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    Quartermaster troops process 'expeditionary' drinking water during the nationwide Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise 2011

    Quartermaster troops process 'expeditionary' drinking water during the nationwide Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise 2011

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Jo Hoots | Staff Sgt. Angel Cintron (left), 973rd Quartermaster Company, assists Maj. James J....... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Jo Hoots 

    214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT PICKETT, Va. - Using technology piloted in Iraq, soldiers participating in the June 1-17 Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise 2011, were able to provide tasty and, more important, clean drinking water to customers at numerous exercise training sites in Virginia and New Jersey.

    The prototype, called the Expeditionary Water Packaging System, is a mobile unit used by workers to manufacture bottles filled from any approved, pure water source and sterilized, capped, and labeled. QLLEX provided a realistic and challenging field environment for the soldiers who volunteered to train on its use.

    “This is the first time soldiers are actually learning how to operate it,” said Command Sgt. Maj. David Richter, command sergeant major for the 319th Quartermaster Battalion and supervisor at the site. Richter explained contractors would normally run the system, but the company that developed the technology agreed to allow U.S. Army Reserve soldiers premiere it at QLLEX.

    Pond water purified by members from 973rd Quartermaster Company through a Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit was trucked to the site and used by the group of volunteers to demonstrate that “soldiers have the ability to run this [system],” said Richter. “It took us about three days to set it up, and another five days to get the kinks out,” he explained. Once the system was completely operational, Richter noted they were able to produce about 2,800 bottles a day. The water was then distributed to Quartermaster soldiers training at Fort Pickett, as well as at other sites, including Fort Story, Fort Eustis, Fort A.P. Hill, and Fort Dix.

    Spc. Dien Nguyen from the 401st Transportation Company in Battle Creek, Mich., volunteered to support the mission because he relished the challenge of acquiring new skills. “We’re learning the system - how to operate it - versus spending fuel and personnel overseas to parcel all this out,” he said. “It cuts down on costs, and there’s less risk of loss of life because fewer convoys go out.
    It’s already in Afghanistan and allows soldiers to have potable water at the FOB [Forward Operating Base]. [With this system], you know where the water’s coming from and what’s in it.”

    Equally important was the testing conducted by the 1863rd Medical Detachment (Preventive Medicine) to guarantee the water is free from micro bacterial and other contaminants. “The PM is required to do the initial inspection every time potable water is deployed for use,” said Maj. James J. Houlihan, environmental science officer with the 1893rd. Typically, PM soldiers check for injuries and diseases that might take soldiers out of battle, said Houlihan, and this includes responsibilities beyond testing for contaminants in water. “We go a little bit into the health and welfare of the soldier.
    We don’t get into the counseling aspect, but we make sure they’re taking showers, eating right…making sure their morale is up.”

    Participating Quartermaster units at Fort Pickett that enjoyed the water produced by Nguyen included the 401st Quartermaster Team (Tactical Water Distribution) from Lockhaven, Pa.; 542nd Quartermaster Company, DuBois, Pa.; 716th Quartermaster Company, Jersey City, N.J.; 973rd Quartermaster Company, Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico; 223rd Transportation Company, Edgemont, Pa.; 1863rd Medical Detachment (Preventive Medicine), Columbia, Mo.; and the 334th Quartermaster Battalion, East Windsor, Conn. The 334th served as command and control for QLLEX 2011, and was augmented with soldiers from the 319th Quartermaster Battalion from Warrensville Heights, Ohio.



    Date Taken: 06.08.2011
    Date Posted: 06.13.2011 14:46
    Story ID: 72021
    Location: FORT PICKETT, VA, US 

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