MOPP gear and how it's worn
By Airman 1st Class Eboni Knox, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 20, 2010
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- The Liberty Wing is gearing up for an operational readiness inspection. The past few operational readiness exercises have been practice for the real thing. With all the different things to be graded on, mission oriented protective posture level changes need to be second nature.
"The purpose of the past few months of exercises was two-fold. It allowed us to prepare for the upcoming critical inspection, but more importantly it gave us an opportunity to learn how to properly wear our protective gear," said Senior Master Sgt. Steven Higgins, 48th Fighter Wing Inspection Readiness and Exercises superintendent.
There are five MOPP levels: MOPP 0, MOPP 1, MOPP 2, MOPP 3 and MOPP 4. The levels, much like attack signal warnings, increase and decrease personal protection against chemical biological radiological nuclear and explosive threats.
Exercise players are required to mark their name, rank and USAF on tape with a permanent marker on the front and back of their helmet, hood and jacket.
"The tape on the MOPP gear helps to identify others in the play area because our name tapes are not visible," said Airman 1st Class Leo Pursifull, 48th Communications Squadron cyber transport systems apprentice.
MOPP 0 is considered the normal operating wartime MOPP level when the enemy has a CBRNE capability. Remove all contact lenses, and females need to tuck their hair into the over garment.
When in MOPP 0, personnel should inspect individual protective equipment and be ready to put it on. If directed to assume a higher MOPP, female members should remove hair clips, pins, et cetera, and let their hair fall freely before donning their mask.
When in MOPP 1 the overgarment will be worn. The protective mask, overboots and gloves will be carried. MOPP 1 is commonly used when attacks could occur with little notice or when contamination is present but does not pose a threat to personnel.
In MOPP 2, individuals will wear the overgarment and overboots. Protective mask and gloves will be carried. MOPP 2 will be assumed in Alarm Yellow, unless directed otherwise. This is the most commonly used MOPP Level, as it affords the wearer a higher protective posture and a shorter response time to MOPP 4 when directed.
MOPP 3 is used when a contact hazard or a vapor absorption hazard is present. Personnel will wear the over garment, overboots, protective mask and the hood.
MOPP 4 is the highest level. In MOPP 4, the over garment, over boots, protective mask and gloves are worn.
The 48th Fighter Wing Inspection team supports the focus on MOPP levels and training.
"It is far better to know how to wear it and not need it than to need it and not be able to properly wear it. The dynamics of world politics are changing and we never know what our enemies may or may not resort to. It is for this reason it is important to remember that 'if we stay ready, we never have to get ready," said Senior Higgins.
For more information, read pages 23-30 in the AFPAM 10-100 Airman's Manual.