• Spc. Calvin Wilhite, an 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, wheeled vehicle mechanic from Memphis, Tenn., delivers bottled water with the help of a civilian contractor forklift at a living area here Nov. 18. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs)

    Spc. Calvin Wilhite, an 1174th Transportation...

    Spc. Calvin Wilhite, an 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, wheeled vehicle mechanic from Memphis, Tenn., delivers bottled water with the help of a civilian contractor forklift at a...

  • Sgt. Larry Turnage, an 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, truck driver and Memphis, Tenn., native, guides a forklift delivering a pallet of water bottles to a work area here Nov. 18. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs)

    Sgt. Larry Turnage, an 1174th Transportation...

    Sgt. Larry Turnage, an 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, truck driver and Memphis, Tenn., native, guides a forklift delivering a pallet of water bottles to a work area here Nov. 18...

  • Sgt. Larry Turnage, an 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, truck driver and Memphis, Tenn., native, guides a forklift delivering a pallet of water bottles to a work area here Nov. 18. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs)

    Sgt. Larry Turnage, an 1174th Transportation...

    Sgt. Larry Turnage, an 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, truck driver and Memphis, Tenn., native, guides a forklift delivering a pallet of water bottles to a work area here Nov. 18...

  • A small convoy of 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, trucks and a civilian contractor forklift delivers upwards of 30,000 bottles of waters to troops and civilians around base here, Nov. 18. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs)

    A small convoy of 1174th Transportation...

    A small convoy of 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, trucks and a civilian contractor forklift delivers upwards of 30,000 bottles of waters to troops and civilians around base here, Nov...

  • Raymond Roehr, a civilian contractor equipment operator and Pasadena, Texas, native takes a pallet of water bottles off of an 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, truck to deliver it to a work area here, Nov. 18. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs)

    Raymond Roehr, a civilian contractor equipment...

    Raymond Roehr, a civilian contractor equipment operator and Pasadena, Texas, native takes a pallet of water bottles off of an 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, truck to deliver it to a...

  • Raymond Roehr, a civilian contractor equipment operator and Pasadena, Texas, native takes a pallet of water bottles off of an 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, truck to deliver it to a work area here, Nov. 18. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs)

    Raymond Roehr, a civilian contractor equipment...

    Raymond Roehr, a civilian contractor equipment operator and Pasadena, Texas, native takes a pallet of water bottles off of an 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, truck to deliver it to a...

  • A small of 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, trucks and a civilian contractor forklift convoy delivers upwards of 30,000 bottles of waters to troops and civilians around base here, Nov. 18. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs)

    A small of 1174th Transportation Company, 395th...

    A small of 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, trucks and a civilian contractor forklift convoy delivers upwards of 30,000 bottles of waters to troops and civilians around base here, Nov...

  • An 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, armored truck hauls thousands of water bottles to be delivered to a group of Marines and others here Nov. 18. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs)

    An 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat...

    An 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, armored truck hauls thousands of water bottles to be delivered to a group of Marines and others here Nov. 18. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C...

  • Raymond Roehr, a civilian contractor equipment operator and Pasadena, Texas, native takes a pallet of water bottles off of an 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, truck to deliver it to a work area here, Nov. 18. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs)

    Raymond Roehr, a civilian contractor equipment...

    Raymond Roehr, a civilian contractor equipment operator and Pasadena, Texas, native takes a pallet of water bottles off of an 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, truck to deliver it to a...

CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION Q-WEST, Iraq - While walking around Q-West, it's likely that one might come across a pallet of water near a living area, place of work, or elsewhere.

The Soldiers of the 1174th Transportation Company, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, deliver an average of more than 30,000 bottles of water weekly all over the base here.

The water is pumped in from the Tigris River by an Iraqi civilian company to a Q-West water purification facility. An American civilian contractor facility then bottles and palletizes the water before sending it to a sustenance storage facility for delivery by 1174th.

Sgt. Larry Turnage, an 1174th truck driver and Memphis, Tenn., native, said that despite rumors of water shortages in the past, no one has ever ordered him to deliver fewer bottles to the troops and civilians here.

"We've been steady rolling," Turnage said, grinning.

Turnage and Spc. Calvin Wilhite, an 1174th wheeled vehicle mechanic also from Memphis, Tenn., drive the large flatbed trucks used to deliver the water.

"Everybody needs water," Wilhite said.

"Who else is going to load it' [Our job] is very important."

Raymond Roehr, a civilian contractor equipment operator and Pasadena, Texas, native drives the 8,000 pound forklift that takes the water bottle pallets off of the trucks and places them on the ground near containerized housing units and work areas.

"You've got a responsibility there - somebody has to do it," Roehr, a former Sailor and Soldier, said.

Delivering water around Q-West is a small part of the 1174th's mission, Turnage explained.

This transportation company transports a wide variety of equipment and supplies across Multinational Division - North, the 15th Sust. Bde. "Wagonmasters" area of operations, Turnage said.

Turnage and Wilhite are on the company's load team which prepares trucks for their next mission and allows drivers to get needed rest after long hours on the road and back-to-back or "turn and burn" missions, Turnage said.

Turnage noted that his team no longer has days off since the number of driving missions increased.

"[The] morale of the guys is high - strong," he said.

Wilhite felt that it was all a part of the job.

He shrugged and said, "I'm just being a Soldier."

Page last updated Mon November 23rd, 2009 at 10:54