FORT STEWART, Ga - Troopers of 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, trained on the Army's newest gas mask at Fort Stewart, Ga., July 11, 2017.
Soldiers must be prepared to encounter any variety of threat on the battlefield to include chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) employment. The masks were part of a larger training event that focused on CBRN operations.
The primary purpose of the training was to make sure that everyone knew how to properly don masks and JSLIST (joint service lightweight integrated suit technology) expeditiously.
"I have never experienced MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) gear training with this much intensity," said Pfc. Joseph Gonzalez, a cavalry scout with 6-8 CAV and participant in class. "It was fun learning something new that will help me fight efficiently and survive."
"With the upcoming brigade conversion from light to armored, this training couldn't have come at a better time," said Spc. Brandon Walker, a CBRN specialist with 6-8 CAV.
Although the Spartan Brigade will not be fielding their fleet of armored vehicles until early-2018 it did not stop 6-8 Cav troopers from teaching the proper employment of the of the armored vehicle crewman protective mask.
There are two variations of gas masks: ground troops use the M-50, and armored combat vehicle crewman use the M-51.
Spc. Walker explained, he taught the Troopers how to assemble and use the M-51 gas mask, decontaminate hazardous material spills and accidents, and conduct timed Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) drills.
They also conducted a refresher course on how to manage and maintain protective gear in the event of a CBRN threat on the battlefield.
Walker said it was exciting to teach troops about the armored combat vehicle crewman gas mask (M-51).
"I want troopers to know that CBRN training is still very relevant," Walker said. " I want to make sure that my teammates on my left and right know how to fight chemical threats and use CBRN skills in combat, just in case the situation presents itself."
Gonzalez thinks training on the M-51 improved unit readiness and is something he looks forward to doing more of in the future when they sign for their Bradley Fighting Vehicles.