By: Lt.Col. of Engineers Nicolas Gerardo Pietrobelli CO of the CBRN Engineers Company and Emergency Support 601 Argentinian Army

The Argentine Republic adhered to a series of international treaties in which it expresses the will not produce and use weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) in any situation.

The WMD or CBRN cause indiscriminate effects, whose direct and indirect action not only affects the ground forces, but inevitably also the civilian population, the environment and / or the material infrastructure of the area where they are employed, all with an intensity and to an unpredictable extent.

The capacity to respond to CBRN incidents must be maintained for all types of military operations. This CBRN defense capability will not be improvised and a period will be necessary so that, both individually and collectively, the required levels of operation can be achieved, for which a great amount of time is required in the preparation of personnel as well as specific equipment for this type of mission.

In this sense:

1) The greater the industrial capacity of a country, the greater the possibility of issuing emission of toxic industrial material (TIM). These materials constitute in themselves a potential danger that affects the areas in which they are located. The usual manufacturing, storage and transport processes do not pose a high risk. However, intentional or accidental release of these materials in the area where military operations are carried out may affect them.

2) TIMs include toxic radiological, chemical and biological compounds in a variety of industrial, commercial, research, medical or even domestic applications. The increase in TIMs means that the potential exposure to them poses a risk that should not be ignored in military operations.

3) The issue of TIM in certain circumstances may have an impact on the operations, due to the danger they represent. In any type of military operation, the areas contaminated with TIM or places close to the risk areas should be avoided, whenever possible.

4) To deal with the effects of TIMs, it will be taken into account that the usual means of CBRN defense available by the military units may not be effective, so specific means will be needed to deal with their issuance.

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