August 21, 2009
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Soldiers drink it every day, but how many wonder where it comes from, or how it is processed to make it drinkable'
The 102nd Quartermaster Company from Fort Campbell, Ky., can answer that. Originally a fuel supply unit, the 102nd now conducts water supply and purification operations for Soldiers on the contingency operating locations surrounding Joint Base Balad.
Before deploying to Iraq, the 102nd sent teams to Fort Story, Va., where they received training on how to operate and maintain a Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit, said Sgt. Daniel Robosky, a 102nd QM Co. ROWPU operator.
"Essentially, the systems are the same," said Robosky. "The filters are different and the processes are slightly different, but it was a really easy transition from fuel."
With the change from fuel to water, the 102nd received assistance from Soldiers from other units with extensive experience in ROWPU operations.
"There are two really good NCOs from the 910th QM Co. here, Staff Sgt. (Douglas) Robinson and Sgt. (Ron) Edison, who have been giving us a lot of help and teaching us how to operate the things better than how we were trained," said Spc. Samuel Carney, a Paris, Ohio native, and 102nd QM Co. ROWPU operator.
While Kellog, Brown and Root Inc. processes the potable water on JBB, the 102nd is responsible for potable water on surrounding COLs Normandy, Caldwell and Poliwoda. The water is processed on site where it can be used for showers and other running water facilities, said Robosky.
The water comes from local, natural sources such as canals and wells, then it is processed and made into water Soldiers can use, said Capt. Charles Allen, 102nd QM Co. commander.
"It makes us feel good that we can supply water to everybody out here," said Carney