View Full Version : Face Mask

10-03-2007, 03:43 PM
Someone I know is getting ready to go to Iraq and is looking for a fire retardant face mask, like what race car drivers wear. Apparently the military does not issue these but for anybody in a turret, they are important. Can anyone suggest a place to buy one? Thanks in advance for your help.

10-03-2007, 03:47 PM
I have never seen anyone wear one of these but I can't imagine wearing something like that in 120+ degrees.


10-03-2007, 04:01 PM
Most nomex is too damn hot. But for the winter it may be more bearable and marginally feasible.

Step #1 is to NOT wear under-armor or any of that poly stuff that melts even in a flash burn. Do no harm.

Step #2 of some actual protection is not so simple. First, it is not just a face mask problem but an all-over burn problem. Then there is a lot going with heat dissipation, durability, protection vs. operational issues, etc. His best protection is to be alert and mission capable. There is some real incremental advantage to having some flame resistant (not fireproof) kit in the unlikely event of a fire, but you give that up and more by coccooning out at great disadvantage with most of the "solutions."

USMC PM-ICE has some info on Flame Resistant Organizational Gear here (http://www.marcorsyscom.usmc.mil/sites/pmice/EquipmentComingSoon.asp). Or Google FROG and ICE and you'll get a bunch more articles. I don't know where it really is as for getting to the troops.

10-03-2007, 04:41 PM
I have no idea why anyone would want to wear this stuff (http://www.cscracing.com/sa2.htm) in 100 plus heat, but I do when I drag race because that's the rules.

SFI ratings less than 3 dot zero will get you burned, so spent the extra 10 bucks.

I've spent a lot of time in 88s, 113s, 107s, 110s and some M1s. What's your bud think's gonna happen to him ?

10-03-2007, 11:56 PM
I appreciate these responses. I thought about the heat, and I noticed that Ranger Joes and USCav don't sell these, so I don't imagine too many troops are wearing them. In any case, I'll tell him to click on the link Stan provided. Thanks again.

10-04-2007, 12:15 AM
You could also try Potomac Field Gear. I last saw their display at TREXPO East, where the rep was blowtorching some samples to show their fire-retardancy.


Adam L
10-04-2007, 05:16 AM
I know there are a few new products on the market in the europe for racing equipment. One of them is a carbon based which I have heard is fairly cool from rally drivers. I'll try to track it down. I know there are a few others that haven't crossed the pond. I'll try to find my info on it. I think one of them is in one of my issues of Racecar Engineering.

10-04-2007, 02:36 PM
I'm not telling your guy not to spend its money, but we never had an issue downrange with facial burns - only IED shrapnel fragments. And I've been in some of the worst IED enviornments, especially on the last tour. Wearing ballistic eyewear (I recommed yellow lenses so you can transition from bright/dark environments quickly) is key for eyesight - but IMHO a facemask is overboard.

10-04-2007, 02:58 PM

Most units have been fielded a ballistic "riot shield" for the helmet for gunners - but most don't wear it in the summer because it is too hot. I know it sounds trite, but this isn't OIF 1 anymore. If its personal protection gear, the army is issuing everything you NEED right now. If he's got $$ to burn at Ranger Joe's go ahead, but I never spent any money on gear downrange - and his unit supply now has access through both FEDLOG and IMPAC cards to buy most of what is sold at the private shops. I managed to order Uvex, Oakley, and other brands through supply easily in 2005 - and they arrived quickly in Germany. So let Uncle Sammy pay the bill - and beat up his chain of command if they can't get the stuff - it's out there through the RFI process.

10-09-2007, 06:14 PM
We have fireproof cloth in testing right now. The main driver for this is that servicemembers are being burned from tires that sometimes ignite when an IED goes off. The vehicle gets flipped on it's side, the uparmor makes it difficult to push the heavy door with one arm and so on.

During our experiments we have found that nomex melts/burns at about 4-5 seconds. The fireproof cloth doesn't burn but after 10 seconds or so the person is dead from lack of oxygen. The SPAWARS firefighters pointed out that as good as the fireproof cloth is, eventually you would boil in your own sweat.

IMHO, the extra 4-5 seconds doesn't outwiegh the loss sense of smell, hearing.


Maggie's two cents would be interesting on this subject.

10-09-2007, 06:36 PM
That was a classic thread gone WAWA ;)

I agree, time for Maggie's input !

I can't figure out what he would want the face mask for though. There's not much going on in modern turrets, even when the breech is opened immediately after firing. The 132 and 132A CVC helmet covers nearly everything and leaves only enough room for goggles and that pathetic mic.

The mask I wear under a full face helmet was designed for a flash burn and to some extent assumes you're gonna get your dead alpha away from the burning bike.