Health & Safety

May 11, 2012

Suited for the job

Robert J. Kaschak
452 Emergency Management Technician

The military constantly strives to improve the ability of our fighting forces to succeed in hostile environments. The Chemical Protective Overgarment is a prime example of evolving research and technology. The updated design accounts for limitations from earlier versions and now provides the functionality necessary for a combatant to perform mission essential duties with an increased survival rate.

The newest protective over garment is called the Joint and Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology and when worn properly, provides the best protection possible to function in a contaminated area. Knowledge is power, so let us disseminate some valuable information to increase your knowledge of the suit you are counting on to save your life, if exposed to chemical contamination.

First, prior to receiving the JSLIST, you must turn in your outdated Battledress Overgarment. Next, proceed to Mobility Bags (bldg. 453) to receive your training JSLIST suit. When opening the package, DO NOT use a sharp object because you could possibly pierce the suit, rendering it ineffective. If you look at the corners, you will note tabs that require pulling in order to release the contents of the bag. Keep in mind; suits are fitted according to the measurement of your chest, height and waist (a chart for sizing is located in the technical order). It is important to get a proper fit because you need to have enough room to perform key duties without restriction.

The suit is a two-piece garment made of composition-carbon bead material with an outer layer similar to the material in the battle dress uniform. The suit is designed to repel water, as well as chemical and biological agents. The hood is integrated with the jacket and secured with an elastic barrel keeper-lock assembly. The pants incorporate suspenders and the jacket has an elastic retention cord, that when pulled tight between the legs (from back to front), mates the jacket to the pants. In addition, hook and pile fasten tape, reinforced knees and bellows cargo pockets are key components on the suit.

Some main points to remember are; (1) for real world operations, the suit can be laundered up to 6 times (follow instructions on tag) or 45 days, whichever comes first in an uncontaminated environment. An entry should be annotated on the suit label after every washing; (2) change your suit within 24 hours after contact with chemical agents. The suit has 120-day service life once removed from the bag and; (3) integrate hood to mask, tucking hood lining around periphery of the mask and lock with barrel keeper assembly.

Suits dedicated for training will be properly marked according to current base level tasking.

Keep in mind, wash and wear life for training purposes is unlimited.

After your suit is donned, ensure all Velcro areas are closed with no skin showing; pay special attention to hard-to-reach places such as the neck area. Pant legs should be draped and tied over the tops of the boots and sleeves down and secured over the gloves. Then, verify retention cord is properly attached and suit is tied off. Finally yet importantly, use the buddy system when possible.

JSLIST suits are required for all Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, or High-Yield Explosive, Unit Control Center, Post-Attack Reconnaissance and Shelter Management classes. Remember, the suit should be checked for proper sizing prior to attending class. EM does not maintain equipment, nor fix sizing issues. For more detailed information, refer to technical order: 14P3-1-141.

Not only do you have state of the art equipment, but also, you are now armed with all the information necessary to successfully utilize and maintain your chemical protective ensemble.  Both your knowledge and confidence should be enhanced as you prepare to participate in upcoming exercises and real world events. Any questions may be referred to the emergency management office at 951-655-3024.

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