about the subject than the Army teaches.
As vampireuk commented, the title of the book is "Survive to Fight." Personally, I'd prefer a title without the caveat.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Jerrmiahballbag Military Clothing & Boots 18
S The Training Wing 0
B Classified Ads 4

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top