Ms. Williams currently suffers from headaches, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, memory loss, lumps on her arms and neck, night sweats, insomnia, urinary argency, diarrhea, photosensitivity, gastrointestinal problems, deteriorating vision, shortness of breath, coughing, thyroid problems, abnormal hair loss, swollen lymph nodes, sinusitis, and chest pains. She is forty-four years old.
Witness 04: A confidential source told Senate staff that, on February 14, he was in traffic between KKMC and Hafir Al Batin, near KKMC. Although he did not see or hear this event himself, Military Police with whom he spoke while in traffic told him that a SCUD had been shot down near Hafir Al Batin. He was told that it was nothing to worry about. No one around him went to MOPP.
Event 6: February 22, 1991, late afternoon or early evening Near King Khalid Military City (KKMC), Kindgom of Saudi Arabia
Witness 01: Charlene Harmon Davis was a medical secretary with the 34th Aeromedical Patient Staging Station at KKMC. She reported that, on February 22, she was getting ready for work (her shift began at 7:00 p.m.) when three of what she believed to be SCUD missiles were intercepted over KKMC by Patriot missiles. Ms. Davis recalls that the chemical alarms went off. After these explosions, her face, eyes, and throat began to burn, her nose began to run, and she began to feel nauseous. There was a funny taste in her mouth. These immediate symptoms lasted for about twenty minutes, but she has gotten progressively more ill since that incident. When she sought medical attention after this event, the doctor told her that she might have had a contaminated gas mask, that the mask might have been contaminated by a previous user. Ms. Davis, however, said that she knew she was the first user of the mask because she broke the seal on it.
Ms. Davis currently suffers from migraine headaches, patellar syndrome, seborrheic dermatitis, hip pain, hair loss, insomnia, nightsweats, nightmares, numbness in toes, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, gastrointestinal problems, and dizziness. She also suffers recurring rashes which she says began after the first explosion, believed to be a SCUD missile attack, occurred near her location a few days after the beginning of the air war. Ms. Davis reports that these rashes continue to be a problem to this day. She has advised Senate staff that she is extremely concerned about her health as well as her prognosis. She is twenty-eight years old.
Witness 02: David Pena was a mechanic with the 63 Army Reserve Command (ARCOM), attached to the 3rd Armor Division. He was stationed at Camp Texas, near KKMC. He reports that on approximately February 22, 1991, he was leaving a meeting at about 5:30 p.m. when he heard an explosion, and saw a cloud. His unit went to MOPP level 4 for 1.5 - 2 hours. Mr. Pena recalls that he became nauseous and had blurry vision, lung disease, and skin problems.
Approximately January 20, 1991, early morning (pre-dawn hours). Vicinity of King Fahd International Airport
Mr. Rocky Gallegos was a Lance Corporal with Bravo Battery, 2nd Light Anti- aircraft Missile Battalion. He observed what he believed to be a SCUD missile shot out of the sky almost directly overhead by a Patriot missile while on the midnight-5:00 a.m. guard duty shift on approximately January 20. He reported that the explosion "blossomed like a flower." According to Mr. Gallegos, it exploded again when it hit the ground. Mr. Gallegos said that after the explosion he experienced a "very strong raunchy taste, like very bitter burnt toast" in his mouth. He also began experiencing headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and sensitivity to bright lights almost immediately after the attack. He did not hear the chemical alarms go off immediately. Approximately 10 minutes later, however, the alert alarms sounded and they were ordered to put on their masks.
Mr. Gallegos remained at his post until approximately 4:00 a.m., when he along with a lieutenant, a staff sergeant, and three other enlisted personnel, went on a patrol to investigate the incident. They drove in the general direction of the explosion, but were not able to find evidence of impact.
Mr. Gallegos remained outside until daylight, when he noticed that his hands were tingling and looked as though they were sunburned. During the events of the early morning, his hands had been the only exposed area; his face was covered by a hood, scarf, and glasses, but he removed his gloves to smoke a cigarette.
Later that morning, about a half hour after they returned from the patrol, Mr. Gallegos was assigned to drive the NBC NCO to check all of the chemical detection units. At the fourth or fifth unit, the NBC NCO came back with soimething written on a piece of paper. He shoved the paper in his pocket and told Mr. Gallegos: "get me back to camp -- Now!" Mr. Gallegos described him as "very excited about something," but when questioned the NBC NCO told Mr. Gallegos that it was none of his business.
Two days later, they again went out to patrol the area where the explosion occurred. According to Mr. Gallegos, they saw at least half a dozen dead sheep and a couple of camels that appeared to be very sick.
Unit officials would not tell Mr. Gallegos what had happened. He said that they told him that if it was of concern to him they would tell him. According to Mr. Gallegos, the wind was blowing from the northeast (southwesterly wind) at the time of the explosions.
Mr. Gallegos continued to suffer headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and photosensitivity during his tour of duty in the Saudi Arabia. He became more seriously ill about two weeks before leaving Saudi Arabia. He also suffers from sinus infections (bleeding), narcolepsy, blackouts, dizziness, rashes, hair loss, joint pains in his knees, elbows, and hands, dental problems, muscle pains and spasms, fatigue, night sweats, insomnia, nightmares, and blurred vision. Since his return from the Persian Gulf, his wife Laurie has had bladder surgery, mitral valve prolapse, disrupted menstruation, headaches, yeast infections, and a swollen thyroid. Her physician recently refused to continue treating her, according to Mr. Gallegos, telling her that she was so sick that he did not believe he could help her.
Early in the "Air War" -- Approximately January 20, 1991 Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Witness 01: Ms. Patrecia Browning of New London, North Carolina, then a Staff Serveant assigned to the 227th Transportation Company, was at Khobar Towers in Dhahran when a Patriot missile intercepted what she believed to be a SCUD missile directly overhead. Her unit went to MOPP level 4 for 3 1/2 - 4 hours. Ms. Browning said that her eyes began to burn, and she smelled a strong odor that reminded her of ammonia. Shortly afterwards she broke out in a rash and began experiencing headaches, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to bright lights.
Ms. Browning also reports that she received the anthrax vaccine and the pyridostigmine bromide anti-nerve agent pretreatment pills. She reported that when the latter caused her to have episodes of bloody vomiting, she was told to cut the pills in half. The vomiting did not stop, however, until she stopped taking the pill.
Ms. Browning, who is thirty-seven years old, currently suffers from memory loss, severe recurring headaches, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, recurring rashes, night sweats, sleepiness, diarrhea, gastrointestinal problems, dizziness, blurry vision and photosensitivity, coughing and shortness of breath, two duodenal ulcers, chest pains, heart arrhythmia, and erractic blood pressure. She said that many of these symptoms originated while she was still in Saudi Arabia.
Witness 02: Mr. Randall Vallee, a Sergeant with the 1113th Transportation Company, was at the "Expo," just north of Dhahran on January 20. He said that he remembers this incident well because it was the first time he came under attack. He heard two or three explosions and felt the concussion. He was outside at the time, with approximately fifteen others, getting ready to move to Tent City. It was nighttime, although he did not remember the exact time. They ran for cover in school buses parked nearby, but then officers began yelling at everyone to get back into the Expo center and go to MOPP level 4 immediately. While running back to the building, he recalled that the air raid sirens were not going off, but there were other alarms going off in the distance. He stated that he "did not think the alarms he heard were chemical alarms because he had been told that the chemical alarms didn't work; that they were just set up because it was standard operating procedure to have them." The air raid sirens went off after he got into the building. Once in the building, he put his chemical gear on and sat down. He recalled becoming nauseous, weak, dizzy, sweating profusely, his head throbbing, and becoming very, very thirsty, as though he were dehydrated. He stated that his vision became blurry, but at the time he thought it was either because of his mask or his sweating. The blurry vision didn't last long; the headache and nausea lasted about twenty minutes, and he continued to feel weak and dizzy for about forty-five minutes. When he went outside, after the all clear was given, he immediately noticed a "very suffocating smell, as though there wasn't enough air to breath," kind of like ammonia, but very strong." He recalled others commenting on the smell, which dissipated soon.
Afterwards, he took the nerve agent pre-treatment pill and boarded his bus for Tent City. Mr. Vallee recalled several attacks and the smell of ammonia several times while at Tent City. He said that the missiles were shot out of the sky so close to them that the fragments would land between the tents. Although his unit's chemical suits were used frequently, they were never replaced. He noticed as the days progressed that his chest "started getting tight," and he was getting flu symptoms." The nausea, fatigue headaches and respiratory problems continued off and on. Finally he became "so dizzy that he couldn't walk." He was diagnosed with an ear infection, and sent home on January 28.
Mr. Vallee currently suffers very severe recurring headaches, fatigue, respiratory problems, joint pain, memory loss, recurring rashes, depression and irritability, night sweats, insomnia, blood in his urine, constipation, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath and coughing, thyroid problems, flu symptoms, sinus problems and sensitivity to smells. He always feels cold, and takes medication for pain. His wife suffers from fatigue, yeast infections and menstrual irregularities. Mr. Vallee is twenty-seven years old, his wife is twenty-six.
During ground war; Task Force Ripper
In September 1993, a copy of an excerpt from "NBC Survivability from a User's Perspective," by Brigadier General Carlton W. Fulford, Jr., USMC, Director, Training and Education Division, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia was received by the Committee. It states: "The most significant piece of detection equipment was the FOX NBC reconnaissance system. It demonstrated great detection and analysis capability and quickly moved. Its only disadvantage is that it looks like the Warsaw Pact BTR-60. To protect it from friendly fire, multiple U.S. markings were placed on the vehicle. The FOX was used primarily in mine field breaching operations. After the mine field was cleared, the FOX was sent through as the lead vehicle. Within minutes, the FOX could confirm or deny the presence of chemical contamination in the area. If a CAM alarm sounded while a unit was moving, the FOX was sent to that location to confirm or deny the CAM's reading. False CAM alarms were attributed to the massive numbers of burning oil wells. In the three-day offensive operation in Kuwait, the CAM alarm sounded four times. In three cases, the FOX confirmed a false alarm. In the fourth case, the FOX indicated a lewisite agent. In the opinion of the chemical experts, according to General Fulford, the lewisite reading was attributed to the burning oil wells." (emphasis added)
Based on this report, research was done on the method with which the FOX vehicle detects chemicals. It uses some of the same techniques that field alarms might employ to detect chemical agents. In addition, however, it takes multiple air and ground samples and analyzes them using mass spectrometry.
Witness 01: On November 12, 1993, a Committee staff member interviewed CW03 Joseph Cottrel, the chemical detection supervisor assigned to this vehicle -- a U.S. Marine Corps NBC warrant officer. During the interview, Mr. Cottrel said that he detected chemical agents on three occasions during the Gulf War. According to a memorandum written by Mr. Cottrel, "The first detection occurred near N. 28 degrees, 32 minutes latitude, and E. 47 degrees, 52 minutes longitude. The FOX vehicle detected blister agents at levels below IMMEDIATE threat to personnel (levels below ICt50). It was determined at the time that the rapid movement through the breach sites would not pose a threat to continued combat operations or require decontamination. Exposure time for individuals was not tracked or limited."
"The next detection happened the evening of the first day of the ground attack." (Note: Since the ground war began at night, this would have been the second evening of the ground war.) "As Task Force Ripper held positions around the Ahmed Al Jaber Airbase (N. 28 degrees, 56 minutes latitude, and E. 47 degrees, 50 minutes longitude), the FOX vehicle detected Lewisite blister vapors. This report was produced by the vehicle operator and given to myself. I reported the findings to division headquarters and requested directions in regards to the chemical agent printout. I was told to forward the tape up the chain of command which I did. A report came back that the FOX had alerted on the oil smoke. That was checked against the FOX. The computer had separated the petroleum compound from the chemical agent. The computer tape has been lost."
The only other detection CW03 Cottrel was aware of occurred around a bunker complex in the vicinity of N. 29 degrees, 14 minutes latitude, and E. 47 degrees, 54 minutes longitude. The FOX crew was directed to check the area for chemical munitions. A report that some chemical vapors were found was reported. Shortly thereafter, Task Force Ripper was ordered back to the division support area and further detection operations were not carried out by the Task Force Ripper NBC Unit.
Witness 02: According to Sergeant Robert A. Maison, Task Force Ripper detected chemical agents on the second night of the ground war. Sergeant Maison reported that as a nuclear, biological, and chemical recon team member, "our team observed an artillery attack to our northwest, at a distance of approximately four kilometers. About five to six minutes later an alarm was sounded by our detection equipment (a mass spectrometer) which is used specifically for that purpose. Taking into account the wind speeds that we were encountering (approximately 40 to 50 knots steady) the reading was not expected to last for a long duration, as it did not (approx. three minutes). The specific agent detected was lewisite in a concentration considered to produce casualties but not death."
"A second [detection] occurred while performing an area recon of an orchard. The second agent type was benzyl-bromide. No liquid contamination was located but the vapor concentration was of casualty strength and documented by the specific ion concentration and identity being printed out by molecular weight on the spectrum analysis printout."
Witness 03: A source who requested confidentiality reported to Senate staff that, on the second night of the ground war, mustard gas was detected by three FOX vehicles at Ahmed Al Jaber Airfield.
He stated that, about 4:30 or 5:00 p.m. "gas, gas, gas" came in over the radio. His unit went to MOPP level 4 for two hours before they were given the "all clear." About a half hour later, they were told that three FOX vehicles had detected mustard agent. After that, he recalled, they were in and out of MOPP gear all night.
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