Joint Service General Purpose Masks

Tuesday April 10, 2012

What is it?

The Joint Service General Purpose Mask (JSGPM) system is being developed to replace the M40/M42 series of masks, mask carrier and accessories for the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps ground and combat vehicle operations, and the MCU-2/P mask series for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy ground and ship applications.

The protective mask has evolved from off-the-cuff improvised designs used during WWI. U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md,, has played a significant role in the maturation and improvement of this essential piece of equipment since 1917.

What has the Army done?

ECBC is the nation's principal research and development resource for non-medical Chemical and Biological Defense. ECBC supports all phases of the acquisition lifecycle - from basic and applied research through technology development, engineering design, equipment evaluation, product support, sustainment, field operations and demilitarization - to address its customers' unique requirements.

ECBC assists the Joint Project Manager for Protection (JPM-P) to field 10,000-15,000 JSGPM to the U.S. Armed Services.

What is planned for the future?

The JSGPM represents more than 10 years of engineering and testing, resulting in state-of-the-art respiratory protection against known chemical and biological agents and radioactive particles. Throughout the mask's development, ECBC provided matrixed support to the JPM-P. In the past two years the masks have primarily been rolled out to the Air Force and Marine Corps; however, the Navy has a small allotment and eventually the Army's requirements will be filled. As of September 2011, 426,210 JSGPM's have been fielded.

Why is it important to the Army?

Unlike legacy protective masks designed specific to each Service, the JSGPM was designed for all U.S. Armed Services. The catalyst for the development of the JSGPM was the need for continued exceptional respiratory protection, but with improved operative capabilities.

Among the operative capabilities achieved, the JSGPM's comfort, visibility and hydration improvements provide a more ergonomic design with increased optical clarity and efficient weight distribution to lower the mask's profile. A unique external dual filter design reduces breathing resistance and provides 24 hours of respiratory protection; an enhancement over legacy masks' eight hours of protection.

Since 2001, more than 390,000 Soldiers have trained or deployed with this respirator. Their feedback and contributions to the development of the JSGPM resulted in a product that is one of the most heavily-tested pieces of Individual Protective Equipment ever developed by the Department of Defense.

Resources:

Edgewood Chemical Biological Center

Joint Service General Purpose Mask (PDF)

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