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The Gas Chamber and why it sucks

Posted by suhsjake , 25 Aug 2009 · 3,131 views

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Oh what fond memories. The Gas Chamber at Fort Benning Infantry Training Center (also known as Sand Hill) is a 75ft long by 25ft wide concrete building with a small vent fan. Not to menacing looking, its even painted a nice bright yellow with small flowers growing around it. I was with the last group to go as my gas mask they issued me, the voice portal was ducked taped closed and leaked worse than a cheap hotels faucet. So I had to borrow another persons mask (full of snot, yes buggers). So here I was, blind as a bat (I had to wear the thick BCG glasses the whole time while at Benning) with a mask full of buggers, lenses scratched all to hell, vomit from the last cycle of privates, oh what fun I thought to myself.

I was not at all nervous as I neared the double swing doors into the chamber. One of my crazy drill sergeants opened the door without his mask on was hit by a wall of white smoke which sent him ducking around the corner of the building. Now this is where I started to all most s**t myself (not literally, just metaphorically, but one person did poo his pants while on a ruck march). So here I go, M4 Carbine in my right hand, my left hand holding the persons shoulder in front of me, into the heavily smoke filled room, with some random instructor and a burner with CS tablets.

Task 1

Put your rifle between your legs and place your helmet on top of the rifle.

Well, I failed that. I managed to drop my helmet where the instructor could kick the helmet into the middle of the room. Oh, did I hate myself after that.

Task 2

Lift your mask off and say your Last Name, First Name, and Last Four of your Social, then proceed to clear the mask.

Easy enough, did that, got it cleared pretty easy. By know my face, neck, and hands where slightly burning. The exposure time to the CS gas wasn't that great to effect my eyes, nose, mouth or lungs.

Task 3

Walk around the building to the second set of doors, proceed to take off your mask, and wait to head out side.

Well, I had to wait 15mins for my groups turn (I was like the 5th or 6th group in the room). Made my way around the room, and was instructed to take off my mask. I was fine for the first 30 seconds and then fell to a knee gasping for air. My nose started running, my mouth and throat felt like I hate a plate of Habanero chillis whole, and my lungs felt like a thousand needles where being stabbed into it.

My group was then cleared outside, but I was not finished yet. I had to enter the line to go back into the chamber to retrieve my helmet, with out my mask. I was hunched over against the wall, vomiting up my breakfast, snot hanging out, and gasping for clean air. So I slumbered back into the chamber proceeded to crawl around the floor in a futile effort to find my mask. The two instructors in the room saw this and proceeded to play soccer (futball to you other folks in the world) with it while I was trying to grab it. After a few minutes, I managed to grab it and ran through the doors only to be told to head back in line for it again. Why you ask? Its quite simple you see. You where to look exactly the same as you entered except for the mask which you where to hold in your left hand. So here I went into the chamber holding my mask in one hand rifle in the other and quickly put my helmet on. I then ran outside almost running into my 1SG. I was then cleared to head to the air circle.

And that kids, was my adventure in the gas chamber. Morale of the story, DO NOT DROP YOUR HELMET, or anything for that matter in the chamber, you will pay for it later.

Have a nice night folks and remember: DO NOT DROP ANYTHING IN THE GAS CHAMBER.

  • jaypward likes this

Been there, done that, not fun...I feel your pain!
Yeah, been there, done that too. Not fun when your mask leaks, lol.
lol... yeah i know the drill..2funny
God, thanks for the memories, OH WAIT, we still qual EVERY year in the chamber. lol :heat:
Also a tip (first hand experience):

Never stand down wind to someone tapping down his NBC suit......
B4-1, Harmony Church 08-81.....oh the pain..the pain
Gotta love it! Our group was scheduled to go the the chamber, but it was shut down during our training period.

It transpired that some chem wahoos had decided to (try) play a trick on the battalion commander and staff - put a double load of CS tablets on the burner. When these guys were to told to pull off their masks and do their don-and-clear drill - they just about died. Several threw up, one nearly passed out and there was general pandemonium.

The victims exited the chamber en-masse - ending up in crying, retching heap on the ground outside. One of the perps started laughing and it took their victims about 3 nanoseconds to figure out what happened.

The _____ really hit the fan. There was a gigantic investigation with the medicos, JAG, CIS, OSHA, IG, and most of the civilized world participating. The facility was shut down for a long while, lots of Article 15's, people lost stripes.

I really meant to thank those guys.
What also hurts is inhaling to seal your mask and it doesn't seal. Did that on field exercise , when drill sergeant tossed smoke grenade followed by CS grenade. I agree with the description, perhaps akin to inhaling jalepeno dust.

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