Ten-foot rule keeps Wolf Pack clean

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jilene Botkin
  • 8th Civil Engineer Squadron
What happens after a building becomes contaminated? Can I still use it? What if I'm inside the building during the attack, am I contaminated also?

The answer my friend, is yes, you can still use the building and no, you're not contaminated if you're inside the building during the attack. If you find yourself in this situation, follow the 10-foot rule.

The 10-foot rule is used after an attack when an object (building, vehicle or person) has been contaminated. During the first 24 hours after contamination you will be directed to be in MOPP 4 when within 10 feet of that object. After that time, it becomes a contact hazard, so all is required are your gloves.

When a zone is declared contaminated, all the equipment, vehicles and facilities with positive M8 paper must be marked using standard yellow triangular signs with black lettering that reads "CONTAMINATED." These markers will be attached to all sides of the contaminated equipment, vehicle or facility. Entry controllers at contaminated facilities must decontaminate exterior door handles and a spot for personnel to knock for entry. After this action is complete, entry controllers will post a sign stating, "Door and knob have been deconned. Knock for entry here." All other vertical structures (i.e. fuels tanks, air conditioning units, power boxes, trees, etc.) connected with the facility will be deemed contaminated, but do not need to be labeled with markers.

For contaminated vehicles, one of the markers will be placed in the lower center portion of the windshield. Annotate the Air Force Form 1800-series operator's form when the marker is placed. Report all contaminated equipment, vehicles and facilities to your unit control center.

All personnel approaching contaminated equipment, vehicles and facilities will assume MOPP 4 when within 10 feet of the asset. Personnel must decontaminate their gloves (wash-rinse) and boots (wash) prior to entering facilities. Personnel must proceed at least 10 feet into the contaminated facility before removing their masks. When in a non-Collection Protection System facility, make sure to utilize the 10-foot rule when approaching windows and doors.

The 10-foot rule also applies to contaminated personnel. If you have become contaminated and someone is approaching you, cross your arms so that your hands are on your shoulders (not up by your neck like the universal choking sign). This is a signal to everyone that you are contaminated and to stay away as you continue to accomplish "mission-critical" tasks, or proceed to a Contamination Control Area in a CPS shelter or an open-air CCA as directed.

Further information concerning the 10-foot rule can be found in the Kunsan Ability to Survive and Operate Guide, pages 14-19, and in the Airman's Manual, pages 94, 95, 125, and 200. Please contact the readiness and emergency management flight if you have additional questions concerning the 10-foot rule or other ATSO-related topics.