CBRN Defence aims at mitigating the possible effects of CBRN weapons or events in accordance with NATO doctrine and standardization agreements. According to NATO, there are five enabling components underpinning all CBRN defence activities. The components are the foundation for CBRN defence on operations. The five enabling components are listed and summarized below:
1) Detection, Identification and Monitoring (DIM);
2) CBRN Knowledge Management (KM)
3) Physical Protection (PP)
4) Hazard Management (HM)
5) Medical Countermeasures (MEDCM) and Casualty Care.
1) Detection, Identification and Monitoring (DIM) applies to the area reconnaissance and surveillance. CBRN hazards are characterised, analysed and identified. This component includes delineation of areas of contamination and allows monitoring of changes over time. It contributes to the CBRN layer of the Common Operation Picture (COP) and CBRN forensics and technical exploitation.
Detection – the search for a CBRN substance. Specific equipment as well as tactics, techniques, and procedures are used.
Identification is the recognition of a specific CBRN substance arising from a CBRN incident. There are three levels of identification with varying degrees of reliability: provisional, confirmed and unambiguous.
Monitoring is the continuous or periodic process of determining the presence or absence of a CBRN hazard and can be conducted on personnel, equipment, terrain or facilities.
2) CBRN Knowledge Management (KM) aims to collect and manage CBRN-related information from one or several sources, along with the dissemination of raw and/or analysed information. It provides situational awareness to decision-makers, thus contributing to information superiority and timely decision making. CBRN KM is composed of the following functional areas and enablers: CBRN advice; CBRN Warning and Reporting (W&R); Information management, fusion and dissemination; Sensor Integration and network management; CBRN Reachback; Advanced modelling, simulation, and hazard prediction.
3) Physical Protection (PP) combines measures and equipment intended to enhance the survivability of personnel and material in a CBRN environment. Although PP enhances survivability, it can reduce operational capability. The commander must take into consideration the joint force vulnerability to CBRN hazards with the protective measures restrictions and mission accomplishment. The commander has to be aware that there are limitations on the effectiveness of the different types of Individual Protective Equipment (IPE) used by each nation and needs to continuously monitor the risk of personnel exposure to CBRN hazards. IPE use will result in performance degradation; however, Collective Protection (COLPRO) systems can provide necessary protection against the broad range of CBRN hazards. To mitigate performance degradation COLPRO systems may allow the continued performance of operational functions while lessening the psychological and physiological effects that result from the extended use of IPE.
4) Hazard Management (HM) – forces seek to avoid contamination, recover personnel, regenerate equipment and restore infrastructure to maintain or re-establish operational pace and effectiveness. HM relies on preparatory and responsive measures and should be an integral part of operational planning and, as much as possible, be prepared well in advance. HM comprises a wide range of measures, including those for Consequence Management (CM), ensuring: Survivability, Pre-hazard precautions, Hazard avoidance, Hazard control, Decontamination.
5) Medical Countermeasures (MEDCM) and Casualty Care include, among others, pharmaceuticals, biologics, vaccines designed to diminish the susceptibility of personnel to the lethal and damaging effects of CBRN substances, and to treat any effects arising from exposure to such hazards. MEDCM are divided into pre-exposure and post-exposure. Pre-exposure medical countermeasures rely on a trigger based on threat assessment. Post-exposure medical countermeasures rely on a detection or intelligence trigger. There are four concepts of use for MEDCM: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (prevention); Pre-treatment (or treatment enhancers); Post-exposure prophylaxis (prevention); Immediate therapy (treatment).
[i] AJP-3.8, Allied Joint Doctrine for Comprehensive Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence.