News: Military components participate in annual water and maintenance competition
Story by Sgt. Jenie Fisher
FORT STORY, Va. – U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Training and Doctrine Command co-hosted the Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit Rodeo at Fort Story, Va., Aug. 21-25. Members of the Active Army, Reserve components, National Guard and the United States Marine Corps competed for the Sgt. Maj. John C. Marigliano Award of Excellence.
“We want to reinforce this mission which is so important to our Army,” said Brig. Gen. Gwen Bingham, commander, Ft. Lee Quartermaster School. “Water purification is important to our military forces both in peacetime and in war and we’re glad to know the men and women here are excited in participating in this event.”
The annual competition was held at Ft. Story, and hosted six teams with five members on each. The objective of the competition was to train and educate water production teams. It also acted as a training management tool for commanders to assess the competency and readiness of water purification teams.
The competition consisted of a 100-question written exam on four separate water purification platforms commonly deployed by the U.S. Army and hands-on evaluations of water purification techniques. During the hands-on testing, seawater was made drinkable by pumping it through machinery where it was filtered and purified. Evaluators determined the water’s purity, drinkability and the efficiency in which it was produced.
The 20th Quartermaster Company, 106th Transportation Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, based out of Fort Campbell, Ky. were named the 2011 ROWPU Rodeo winners. The 610th Quartermaster Company representing the United States Virgin Islands picked up second place. Third place was awarded to the 8th Engineer Support Battalion out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.
“It feels good to know we can get clean water to those in need,” said Cpl. Lawrence Contreas, a water technician with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, Camp Lejeune. “We know we can’t fly this water out or convoy it out we can produce it in almost any scenario.”
This competition ensures individual commands can provide direct support water purification, storage and distribution for brigade and echelons above on an area basis. Water purification and distribution units can provide up to 360,000 gallons of potable water per day from a fresh water source or 240,000 gallons from salt water.
Next year’s scheduled competition will expand to two phases and include 12-16 teams hosted in Virginia at both Ft. Story and Ft. Lee.