Photo By Sgt. Hector Rene Membreno-Canales | Onion Skins, pictured above, can each hold up to 3,000 gallons of potable water after being processed by the Tactical Water Purification System during Beyond the Horizon at Sonsonate, El Salvador, May 22, 2013. Beyond the Horizon is a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed, U.S. Southern Command-sponsored joint and combined field training humanitarian exercise in which troops specializing in engineering, construction and health care provide much-needed services to communities in need while receiving valuable deployment training and building important relationships with partner nations. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Hector Rene Membreno-Canales/Released)
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SONSONATE, El Salvador- For soldiers participating in Beyond the Horizon- El Salvadaor 2013, clean water is a vital part of their military operations. Without clean water, it becomes almost impossible to complete missions.
Spc. Joseph Pitzlin, water treatment specialist, 753rd Quartermaster Company, Green Bay, Wis., said his unit is responsible for purifying nearly 5,000 gallons of water a day.
“The unit we’re running here is called the T.W.P.S. It stands for Tactical Water Purification System. This unit can purify 1,500 gallons per hour,” Said Pitzlin.
A majority of the water produced for Joint Task Force Jaguar is used for laundry, showering, and cooking. According to Pitzlin, Joint Task Force Jaguar requires that each soldier is rationed a minimum of 15 gallons of water a day.
The 753rd Quartermaster Company isn’t only producing water for base operations but also for the Joint Task Force Jaguar engineering and dental sites. There are approximately 200 five-gallon water cans on site for soldiers to drink. Every night another 50 five-gallon water cans are filled and rotated out to ensure that there is never a shortage.
“During my nearly 29-day rotation, we’ve only come close to running out of water once, and it left us pretty immobile. You can eat MRE’s and sleep pretty much anywhere, but without any potable drinking water, we’re not going to last,” said Pitzlin.