In one embodiment of the present invention an oxygen iodine laser includes a gas mixing section. Ground state oxygen and a carrier gas are introduced into the first gas mixing section, sometimes separately. The laser includes a discharge region to generate at least said excited oxygen from the flow of the first gas mixing section. A sensitizer gas having a lower ionization threshold than ground state oxygen is also introduced into the first gas mixing section, such that electrons are more easily produced in the electrical generator. The laser system includes introducing a source of iodine into the excited singlet delta oxygen flow to generate a laser-active gas. In another embodiment a conditioner is placed into the gas mixing section to help mix the flow and/or introduce one or more of the aforementioned gases.