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News Release


Release No: 406-97
July 29, 1997


The Defense Department released the third in a series of case narratives and the first information paper related to the Department of Defense's ongoing investigation into Gulf War illnesses. The information paper gives a technical and in-depth description of Fox chemical reconnaissance vehicle capabilities.

The narrative focuses on the reported detection and possible exposures associated with the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions' breaching operations through two minefields in southern Kuwait on the morning of February 24, 1991. Considering all available evidence to date, it concludes that the detection of chemical warfare agents and exposure of Marines to them was unlikely.

Case narratives and information papers are part of the Defense Department's continuing effort to inform the public of its efforts to better understand the nature and possible causes of the illnesses being experienced by many Gulf War veterans.

"Case narratives are not intended as final reports," said Bernard Rostker, special assistant for Gulf War illnesses. "This is an interim report about what we currently know about the Marine's minefield breaching operations." Other narratives about key events and issues surrounding the Gulf War experience are being prepared and will be released as soon as they are completed. This report, along with the documentary evidence and personal interviews will be posted on the GulfLINK Internet site (www.gulflink.osd.mil) as well as future narratives.

In addition to informing the public, narratives are intended to open up a dialogue with Gulf War veterans who may have additional information or who can clarify the events at the minefield breaching operations are encouraged to call the Gulf War incident hotline at 1-800-472-6719.

Gulf War veterans experiencing health problems are encouraged to receive a free health screening through the DoD's or Department of Veterans' Affairs health registries. Those individuals still on active duty, military retirees, or those affiliated with the Reserve components can arrange a medical examination through the Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Program at 1-800-796-9699. Those no longer affiliated with DoD, including reserve personnel, can arrange a medical examination through the VA's Persian Gulf Registry at 1-800-749-8387.

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