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     One prominent hypothesis about illnesses among Gulf War vets is that some reported symptoms are the result of exposure to chemical war.  Investigations after chemical warfare agents on the battlefield.

     The standard for making the assessment is based on common sense: Do the available facts lead a reasonable person to conclude at chemical warfare agents were present or not?

     Immediately after Operation Desert Storm, US Army units occupying an area known as Tall a Lohm (Khamisyah) ammunition storage area conducted two major large scale demolition operations.

     March 4, 1991 - 2,160 chemical rockets, 1,997 in bunker 73
     March 10, 1991- 1,250 chemical rockets.

     Numbers have been substantially reduced as rockets are actively destroyed!

     The detonation of bunker 73 on March 4, 1991 determined to have been much less dangerous than the open air explosion of March 10.

     March 4 had a larger number of rockets involved but was inside closed contained and prevailing wind were away from friendly forces at the time. Active agents involved was to reduce 10 fold from 1,040kg to 51kg.

     The news on March 10, 1991 explosion has also changed substantially both in the amount of the agent and the type of agent involved.

     The good news is a reduction in amount of active agent released (per CIA) October 14, 1999).

     1997 - estimates of release was 715kg
     2000 - estimates of release is 321kg

     This is based on reduction in the numbers of 122mm rockets damaged in the explosion.

     1997 # - 500
     2000 # - 225 a 55% decrease in agents

     Thus the 2000 source term was 45% of the 1997 source term estimate due to environmental degradation (chemical warfare agent decay).

     Now, before we go rah, rah, rah after information now available indicates the rockets destroyed contained a cocktail (a mix of sarin (GA) and cyclesarin (GF).

     Accurate test data on GF's toxicity was not available in 1997. We now know that GF is 3 times a toxic as GB. Equally important is GF , unlike GB is a persistent agent, it is less volatile than GB.

     The approximate 225 rockets destroyed at Khamisyah contained a cocktail of 3 parts sarin to 1 part cyclesarin. The increased strength of the active agent off sets the reduction in quantity of agents.

     ERDEC performed closed tests determined at what level first noticeable effects occurred, which is the point at which a normal healthy person is effected by the agent (GA, GB).

     GPL general population limits. This is the level at which a normally healthy person could be exposed to GA & GP for a 24 hour period  with no effects. Also noted is the fact that effects are cumulative. Prolonged exposures at low levels produces the same effect.

      ERDEC (Edgewood Research and Development Center) in reported 50% effective dose to be less than 2mg/min per cubic meter of air. This is to say that  50% of the people exposed would have symptoms at this level (Sidell, this assessment was made 1992, more than a year after exposure).

     Post war research also indicates that the effects of these agents is accumulative. Once a person reaches a certain dosage level, symptoms begin, whether that point is reached in 10 minutes, 10 hours, or 10 days.

     Making good exposure estimates and determining whether a person was exposed are very, very difficult. A large variety of factors can greatly impact the effective exposure a person receives. Temperature, humidity, skin moisture, exposed survivors, MOPR gear, pre-treatment, activity of the victim, and host susceptibility.

     Now for the recommended reading list:

1. Chemical Warfare Agent Issues during the Persian Gulf War, CIA Publicities

2.
Institute for Molecular Medicine Gulf War Research Auto-immune Illnesses & Infectious Diseases (has to do with micro plasmas)

3. Gulf Link Khamisyah There are several reports to read on this page.

     1. Final Report DoD is basically something as before with additional information not known in 1997. This is a simplified over-view.
     2. Modeling and Risk Characterization - Khamisyah demolition Technical Report. The technical report would be useful to people needing facts & figures of how the conclusions were arrived at.

     This is for all tech minded people who want the nuts & bolts stuff. This is great for the research  people who need detailed information to draw their own conclusion or question DoD conclusion. This is some scary stuff here!

     In talking with DoD personnel about the unit list and the number of military personnel who are not listed but should be. You must take action yourself. By calling and reporting your symptoms. You must find other members of your unit and collaborate your story.

     This is necessary because (1) the unit list consists of the units that are known to have been down wind in full company strength. (2) GPS location is based on where the HQ section of a unit is located. (3) Many SS & CSS Companies were broken down to platoon and smaller units operating inside of the plume area with out GPS or HQ relocation.

     My unit, 1450th Med Truck (petroleum), had squad and platoon sized units inside the plume in support of 24 infantries, 240 quartermasters, 410 transportation companies, but because our HQ detachment remained 250 miles away at Log Base Charley, we were not included as being down wind of Kamisyah. Contacts at DoD told me that they needed multiple calls from the same unit to open investigations and to cross check locations and personnel.

1450  Transportation NC NG
2221  Oaten Master AZ NG
719  Transportation NY NG
2186  Maintenance OR NG
318  Cav. Maintenance OR NG
418  Cav. Gelnhousen, Germany
1157  Transportation WI NG

     Personnel from the units above have contacted me and said they believe they were under the plume. If you were in support of those units or any of the units on the official DoD list between March 10 and March 12, 1991, make the call. Make the call especially if you or your group was less than company strength and not with your HQ. We are not the HQ section, it's just that many times cooks and supply personnel are performing their assigned mission a long distance from the rest of a unit.

     Please check out the following links. They will be of assistance to you.  With the 2nd link, you will need to scroll down to check out the maps.

http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/home_pages/epidemi/gws/
http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/khamisiyah_iii/khamisiyah_iii_s05.htm#III_J
 

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