Ordering MOPP 2 through MOPP 4 is the responsibility of division and
lower commanders. The ultimate responsibility, however, is that of
the company commander, platoon leader, or squad leader. These leaders
have a better appreciation for what the unit can and cannot do. The
leader increases or decreases the unit's protective posture based on
an analysis of the situation and guidance from higher command. Final
responsibility at this level retains flexibility of the system.
MOPP is not a fixed or rigid system. Flexibility is the key to
providing maximum protection with the lowest risk possible while still
allowing mission accomplishment. Flexibility allows division and
lower-level commanders the option to adjust the amount of MOPP
protection required in their particular situations and still maintain
combat effectiveness. A commander may also place the entire unit or
part of the unit in different MOPP levels or authorize variations
within a given level.
All combat operations are conducted under the MOPP System. If there
is no threat, there is no protection requirement; this is MOPP Zero.
At the other extreme, when there is a continuing, immediate threat and
the Threat Force has a capability to produce an unacceptable casualty
level among unprotected troops, these troops may be required to wear
wear the overgarment over the battledress uniform (BDU) or directly
over their underwear. The determining factors are the temperature and
the work rate of personnel.
When discussing MOPP you must be familiar with certain terms to gain a
full understanding of factors that must be considered with MOPP.
These factors are:
Cyclic Work/Rest Values
Forces. The threat imposed is normally determined by receipt of NBC
reports of actual attacks or through intelligence sources outlining
the enemy's capability and probable use.