Iraqi personal decontamination kit

Place Middle East: Iraq, Al Asad
Accession Number REL35813
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Cotton, Gauze, Paper, Plastic, Wood
Maker Unknown
Date made April 2002
Conflict Iraq, 2003-2013

A green-gray plastic re-sealable container and lid with one flat and one rounded side. There is Arabic script printed in black ink on a white paper sticker attached to one side. The edges of this sticker are torn in parts. Stamped on this sticker in faded ink is the date '00 APR 02' and further towards the bottom is '00 APR 07'. The outside surface of the plastic container and lid are partially blemished with black. Inside the container are three resealable opaque plastic vials. A blue capped vial with a white paper label and black ink featuring Arabic script is 108 mm high by 18 mm diameter, the contents are unknown. A thin opaque capped vial with a white paper label and black ink featuring Arabic writing is 109 mm high by 20 mm diameter, the contents are unknown. A larger opaque capped vial with a thin white paper label and black ink featuring Arabic script is 96 mm high by 33 mm diameter, the contents are unknown. There are a pair of sealed plastic bags containing a small quantity of white cotton gauze. Another small sealed plastic bag contains some yellowed cotton tissue or lens cleaner. An unbroken wooden paddle pop stick and another broken one are also contained with the decontamination kit.

History / Summary

This Iraqi personal decontamination kit was found during a Sensitive Site Exploitation of Al Asad Air Force base by the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR), 4 Battalion Royal Australian Regiment Commando (4RAR CDO) and the Incident Response Regiment (IRR) element in May 2003. Militaries around the world issue their troops special personal decontamination kits, often referred in western armies as 'decon kits'. A personal gas decontamination kit is designed to be used by the individual to immediately treat themselves upon a gas or chemical warfare attack. It is important to immediately remove any chemical agent from the skin of the victim and their clothing. Some agents are very quick acting and can incapacitate within a matter of minutes. The degree of injury caused by a chemical agent increases the longer it remains on the skin. The eyes are very vulnerable when exposed to nerve and blister agents gets in the eyes, military personnel are trained to irrigate them with clean water.