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With recent and continuing world events regarding non-conventional warfare, the US ability to effectively fight and win in an environment that involves weapons of mass destruction has become more and more important. The US Air Force has been fielding a next-generation mask, an improved Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear protective mask for aircrew on rotary wing aircraft, allowing operational units to achieve full operational capability.

The Joint Service Aircrew Mask – Rotary Wing, replaces the Aircrew Eye and Respiratory Protection system on HH-60G and UH-1N aircraft.

The new mask provides aircrew vastly improved ocular, percutaneous and respiratory protection and integrates with night vision goggles, requires no aircraft modification, and has joint service commonality, a five-fold increase in fit factor, a six-fold increase in battery life, and a removable faceplate. In addition, the mask gives aircrew an enhanced field of view so they can better conduct combat missions in a CBRN environment.

Aircrews have been trained in the proper wear and use of the mask. “Fielding the new masks is significant because they are replacing equipment that limits the capability of aircrew to perform their mission,” said Lt. Col. William Holl, Materiel Leader of AFLCMC’s CBRN Defense Systems at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. This advanced mask “highlights the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s mission to partner with organizations outside the Air Force.”