Chemical Warfare:

Progress and Problems in Defensive Capability

PEMD-86-11: Published: Jul 31, 1986. Publicly Released: Sep 5, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) program to improve its chemical warfare defense capabilities.

GAO found that: (1) development of medical doctrines to support military operations in a chemically contaminated environment is inadequate; (2) the status of the medical equipment has remained unchanged for many years and there is little progress in procuring and equipping the forces in the field with new or improved equipment; (3) some of the proposed increases in disaster support personnel appear unachievable given personnel ceilings; and (4) although some of the services have improved their personnel training, all the services need more realism and conventional task integration in their exercises and more participation of combat service support units. GAO believes that U.S. forces might not react automatically and precisely in a chemically contaminated environment.

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