Operational readiness includes gas mask knowledge

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Bryan Scott
  • 8th Civil Engineer Squadron
Within the last year, you have received your new gas mask and have probably donned it a couple of times, but do you really know everything you should about it?

The new M50 mask has brought us improvements, and with that it also has brought us changes in comparison to our old masks. The following are some tips and reminders for our Kunsan brothers and sisters.

To properly conduct your gas mask inspection, follow the guidance in the Airman's Manual on pages 210-213, or the Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services information in Technical Order 14P4-20-1 starting on page 0024 00-1. Aside from checking our masks before exercises or every six months, the M50 now requires you conduct PMCS if the mask is not used within 30 days. After each inspection, please properly fill out the Air Force Form 1574 in your gas mask carrier.

The drinking tube and canteen are accessories that can't be taken for granted with our exercise frequency and length of time in our Mission-Oriented Protective Posture gear here. Check to make sure you have a functioning drinking tube by donning your gas mask and holding it in a position that will not break your seal. In a real-world environment, decontaminate your drinking tube, canteen, and drinking tube coupling prior to inserting your drinking tube in the canteen.

Take your canteen out and flip open the cover on top of the canteen. Push the lever up on your outlet valve cover until your drinking tube is in an optimal drinking position. Before drinking, blow air through your tube to make sure you get resistance. If you get no resistance while blowing, you have a leak; pinch the tube and seek help. If there is resistance, then raise the canteen and proceed to drink.

Clearing the mask of excess liquids can make wearing the mask a little more bearable. To properly clear out your mask, tilt it forward and place both hands over the filters. A good seal over your filters will force all the air to be blown out of the front outlet valve cover. Make sure when you blow out of your mask, you are tilting to where your outlet valve cover is pointing towards the ground.

If you have any other questions regarding the M50, feel free to call or stop by your friendly readiness and emergency management shop.