Putting Our Troops And The Rest Of The World At Risk
A talk by Dr. Doug Rokke, member of U.S. Army Medical Command’s Special Operations during Gulf War 1, Produced February 23,2003.
In the 1970s, the Pentagon reported that the Soviet military had developed armor plating for Warsaw Pact tanks that NATO ammunition could not penetrate. The Pentagon began searching for material to make denser armor-piercing projectiles. After testing various metals, ordnance researchers settled on depleted uranium.
The US and NATO militaries used DU penetrator rounds in the 1991 Gulf War, the Bosnia war, bombing of Serbia, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
While clearing a decades-old Hawaii firing range in 2005, workers found depleted uranium fins from training rounds from the formerly classified Davy Crockett recoilless gun tactical battlefield nuclear delivery system from the 1960-1970s. These training rounds had been forgotten because they were used in a highly classified program and had been fired before DU had become an item of interest, more than 20 years before the Gulf War.
The use of DU in munitions is controversial because of questions about potential long-term health effects. Normal functioning of the kidney, brain, liver, heart, and numerous other systems can be affected by uranium exposure, because uranium is a toxic metal. It is weakly radioactive and remains so because of its long radioactive half-life (4.468 billion years for uranium-238, 700 million years for uranium-235).
Doug Rokke earned his B.S. in Physics at Western Illinois University followed by his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics and technology education at the University of Illinois. His military career has spanned 4 decades to include combat duty during the Vietnam War and Gulf War 1.
Doug served as a member of the 3rd U.S. Army Medical Command’s Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) teaching, medical response, and special operations team, the 3rd U.S. Army captured equipment project team, and with the 3rd U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Assessment team during Gulf War 1 (Operation Desert Storm). He was the U.S. Army’s Depleted Uranium Project director from 1994 – 1995. He developed the congressionally mandated education and training materials and wrote U.S. Army Regulation 700-48, the U.S. Army PAM 700-48, and the U.S. Army’s common task for DU incidents.
Doug has taught nuclear, biological and chemical warfare, hazardous materials, and emergency medicine for over 20 years to both civilian and military personnel. Dr. Rokke was one of the original authors of the 1982 EDRAT (Emergency Disaster Response Assistance Team) proposal which formed the foundation for today’s National Guard CSD teams and the Illinois CERT Teams. In preparation for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, he wrote and taught the original Chemical / Biological Counter-terrorism Course for civilian emergency responders that is now the federal 120 city and Department of Justice course then served on the emergency response team located at Bermingham, Alabama .
Dr. Rokke serves or has served as an advisor with the U.S. Centers of Disease Control; U.S. Department of Defense; U.S. National Academy of Sciences; U.S. Institute of Medicine; U.S Senate; U.S. House of Representatives; U.S. Department of Transportation; U.S. Federal Aviation Administration; U.S. Department of Defense; U.S. General Accounting Office; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; British Royal Society; British House of Lords and House of Commons; United Nations; U.S. President William J. Clinton’s Presidential Special Oversight Board; and local, state, and federal law enforcement, fire, and medical agencies. He has been an advisor and on-screen expert for numerous television documentaries on effects of nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare and depleted uranium with CBS; ABC; NBC, CNN, History Channel; A & E; PBS; Discovery channel, BBC; CBC; Gary Null & Associates; the Power Hour; and German, French, Japanese, Australian, Italian, Spanish, and Greek television networks.
Dr. Rokke has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in environmental science, environmental engineering, nuclear physics, and emergency management and was a staff physicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for 19 years (retired from UIUC). He has also taught elementary school, middle school, and high school. Doug is included in “Who’s Who in America” and was recently nominated for “Who’s Who in the World” and is included in “Who’s Who in Science and Engineering” because his continued efforts and recognition as a national and international expert and educator. Major Rokke has been subjected to ongoing retaliation from Department of Defense officials who do not want information regarding actual adverse health and environmental effects of uranium weapons and their mandatory but ignored requirements to provide medical care to all casualties and to clean up all environmental contamination.