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U.S. Marines in the Middle East, 1991
painted by Col D.J. Neary, USMCR

Nuclear, Biological, & Chemical Warfare
(NBC) Defense Ensemble

A MARINE IS CARRYING AN M16A2 RIFLE and attired in the M17A2 gas mask and special clothing designed to afford protection against contamination from nuclear, biological, or chemical (NBC) warfare. The layered fabric of the two-piece overgarment consists of a wind-resistant cotton poplin outer shell lined with a polyester tricot knit material which has been impregnated with charcoal to soak up any chemical agent before it comes in contact with the skin. It should be noted that while the fabric has the green woodland camouflage pattern used for the standard utility uniform, new NBC suits will be in the six-shade desert coloration. They also will be lighter in weight than the current clothing. Special gloves and overshoes shield the hands and feet. All these items are part of the Marine's Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) gear. An M258 skin decontamination kit is carried for emergency use.

Text from accompanying fact sheet by the History and Museums Division and the
Permanent Marine Corps Uniform Board.

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