Navy installs Improved Mask on Breathing Device Trainer

The Naval Aviation Training Systems and Ranges program office (PMA-205) began installation of the new Mask on Breathing Device (MOBD) trainer at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. in Jan.

The MOBD trainer will improve mask-on breathing distress familiarization training for tactical jet aviators. Because hypoxia is not the only serious breathing distress issue for aircrew that can lead to physiological episodes (PE), the Naval Aviation Survival Training Program (NASTP) collaborated with the Office of Naval Research and the Naval Medical Research Center to ensure the device allows aircrew to experience three breathing distress profiles to include hypoxia, hyperventilation and air hunger.

“This groundbreaking training device helps naval aviators recognize breathing distress and allowing them time to execute emergency procedures, contributing to improved survivability” said PMA-205 program manager, Capt. Lisa Sullivan.

The NASTP debuted the MOBD trainer at the Aviation Survival Training Center (ASTC) in Jacksonville, Fla., last fall. A total of 35 of these revolutionary breathing trainers will be installed in ASTCs across the country this year to help recognize and prevent PEs, naval aviation’s top safety concern.

PMA-205’s NASTP team developed the concept for the MOBD which replaces and improves upon the legacy Reduced Oxygen Breathing Device by replicating two more breathing distress symptoms beyond hypoxia.

Cmdr. Andrew Hayes, NASTP integrated product team lead, explained that the MOBD incorporates an innovative approach that produces nitrogen-rich air from the ambient environment, eliminating the logistical and financial burden of using the compressed gas cylinders that were required by the legacy system. Hayes said, “It was designed to mimic the On Board Oxygen Generation System on-demand airflow and is a significant improvement over the legacy trainer, which has long been criticized for unintentional symptoms caused by its constant airflow”.

Four MOBD devices were delivered to ASTC Jacksonville in October 2021 and five additional devices were delivered to ASTC Pensacola in December 2021. This capability will be ready for training at ASTC Patuxent River in the first quarter of 2022 and will be available at all eight ASTCs this summer.

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