MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Marines and sailors with Company E., 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, get acquainted with the new M50 mask during an outdoor gas exercise training at Range 210 Jan. 26.
“This is the new M50 mask to replace the [M40 gas mask],” said Sgt. Matthew Davis, the chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear chief for Headquarters and Support Co., 2nd Bn., 7th Marines. “It has two filters instead of one [and] one single eye piece. Overall, it is a better mask; it is easier to drink though [and] better to communicate through.”
The Marines and sailors taking part in the training were in agreement on the improvements with the M50.
“They are a lot better. The visibility on them is about a 200 percent increase. The functionality seems to be better and it is light weight,” said Gunnery Sgt. Shaun Hanson, Company E. gunnery sergeant.
Davis, a Drexel Hill, Pa., native, stressed the importance of the gas chamber.
“Even though the threat may be very small, it is one of the most important pieces of gear that they are ever going to use. They are not going to use it all the time but that one time you need it, you better know how to use it. All this does is prepare you for that one time you may need it.”
Before bringing out the Corson and Stoughton gas (tear gas) they made sure everyone knew how to use the new mask properly.
“Everybody except for the newer Marines that just joined have received classes on (the new masks),” Davis said. “We are just (giving) them a refresher.”
Since they were out in the field they received an altered version of the gas chamber. Instead of going inside a building, the Marines geared up with all their field equipment and walked through a cloud of gas from a CS canister.
“It was more tactical involvement. They had their gear on, they were moving around with the stuff they normally carry vs. walking in with just cammies, standing there and walking back out,” Hanson said. “Any time you can do something in your gear like the real world scenario, [it] is better.”