commander allows the troops to reduce their protection, the risk of
increased numbers of chemical casualties must be accepted. The number
and severity of these casualties will depend on the alertness of the
troops, the adequacy of the warning and alarm system, the elapsed time
between the attack and subsequent personal decontamination, and the
Every commander has a responsibility to go through a MOPP analysis
based on the particular situation. The analysis finds the balance
between reducing the risk of casualties and accomplishing the mission.
The use of MOPP involves risk. However, the risk can be reduced and
performance of the mission increase positively if the commander
carefully analyzes the factors involved in the situation. Before
making a decision, the commander must consider the following questions
in the analysis.
What type of mission has the unit been given? The mission will
greatly influence the amount of protection needed by each soldier.
How important is the mission, and what risks will it require?
What work rate will the mission require? Physical work rate is
categorized as light, moderate, or heavy. Clerical and administrative
tasks and riding in vehicles are examples of light work. Handling
supplies and equipment is moderate work. Preparing defensive
positions is also moderate work. Fighting or forced marching are
examples of heavy work. Soldiers doing heavy work tire more quickly
than those doing lighter work. MOPP gear will reduce soldiers'
effectiveness at all work rates, but the reduction will be more severe
as the work rate increases.
How much time will it take to accomplish the mission at different
levels of MOPP? The commander can estimate the time needed to
accomplish the mission. To give the commander an idea of how much
time the tasks will take in MOPP 4, Appendix I of FM 3-5 shows
Work/Rest Table. Remember, the table is only a guide. Only
experience can give accurate times.
Increases in the time needed to conduct operations in MOPP 3 are
somewhat less than in MOPP 4. This is because some body heat
dissipates through the open hood and overgarment in MOPP 3. However,
soldiers cannot achieve normal work times until they remove their
masks and hoods. The hood and shoulder areas release most of the body
heat. If retained, this heat increases