HomeMediaArticle Display

M50, a breath of fresh air

Senior Airman David Nelson, 115th Fighter Wing fuel shop, tests his gas mask for a good seal at the Credit Union building on Truax Field on April 7. Nelson used different breathing techniques and moved his head various directions to ensure his mask had a good seal throughout the testing. Airman at the 115th Fighter Wing just received the M50 gas masks and will all be required to accomplish the fit-tests on their masks. (Air National Guard photo by Andrea F. Liechti)

Senior Airman David Nelson, 115th Fighter Wing fuel shop, tests his gas mask for a good seal at the Credit Union building on Truax Field on April 7. Nelson used different breathing techniques and moved his head various directions to ensure his mask had a good seal throughout the testing. Airman at the 115th Fighter Wing just received the M50 gas masks and will all be required to accomplish the fit-tests on their masks. (Air National Guard photo by Andrea F. Liechti)

Tech. Sgt. Hannah Alvarado, 115th Medical Group bioenvironmental engineering technician, provides direction to Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Powers, 115 MDG aerospace medical technician, during his gas mask fit test at the Credit Union building on Truax Field on April 7. Alvarado was one of many gas mask fit test monitors trained to test masks at the 115th Fighter Wing. Approximately 1200 Airmen will need to be tested as they were recently issued the M50 gas masks. (Air National Guard photo by Andrea F. Liechti)

Tech. Sgt. Hannah Alvarado, 115th Medical Group bioenvironmental engineering technician, provides direction to Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Powers, 115 MDG aerospace medical technician, during his gas mask fit test at the Credit Union building on Truax Field on April 7. Alvarado was one of many gas mask fit test monitors trained to test masks at the 115th Fighter Wing. Approximately 1200 Airmen will need to be tested as they were recently issued the M50 gas masks. (Air National Guard photo by Andrea F. Liechti)

MADISON, Wis. --

The Airman adjusts his gas mask, pulling the bottom straps of his mask to get a tight seal. Once his mask is donned, he gives the go-ahead to the fit-test monitor and follows the commands she gives. He takes normal breaths, breathes deeply, moves his head from shoulder to shoulder, up and down, and finishes the exercises with chin rotations. A machine measuring the particles in the outside air compared to those inside the mask shows the monitor the Airman's gas mask has a proper seal.

 

More than 100 Airmen successfully passed their gas mask fit tests at the Credit Union building on Truax Field on April 6-7 as part of the military's transition to a single joint-force gas mask.

 

"Airmen need to attend gas mask training for the M50 before they can get tested," said Master Sgt. Jeff Reese, 115th Medical Group bioenvironmental engineering non-commissioned officer in charge. "There are two reasons we do the testing. First, so the individual has a comfort level with the mask should he or she need to deploy with it. Second, so we know there aren't any leaks in the mask. It's important for us to know everyone has a serviceable mask."

 

Approximately 1200 Airmen at the 115th Fighter Wing will need to be tested as they were all recently issued the M50 gas masks.

 

"In the past, every service had their own mask, but now the M50 is the joint service general purpose mask for all DOD personnel," said Senior Master Sgt. Richard Wizner, 115th Fighter Wing emergency manager.

 

According to Reese and Wizner, there are many advantages to the M50 gas masks. They are lighter in weight, have better breathability and have two filters instead of one, making it easier to switch out filters during training exercises and real-world scenarios.

 

Fit-test monitors, trained by the bioenvironmental engineering team, were in charge of testing the gas-masks to ensure every Airman achieved a good seal. Adjustments were made and gas masks exchanged to make sure the Airmen had serviceable masks.

 

Bioenvironmental Engineering Technician Lucas Mathe, who will be attending basic training this month, had the opportunity to be a fit-test monitor.

 

"This is what I'll be doing," Mathe said. "It has given me insight to what tech school will be like."

 

In addition to Mathe, Airmen across the base have been trained as fit-test monitors to ensure all Airmen have the chance to get tested prior to the operational readiness exercise scheduled for August.

 

Testing will take place again at the Credit Union building May 4-5.  Airmen can contact their unit deployment managers or fit-test monitors to schedule their testing.

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.

Department of the Air Force does not exercise any responsibility or oversight of the content at external link destination.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of linked web sites or the information, products, or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and morale, welfare and recreation sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. All links are provided consistent with the mission of this web site.