The Marines are updating their scary-looking M40 gas masks with a newer, more comfortable and streamlined mask that borrows from the special operations world where vision, low-drag ergonomics and easy breathing are a requirment for high-speed ops.
According to a Marine Corps release, East Coast units will soon get the updated mask, after it was first fielded late last year to III MEF forces.
Other advancements include a twin conformal filter which allows 50 percent improvement in breathing resistance. The mask allows over 24 hours of protection against chemical or biological agents and radioactive particulate matter.The mask is also being issued to the other services, with some Airmen receiving theirs last year.
These upgrades and many more make the M50 Joint Service General Purpose Mask a great defense against the threats service members face not only in combat, but on the home front as well.
"It's much more comfortable and less restrictive than the old mask," said Tech. Sgt. Corey Whitman, 52nd Equipment Maintenance Squadron Nondestructive inspection craftsman. "The main difference is you can breathe much easier."It's one of those pieces of kit that you hope you'll never have to use. But if you do, it's darn good to have a system that you're not going to gag on when you wear it for two days.