Fort Lee Soldiers erect shower facility
November 23, 2011
FORT LEE, Va. (Nov. 24, 2011)- The 49th Quartermaster Group's 16th Quartermaster Company is a unit that specializes in shower, laundry and clothing repair.
Like most units, it maintains its proficiency through a combination of individual, team and unit training in both garrison and field environments.
Oftentimes, maintaining unit proficiency means reinforcing basic skills to perform specific missions or to conform to specific unit standards.
On Nov. 16, the 16th conducted a short block of training to show 24 unit members how to erect a basic shower facility at Training Area 27.
"The purpose of our training was to show them how to lay it out, set it up and operate it," said Sgt. 1st Class Juana Blackshear, the noncommissioned officer in charge.
Blackshear, who has more than 20 years of experience, said the training was especially important to newly-assigned Soldiers who have basic skills but need exposure to unit standards.
"In advanced individual training, they teach them a certain way," she said, "but when they come to the unit, we build on those skills, teaching them a field-expedient way."
The training was simple: erect a 12-head shower to standard. The noncommissioned officers conducted a brief classroom session and the Soldiers were put to work soon after, amidst a pouring, freezing rain. Piping, shower stalls and other equipment were removed from trucks and laid out on the ground. The Soldiers moved about the area standing up walls, fitting the pipes and tightening connections. The facility was erected in about 45 minutes.
In addition to reinforcing skill sets, Blackshear said the training also helps Soldiers understand maintenance and how serviceable equipment should perform in the field.
"We had faults in the equipment and we had them explain how they would troubleshoot it," she said. "
Blackshear said although the training was brief, she sensed that Soldiers enjoyed it.
"They like to do what they came in the Army to do," she said. "They ask questions and work as a team. They are happy, and that makes me happy. I like to see them grow and thrive."
The 16th QM Co. is an element of the 530th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and one of the few field services units in the Army.