USAF gets processed M50 masks
The United States Air Force (USAF) military personnel have started receiving processed and approved M50 gas masks that are evaluated as 99.99 percent serviceable through its new mask inspection and repair programme, the service announced on 4 May.
The M50 joint service general purpose masks protect Airmen from chemical and biological agents as well as radioactive fallout particles.
Under the programme, about 19,000 masks were broken down, inspected, cleaned, sanitised, repaired, reassembled and tested.
The programme now expects to process about 8,000 masks a month.
As part of the programme, the masks are scanned at each station with defects or annotations by technicians. A report is generated from these scans that allow Air Force Civil Engineer Center to track defects and locations to determine any points of failure along the way.
Using specialised equipment and cleaning solution, each mask is washed to clean off any built up residue. The masks are then sanitised and placed into a temperature-controlled drying room for 24 hours to remove all moisture.
The mask is then tested for leaks before being reassembled and sent to the field to be issued to Airmen. Installations receiving these masks are now swapping them out with masks they had in stock and shipping them to Georgia to receive depot-level maintenance.
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