In 1991, a large ammunition storage site near Khamisiyah, Iraq, was destroyed by U.S. Army demolition teams unaware that some of the bunkers contained unmarked chemical rockets.

Map of Iraq

Models of chemical exposure were developed using data supplied by NRL from the Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS). COAMPS, which generates high resolution numerical models of the atmosphere, is an analysis-nowcast and forecast tool applicable for any given region of the earth.

Possible troop exposure to these chemicals was recently explored as part of the Presidential Advisory Committee's investigation into the potential causes of Gulf War Illness (GWI). In support of this investigation, NRL's Marine Meteorology Division in Monterey, California, conducted a forensic meteorological study to estimate where chemicals accidentally released during this demolition may have been transported. NRL provided information about atmospheric conditions such as wind, temperature, moisture, and pressure during and after the demolition.