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    From soiled and dirty to clean and fresh: Laundry and shower specialists keep Beyond the Horizon 2019 exercise participants mission ready

    From soiled and dirty to clean and fresh: Laundry and shower specialists keep Beyond the Horizon 2019 exercise participants mission ready

    Photo By Staff Sgt. William Gillespie | Spc. Roy Peters, a Shower and Laundry Specialist with Illinois National Guard’s...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. William Gillespie 

    319th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    HUEHUETENANGO, Guatemala – In the hot sun of Central America sits the Laundry Advanced System manned by the Soldiers of the Illinois National Guard’s 126th Quartermaster Company (Field Modular Support) from Quincy, Illinois, to support Soldiers participating in Beyond the Horizon 2019 here.

    Beyond the Horizon is an annual exercise that combines medical, dental, veterinary and engineering missions to improve the operational readiness of U.S. Forces, reinforce region stability and interoperability with ally forces, which also results in benefits to the people of Guatemala.

    The exercise brings hundreds of U.S. Forces personnel to the region that need support, such as laundry services, during their time in country.

    Beginning in August 2018, the 126th QM CO started planning and preparing for the mission where their skills and expertise would be needed in the Guatemalan hills, home to the Guatemalan 5th Infantry Brigade here.

    “After many hours and even weeks of inspecting and prepping, our two (Laundry Advanced System) were shipped to the port in California and transported on a cargo ship through the Pacific to the port in Guatemala,” said 1st Lt. Mindy Carroll, 126th QM Co. officer in charge here.

    “Participating in this exercise is a good opportunity for our Soldiers to perform and perfect their jobs and increase readiness across the board,” said Sgt. Wyatt Huls, a shower and laundry specialist and rotation noncommissioned offer in charge assigned to the 126th QM Co.

    Additionally, knowing they are making the exercise easier on their fellow Soldiers is a bonus, he said.

    “Seeing the expressions on Soldiers faces when they come out of the shower, when they get fresh laundry; it really makes this military occupational specialty (job) satisfying,” said Huls.

    “We are committed to providing the best services possible during our six two-week rotations,” said Carroll.

    “From taking in laundry, sorting laundry, running the (Laundry Advanced System), troubleshooting the (Laundry Advanced System), sorting laundry again and finally distributing laundry back to the Soldier takes a team of up to six Soldiers,” Huls said.

    “When you initially start up the (Laundry Advanced System), it takes just under 500 gallons just to fill up the entire system,” said Huls. “Once it is filled, it is a self-sustaining system that recycles the water.”

    Daily operations include end of day clean-up operations that flushes the stihl and filters. After first operation fill, the water usage amounts to less than 100 gallons per day, he said.

    “The team is not just made up of shower and laundry specialist, we also have mechanics who can troubleshoot the (Laundry Advanced System) is and error occurs,” he said. “They use the technical manuals and computer error code on the system to identify and mitigate the repairs needed.”

    “Since we began operations on May 7, we have drawn nearly 10,000 gallons of water and processed 2,000 pounds of laundry for nearly 300 Soldiers,” said Carroll. “That’s pretty good for five days of operations.”



    Date Taken: 05.12.2019
    Date Posted: 05.15.2019 18:59
    Story ID: 322566
    Location: HUEHUETENANGO, GT 
    Hometown: QUINCY, IL, US

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