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Fitting faces for fighting capabilities

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U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Marina Cumming, 9th Operations Support Squadron intelligence officer, looks at the ceiling during a gas mask fit test while Senior Airman Lamont Davis, 9th Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental technician, checks to see if Cumming has a proper seal at the bioenvironmental office at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., March 7, 2018. Looking up and down and side to side are some tasks Airman must perform to successfully pass the fit test. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

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U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Marina Cumming, 9th Operations Support Squadron intelligence officer, puts on a gas mask during a fit test at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., March 7, 2018. The fit test is a required of all members prior to deployment, if they change in body weight or have facial surgery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

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Senior Airman Lamont Davis, 9th Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental technician, starts the gas mask fit test using the Protection Assessment Test Instrument test at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., March 7, 2018. The PATI uses incense to ensure the gas mask has a tight seal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

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A group of gas mask lay on a desk next to the Protection Assessment Test Instrument and incense at the bioenvironmental office at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., March 7, 2018. The fit test is a required of all members prior to deployment, if they change in body weight or have facial surgery. Looking up and down and side to side are some tasks an Airman must perform to successfully pass the fit test. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

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Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Schultze, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, performs a series of breathing patterns during a gas mask fit test at the bioenvironmental office at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., March 7, 2018. During the test, Airman must perform a series of breathing and movements to successfully pass. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

Beale Air Force Base, Calif. -- Bioenvironmental is a word that can be used to describe a number of tasks that contribute to the mission at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. Among those things, they take care of health risk assessments by performing gas mask fit testing for respiratory protection.

“The best part about the gas mask fit test is knowing that you are protecting all these Airmen prior to deployment from chemical warfare,” said Ashley Fox, 9th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bioenvironmental contractor.

Gas mask fit-testing is an important step in ensuring the safe use of respiratory protection in complex work areas and hazardous military settings and against chemical and biological warfare.

The Protection Assessment Test Instrument, is used to count the particles inside the mask to see if the Airman has a proper seal so no toxic chemicals can enter the lungs. The PATI takes only a few minutes to conduct the test while the wearer performs a series of breathing and head movements.

“Working with other Airmen in Bioenvironmental allows us to communicate effectively and solve problems at the lowest level efficiently,” said Airman 1st Class Cameron Harris, 9th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bioenvironmental technician. “We coordinate and communicate with smooth transitions to get as many people in and out for the fit testing.”

9th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bioenvironmental on average provide gas mask fit testing to an average of 30 to 40 Airmen during Wednesdays walk in hours. During the rest of the week, Airmen from Bioenvironmental travel to offices to conduct testing.

“The most important part of our job is going out to different offices because we get to see everyone and we get hands on experience and training if there is an emergency response when we travel around,” Said Senior Airman Ashley Davis-Parker, 9th Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental technician.

The fit test is administered in building. 26180 and is open for walk-in service on Wednesdays from 7:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The walk-in service enables flexibility to customers, allowing them to come directly whenever their schedule allows.

For more information you can contact the Bioenvironmental office at 530-634-2045.