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9th AS sees clearly following oxygen mask testing

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Nicole Leidholm
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

An Air Mobility Command Test and Evaluation Squadron team visited Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, June 14-15, 2021, to test the capabilities of the modified 358 Quick Don Demist oxygen mask.

During the trip, the test and evaluation team designed ground and in-flight scenarios to test both the unmodified and modified masks to capture any deficiencies and see if the modified mask eliminated fogging issues that were plaguing C-5M Super Galaxy aircrew members.

“There was a design flaw in the original masks,” said Master Sgt. Robert Morada, AMC Test and Evaluation Squadron test director. “The current oxygen masks were fogging up, causing in-flight emergencies and deficiencies where the crews weren’t able to see, hindering missions.”

The innovation of a new design began in January 2021 when the team tested the different mask modifications. By March, they were executing the final design and have since tested the modified masks at three other bases. The AMC team will also examine how the modified masks function on the C-130H Hercules, C-130J Super Hercules, KC-135 Stratotanker, C-5 and C-17A Globemaster III.

“We’re trying to see if the modifications we’ve made are fixing the fogging issue,” Morada said. “We have [aircrew flight equipment] performing the modification, adding the valve and hose, which will allow oxygen to flow and clear the mask. This will allow the aircrew to push a lever to push oxygen to defog the mask.”

Morada stated these modifications are being done by AFE so the Airmen understand and can perform the upgrade while also allowing them to provide candid feedback to the team regarding any issues they encounter. As a voice for change and progress, the AMC team aims to learn just how effective the new mask is for Airmen.

“The fogging issue can really affect the ability to safely operate the aircraft,” said Capt. Cooper Zielinski, 9th Airlift Squadron C-5 pilot. “These new masks seem like they really reduce the fogging which is a great improvement over the legacy masks [and] will help us more effectively accomplish the mission.”

The AMC test and evaluation team is scheduled to wrap up testing at the end of June and submit their report in the fall to move forward with getting the masks pushed to operational status.