CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines participate in annual nuclear, biological and chemical training in order to remain competent with the equipment and procedures for proper usage should the need arise to protect themselves in a chemical environment.
As part of an update to the NBC program, the Armed Forces recently began fielding the new XM50 Joint Service General Purpose Mask.
Designed to replace the old M40 and M45, the new masks landed aboard Camp Lejeune during September and October of last year, and the Marines attached to 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) have incorporated them into their pre-deployment training exercise.
“This mask is easier to maintain, it has a filter shelf-life indicator, and provides us with the ability to safely and quickly change filters while in a contaminated environment. It also has improved drinking system that is easier to use with a greater flow of liquids,” explained Lance Cpl. Michael J. Pylican, a chemical biological radiological and nuclear specialist with Headquarters Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd MLG.
The new mask has reduced weight and bulk, lower breathing resistance, and improved equipment compatibility. It also has improved and increased periods of protection. JSGPM filter technology is the most significant change from prior protective masks; the new material is packed into a smaller canister, integrated into the mask, not only increasing the airflow into the mask but improving the field of view significantly.
“Personally, I think this gas mask is more comfortable and it’s easier to breathe and drink water with it,” Pylican added. “The new filter reduces breathing resistance, so wearing the mask is much less tiring and much more comfortable.”
Marines with the 2nd MLG units are required to attend the gas chamber prior to their upcoming deployment to develop a sense of familiarity with the new gas mask and learn the proper way to operate it.