ABOUT THOSE 'FEMA COFFINS': EMERGING CONCEPTS OF MORTUARY AFFAIRS: DOCTRINE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY WARFIGHTER

If you don't know about the perhaps-as-many-as-two-million polyeurathane "coffin liners" being stored (by the CDC? FEMA?) at certain rural locations across the US (notably Madison, GA) without explanation, well, it's pretty effin' creepy. Google it, no lack of theories. Here's a little something I found... too bad it doesn't exactly put me at ease.PDF here; quick view here, my favorite fema-coffin videos here, good overview of the situation here, for starters.

EMERGING CONCEPTS OF MORTUARY AFFAIRS: DOCTRINE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY WARFIGHTER

By Frederic C. Ryder, Lt Col, USAF

Depending upon the findings and recommendations of the Board, DoD could be on the cusp of still another significant mortuary policy reform.... a huge departure from the seemingly hurried, ad-hoc guidance issued prior to the close of the Gulf War... (as it pertained to biological contamination):


Biological fatalities should be viewed differently than chemically contaminated remains. The risks of spreading biological microbes or toxins from one person to another or from human remains is low. Removal of clothing and surface decontamination with standard disinfectant solutions further reduces the risk....

.... While burial solves the immediate problem, it only delays the issues of disinterment, decontamination, and disposition.... Cremation ...was a solution for the disposal of remains infected with diseases .... mobile “mortuary ships”... with the capability to cremate large numbers of remains in international waters if the international community did not allow cremation in or around the crisis location.... [could also handle] identification, autopsy, embalming, and shipping preparation capabilities that could be deployed or harbored throughout the world to handle conventional or civilian mass fatality events....

A final alternative, the bringing back of old technology, may also be in the offing. There are caskets on the market, used by civilian funeral directors, where remains can be hermetically sealed....

The Army is purchasing this “low tech” solution in the event they need to execute a plan “tomorrow.”...The CDC would be part of the approval chain before remains were actually shipped from a foreign port....however, DoD assumes the risk that these containers will never be opened. To better control that risk, it is proposed that if contaminated remains were to be returned to the CONUS in a sealed container, they would remain under government control and proceed directly to a national cemetery for interment.... Unfortunately, opting for the sealed container does not mean that the container will never be opened. It will always be possible to disinter remains under political or legal pressure -- ... “forced entries” may be successful in future years, re-opening a potential Pandora’s Box of disease....

....there is much we do not know--that frightens us. Consequently, our plan must respond to a worst-case scenario... Good, creative proposals,.... must be “marketed” properly to avoid widespread protest.... This is where the media is an integral part of the “way ahead.” As was learned in Vietnam, the war can be lost “at home.” The threat of war, with the use of WME, must be thoroughly advertised in advance. No matter what course of action DoD takes, not every American will believe it right, but none should feel deceived.

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