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New Device Helps Fighter Pilots Urinate And Save Lives

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By Debbie Gregory.

Bladder relief systems are important to fighter pilots, especially female pilots, who fly aircraft for many hours. Omni Medical Systems is working with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Human Systems Division to update and improve bladder relief systems.

AMXDma, the Aircrew Mission Extender Device started delivering over 600 devices to the field operations and another 1,500 are scheduled for delivery over the next six months. The new devices are hands-free, battery-operated and worn underneath uniforms. These devices collect urine in a cup for males, a pad for females and pumps the urine into a collection bag. The device detects urine in one second and embeds it with special sensors then pumps it into the collection bag which holds 1.7 quarts of urine.

Did you know that Urinary Relief Devices are the number one priority of female air crews for mission equipment? These devices are a huge improvement over what the crews are currently using too with a longer battery life, the ability to hold more urine, better pads and cups, and more anatomically accurate.

Updated technology can save lives because pilots can focus on their flight missions. Better devices also stop pilots from practicing “tactical dehydration” which can be a fatal error and limits their water intake and urine output during a flight. Dehydration can fatally impact G-tolerance situational awareness and decision-making ability for pilots flying fighter jets. AMXDmax allows pilots to properly hydrate and relieve their bladder midflight without interruption of the mission.

Air Force In Search of Better-Fitting Flight Suits

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By Debbie Gregory.

It’s been 25 years since female pilots were allowed in combat roles in the Air Force, but it’s taking a little longer for their equipment to catch up. Female aircrew members have been wearing suits that were designed to fit men’s bodies, not women’s.

The Air Force is looking to improve the fit of its flight suits, and to do so, the service branch is getting feedback from those in the know- it’s leaders and service members.There are more than 62,000 women serving in the Air Force, and more than 700 hundred of them are pilots.

“Over the past year, during numerous customer support visits and engagements with airmen, we received feedback from female aircrew members about concerns about the fit, performance, and availability [of] female aircrew flight equipment,” said Col. Brady Hauboldt, program executive officer for Agile Combat Support at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Also under review is the gear needed to fly for hours on end, including bladder relief system for pilots, also known as “piddle packs,” which were baggies lined with absorbent sponges. Now, flight crews are using an “Aircrew Mission Extender Device”, known as AMXDMax, which is a hand-carried battery-powered pump to flow urine to a reusable collection bag.

“We’ve put together a team; it’s a combination of Air Force Materiel Command and Air Combat Command to look at [this], and it’s beyond uniforms,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. “It’s uniforms, it’s gear, it’s kit.”

Preliminary recommendations to Goldfein are expected sometime this month.

“Those recommendations will then be prioritized and submitted for funding consideration,” said Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.

The feedback is based on sample sizes that were previously delivered to all Air Education and Training Command bases for new airmen to try.

“As of August 2018, the Defense Logistics Agency had over 6,000 flight suits on hand (or due in) to properly equip our female aircrew,” said Hauboldt.

It’s about having “all of our equipment for all of our airmen sized for them, that fits them, that works in harsh environments … to include long periods of time of wearing that gear,” Goldfein said. “We’re flying missions over places like Syria and others where it’s nine, 10 or even 11 hours in a cockpit. That doesn’t allow you to move. And if you have ill-fitting gear for that period of time, it’s going to affect how you do the mission.”