News: Gas, gas, gas! HMM-262 gets MOPP ready
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, Japan - The message comes in and without hesitation a Marine quickly moves to the balcony overlooking the hangar and shouts, “Gas, gas, gas!” signaling the escalation to mission-oriented protective posture level four.
This was the scene during Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262’s semiannual MOPP training on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma Nov. 4.
During the training, the squadron simulated receiving messages, which required the escalation of the MOPP level from one to four, requiring personnel to don more gear with each level.
“The purpose of the training was to familiarize Marines with the challenge of being in [an increased] protective posture,” said Capt. Cory J. Jobst, the ground training officer for HMM-262, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “Simple things, such as typing or answering a phone, become more difficult.”
During the MOPP level four-phase of training, Marines wore thick gloves, inhibiting their ability to use computers and perform simple tasks. They overcame this obstacle by using pencils to type.
“We will still fly,” said Jobst. “Regardless of limitations due to gear, the mission was still completed and normal maintenance continued.”
Marines wore MOPP gear over uniforms, including gloves, gas masks and boots, shielding themselves from potential chemical and biological attacks.
The gear is restrictive but did not interfere with accomplishing the mission.
“There was no negative impact on operations,” said Sgt. Adrian R. Beeman, the ground training non-commissioned officer with HMM-262.
Some of the Marines have used the equipment in real-world settings, said Beeman.
For several newer Marines, the training was a new experience.
“We need to further develop the ability to conduct operations in full MOPP gear,” said Jobst.
"If a real-world crisis requiring protective equipment occurred here tomorrow, we would be ready," said Beeman.
Date Posted:11.13.2011 03:04
Location:MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, OKINAWA, JP
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