512th Water Dawgs keep base hydrated
March 24, 2011
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Ever wonder where those ubiquitous pallets of water come from'
You can thank two very hard working Soldiers from 512th Quartermaster Company, 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), who keep Joint Base Balad moving and hydrated.
The Water Distribution Team, composed of just two Soldiers, Sgt. Heather Romine, water distribution noncommissioned officer in charge and a native of Fennimore, Wis., and Spc. Jaylon Chavis, a native of Beaumont, Texas.
Their routine seems quite simple: Find out who needs water and deliver it.
But the work that goes into that seemingly simple process takes a lot of careful planning, calculation and work to appear effortless. The first part of the process is determining each site's authorized head count, which establishes the amount of water each site can receive.
"We go around each night, or the morning before the delivery, to all the water drop sites to see which area needs more water the next delivery day, based on their allotted water count," said Sgt. Romine.
The following day, the team heads to the Class 1 Yard to pick up and deliver the water, which is bottled at the Oasis Water Bottling Plant.
"After the water pallets are loaded onto the trucks, we pick up a fork lift driver and begin the deliveries all around Joint Base Balad," said Sgt. Romine. She added that they deliver to both the east and west side, all the housing and work areas, and a variety of other spots.
"We deliver water five times a week and average about 100 to 150 pallets a week," said Sgt. Romine. But in the summer, she said that the water spikes to 250 pallets a week.
She added that Spc. Chavis is also important to the process. "(Specialist) Chavis is very proficient at her job and makes sure that I don't overlook any details," said Sgt. Romine.
Sergeant Romine and Spc. Chavis realize the importance of their work.
"People depend on the water that we deliver," said Sgt. Romine. "Overall, I love my job."
The team's mission is vital to everyone else's mission. All units and personnel on Joint Base Balad depend on the water.