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Drill for Changing Canister

Remove spare canister from packaging, ensure plastic thread protection cap is still fitted. Place the canister on a clean surface where you can pick it up with your eyes shut.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and hold it. Unscrew canister from facepiece and discard it.

Remove plastic thread protection cap and discard. Screw on new canister, blow out hard.

Breathe normally, decontaminate gloves, outside of facepiece and new canister. Report the change to your commander.

Render old canister useless.


a. Learn the 4 occasions when you alone are responsible for changing your canister.

b. Practise the canister changing drill, using 2 training canisters.


You have to be able to:


a. Your personal weapon.

b. Any unit weapon or equipment on which you work.

Study Notes

If your personal weapon becomes contaminated with chemical agent you will have to decontaminate it as soon as possible to avoid repeatedly recontaminating yourself. You must pay particular attention to those parts which you frequently handle, using DKP 1 and DKP 2 as described in Task 8. This will be effective against unthickened liquid agent which looks and behaves like motor oil. Thickened agent, which is more like strings of clear glue, will not be absorbed easily by Fuller's Earth powder. To remove thickened agent first use a scraper, then swab with a solvent (such as petrol diesel or kerosene) and finally use the DKP 1 or DKP 2 in the normal way. Fuller's Earth must be kept out of working parts.

If the unit weapon or equipment you serve becomes contaminated, this must also be decontaminated in a similar manner as soon as operations permit. Start with the parts most frequently touched and then using detector paper (and CAM if available), determine if there is liquid agent anywhere on the weapon. In particular check joints, cracks and around screw heads. Decontaminate as required. This will reduce both the contact and vapour challenges to your IPE. Remember that the scraper and the solvent will be contaminated after use.


You can use motor oil to safely simulate chemical agent. On exercises, sprinkle some spots on your weapon and practise decontaminating it as soon as you have completed the immediate action (IA) and decontamination (ID) drills. Note, the weapon must be thoroughly cleaned after this practise.


You have to be able to:

Change NBC clothing which has become contaminated.

Study Notes

Provided it remains undamaged, your IPE will remain effective against most NBC hazards for a period of 28 days. However, if you encounter liquid chemical contamination this time reduces to:

a. Suit; 24 hours or 6 hours in the case of mustard agent.

b. Boots; 24 hours.

c. Gloves; 3 hours or 24 hours if decontaminated within 15 minutes.

You will be vulnerable as you change, so wait until ordered to do so. If at all possible you should change under cover in a contamination free area. If this is not possible you will have to make your own liquid free area using a Chemical Agent Resistant Material (CARM) sheet or your discarded jacket. This is a worst case scenario. It is much easier with 2 people, helping each other in turn. Respirators must be kept in place throughout and heads held up to avoid any danger of contaminating inner clothing.

Undressing with Mk 4 NBC Suit Jacket

Remove equipment and hang up or place on uncontaminated surface.

Decontaminate gloves and respirator, particularly under the chin.

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