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Out with the old in with the new

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Members of the South Dakota Air National Guard helped wingmen adjust their new gas masks to attain a proper seal during training for their new M-50 Joint Services General Purpose Gas Mask January 6th 2013.(National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Christopher Stewart)(Released)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Members of the South Dakota Air National Guard helped wingmen adjust their new gas masks to attain a proper seal during training for their new M-50 Joint Services General Purpose Gas Mask January 6th 2013.(National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Christopher Stewart)(Released)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - -- As the new year began, members of the 114th Fighter Wing took the time out of a busy Unit Training Assembly weekend to exchange outdated chemical warfare masks for new ones here at Joe Foss Field, SD.

Members of the unit are exchanging their old MCU-2 series gas masks with the new M-50 Joint Service General Purpose mask. The new M-50 mask brings with it a list of improvements over its predecessor.

The most noticeable difference between the M-50 and its predecessor is the addition of the twin conformal filter system. According to Tech. Sgt. Brian Lebrun, 114th Fighter Wing Emergency Management technician, the second filter allows for ease of filter replacement in a contaminated environment as well as a 5 percent improvement in breathing resistance. The improvement in breathing resistance combined with the masks lighter weight, flexible materials, and smaller profile improves the overall comfort of wearing the M-50 gas mask.

"This system is designed with all the improvements we've needed since the old M-17 series masks...the years of research have paid off." said Senior Master Sgt. Rick Larson, 114th Fighter Wing Emergency Management superintendent.

The M-50 also boasts an improved drinking system that swivels out of the users way when not in use.

Airmen are excited about the improved comfort and fit or the new M-50.
"I will be able to breath and talk normally when wearing the mask, not through clenched teeth like I had to with the old one." said Senior Airman Daniel Jamison, 114th Maintenance Squadron crew chief.

The M-50 is being issued to all branches of the service, and will replace all currently used gas masks.