News: House of horrors: 2nd Supply Bn. Marines, sailors endure gas chamber
Story by Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - While children across the United States put on their Halloween costumes and masks, service members donned a different kind of mask here Oct. 31.
Instead of shouting “trick or treat,” like kids would later that night, the Marines and sailors of 2nd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group yelled: “Gas! Gas! Gas!”
Approximately 120 service members received classes on the proper use of M50 Joint Service General Purpose Masks and Mission Oriented Protective Posture clothing during a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, or CBRN, attack before testing their confidence inside a gas chamber.
The individual survival measures classes and mask confidence exercise are annual requirements for Marines and sailors to maintain mission readiness.
“The gas chamber is really important,” said Lance Cpl. Thomas W. Edgemon, a CBRN defense specialist with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd MLG. “A lot of people think that it’s an opportunity to mess with Marines, but it’s really for them to become comfortable and confident in their gear.”
Inside the gas chamber, Marines and sailors perform several tests to make sure their protective masks have tight seals and won’t leak 2-chlorobenzalmalonoitrile, or CS gas, onto their faces.
Although referred to as a gas, CS – commonly referred to as tear gas – actually consists of tiny crystals, which irritate anything they come in contact with, whether it be skin, eyes or lungs. The burning sensation allows the service members to build confidence that their equipment works and that they know how to use it properly.
“Inside the gas chamber, it’s exciting and an experience you want to be done with,” said Pvt. Sean D. Gagnon, an automotive organizational mechanic with 2nd Supply Bn. “When I broke the seal, I started coughing and my nose started running, but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.”