NATO - ATP-3.8.1 VOL I


active, Most Current
Organization: NATO
Publication Date: 14 January 2010
Status: active
Page Count: 464

1. This publication provides a description of the characteristics and effects of CBRN weapons as well as their possible employments, resulting hazards and potential impacts on NATO operations. In the process, it offers guidance on defensive measures intended to mitigate the consequences of use, and thereby preserve freedom of military action in pursuit of the commander's mission. ATP-3.8.1 provides NATO forces with the CBRN defence tactical doctrine for the planning, execution and support of NATO operations where there is a risk of CBRN hazards. CBRN defence principles are established for the guidance of tactical level commanders and their staffs. These principles provide a foundation for all phases of an operation for the preparation of a Joint Force for CBRN defence and the conduct of CBRN defence on operations before, during and after a CBRN incident.

2. A CBRN incident, its source of release, being it intentional or unintentional, and its potential resulting contamination (CBRN hazard, including hazards from TIMs) can have a significant effect on any military operation, be it on land, in the air or at sea, and a decisive influence on a commander's decisions and estimates. In addition to CBRN incidents resulting from attack or release of CBRN substances, lessons identified from a number of military operations in recent years have shown that there are a broader range of battlespace hazards of which toxic industrial hazards (TIHs) form part. Currently these hazards are classified as environmental and industrial hazards (EIHs)4. Whereas industrial hazards are well recognised and appreciated environmental hazards (EH) are not essentially an area associated with CBRN defence.

3. Whilst the likelihood of military forces encountering such levels of risk is low, experiences on recent operations have indicated the need for a better management of the risks from EH. EH pose environmental or occupational health concerns similar to those considered under CBRN defence. Although EH may present a danger to life or health, their management need not to be emphasised in this document any further. A naturally occurring incident, such as fumes from a volcanic eruption, smoke from forest fires, exposure to pathogenic micro-organisms or low-level radiation from naturally occurring materials is not considered a CBRN incident.

4. It is not intended that ATP-3.8.1 shall restrict the authority of assigned forces. This is particularly important given that the employment of CBRN weapons by state actors will overshadow the tactical results as usage will undoubtedly create both national and international strategic effects. Such forces will (subject to the constraints imposed by the directives issued by higher authorities), be expected to organize their forces and to plan and execute operations in a manner intended to ensure unity of effort in accomplishing the mission.

5. It is the responsibility of commanders at all levels that plans take into account CBRN defensive measures and that directives and SOPs are available and that these fully meet the requirements of this ATP and their respective commands. Therefore, to fulfil this responsibility, commanders at all levels must be provided with timely, accurate and evaluated CBRN risk and threat assessments as well as information on CBRN incidents being from an intentional or from an unintentional release and their associated hazards.

6. Defence Against Terrorism. Whilst the CBRN defence measures described in this ATP have an equal application for the Defence Against Terrorism (DAT), the ATP rather than specifically addressing this issue includes CBRN terrorism as an integral part of its approach in combating the risks and threats facing a Joint Force.

7. Command and Control. The ATP-3.8.1, Volume I addresses essentially joint operations. At the tactical level CBRN defence units are deployed and employed within a designated Joint Operations Area (JOA) in support of joint operations within the framework of a Joint Force. In the ATP-3.8.1, Volume I the generic term "Joint Force" is used to cover Allied Joint Force, Regional Joint Force, Sub-Regional Joint Force, Multinational Joint Force, Combined Joint Task Force etc. Unless specifically mentioned, neither the doctrine nor the command titles depicted in the ATP-3.8.1, Volume I are specific to either the static NATO military command structure, a Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) or any other Multinational Joint Force that might be activated. The generic term Joint Force Commander (JFC) is used to cover all possible commanders of a Joint Force be it a Strategic Commander, Regional Commander, Joint Sub-Regional Commander or CJTF Commander. The generic terms Component Command (CC), Maritime Component Command (MCC), Land Component Command (LCC), Air Component Command (ACC) and Special Operations Component Command (SOCC) are used to cover respectively all kind of CCs.

4 EAPC(DGP)R(2005)0001 "An DGP/EAPC Concept on Environmental and Industrial Health Hazards"

Document History

ATP-3.8.1 VOL I
January 14, 2010
1. This publication provides a description of the characteristics and effects of CBRN weapons as well as their possible employments, resulting hazards and potential impacts on NATO operations. In the...