Accession Number : ADA113477

Title :   Water as a Tactical Weapon: A Doctrine for Preventing Heat Casualties,

Corporate Author : ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA

Personal Author(s) : Hubbard,Roger W ; Mager,Milton ; Kerstein,Morris

PDF Url : ADA113477

Report Date : 01 Mar 1982

Pagination or Media Count : 19

Abstract : Success in battle during hot weather operations requires maximal operational capability, flexibility, and effectiveness. In order to fulfill mission requirements, individuals must operate at optimal efficiency yet remain free from the serious consequences of dehydration and heat illness. In the past, training and field exercises have often resulted in significant heat injuries. The potential for rapid deployment of large numbers of U.S. Forces to either hot-wet or hot-dry regions of Southwest Asia represents, in itself, a substantial medical threat from endemic disease. A failure to prevent unnecessary heat casualties could result in an unacceptable level of non-battle losses and jeopardize the entire operation. Our advocacy of using water as a tactical weapon is based on historical, logistical, physiological and psychological evidence, in addition to personal observations of Army, Marine and Navy units maneuvering at 29 Palms, Ft. Irwin, Camp Lejeune and experiences at a variety of southern Army posts, the Phillipine Islands, Vietnam, and Israel. New guidelines for the prevention of heat casualties were field-tested ('80 & '81) during large scale tactical maneuvers and found highly effective in meeting both operational and physiological requirements. This proposed doctrine requires field monitoring of environmental conditions with a simple small devices (Bostsball) by each unit and increasing individual water intake from 0.5 qt/hr during mild heat conditions (code 1 to 2.0 qt/hr during extreme heat conditions (code 4)). During these changes in environmental conditions, simultaneous alterations in work-rest cycles from 50/10 (min) to 20/40 are necessary to maintain body temperatures near normal.

Descriptors :   *WATER, *HEAT STRESS(PHYSIOLOGY), TACTICAL WEAPONS, CASUALTIES, MILITARY MEDICINE, ILLNESS, HEAT, ARMY OPERATIONS, MILITARY DOCTRINE

Subject Categories : Medicine and Medical Research
      Stress Physiology
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE