When Recruit, wearing his gas mask, goes into a big metal box room, the steel doors slam shut and he and his fellows are in complete silence, aside from the sound of breathing through masks.
Orthochlorobenzylidene malononitrile, or "CS" gas, is released in the chamber. CS gas causes irritation to the eyes, skin and mucous membranes, but is non-toxic if inhaled.
While in the chamber, the recruits perform three exercises. The first is to bend over and shake their heads for approximately 15 seconds to ensure their masks were secured to their head and airtight. After that, they completed a set of jumping jacks together to test the mask's seal. For the last exercise the recruits are told by their Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear instructor to break the seal on their masks with two fingers and allow the gas to enter. As the gas seeps into their masks, many of the recruits begin to cough uncontrollably.
“The drill instructors are inside the chamber to stop any recruits who try to get out,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Kollhoff, Weapons Field Training Company, Camp Pendleton, Calif. “If they start to panic, a CBRN instructor will check his mask and calm him down.”Gaining confidence
"The gas chamber is a confidence builder for the (gas) mask. (Marines) need to know the mask to trust that it will work in a contaminated environment," said Sgt. Robert D. Brown, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical defense specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. "But the classroom time is the most important part of the
According to Brown, the "gas" is actually fine particles that attach to the skin and cause a burning sensation and excretion of mucus from the nose and throat. Lesson's learned
“This exercise is supposed to help give the recruits the confidence to be able to go into an environment not knowing what’s going to happen and be able to do what’s needed for themselves and their fellow Marines,” said Sgt. Adrian J. Jones, field instructor and Birmingham, Ala. native. confidence chamber
Some Yahoo answers...
"Your lungs, nose, throat, skin, and eyes will burn and you'll be shooting snot out of your nose like a fountain, but you won't puke. Nobody in my platoon did. "