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Air Station introduces new gas chamber

23 Apr 2010 | Lance Cpl. Josh Pettway

A deadly nerve agent seeps into the area and soon the cry is heard. Gas, Gas, Gas! With only eight seconds to don a gas mask and execute the proper techniques, time is of the essence.

Who can say they might survive such an incident? Marines who recently underwent training at the Air Station’s  new gas chamber could.

The Air Station hosted the christening of the Marine Aircraft Group 31 Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Defense Training Facility’s new gas chamber, April 14. More than 150 Marines were given the first instructive periods on how to properly use their protective gear underneath the awning of the gas chamber.

The new chamber was built to better accommodate the individuals qualifying and the Marines who operate it.

The new gas chamber is located at building 2090 and features a filtration system, lighting, windows, and can hold more than twice as many as the old gas chamber.

“The old chamber was just a makeshift chamber that could only hold up to 12 individuals at a time,” said Cpl. Matthew Hooten, the warehouse noncommissioned officer in charge with Marine Aircraft Group 31. “With the new chamber we can hold more individuals, which helps qualify more people, faster.

The gas chamber and training are important for Marines to complete and helps them develop a sense of familiarity with the gear they use.

“We like to call the training Individual Protective Equipment Confidence Exercise because it helps to create faith in the gear and in the individual,” said Gunnery Sgt. Kerry O’Connell, the staff noncommissioned officer in charge for CBRN with MAG- 31. “It provides Marines with the ability to survive in a chemical environment during the worst possible scenario.”