By Sgt. Jenie Fisher, 27th Public Affairs DetachmentSeptember 1, 2011
FORT STORY, Va. (Aug. 30, 2011) --The 20th Quartermaster Company, 106th Transportation Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, based out of Fort Campbell, Ky. was named the 2011 Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit (ROWPU) 'Rodeo' winner, at the end of a joint-service competition held here, Aug. 21-25.
U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Training and Doctrine Command co-hosted the event, as teams from the active Army, Reserve Component, and the U.S. Marine Corps competed for the Sgt. Maj. John C. Marigliano Award of Excellence.
The Army National Guards' 610th Quartermaster Company from the U.S. Virgin Islands picked up second place. Third place was taken by the U.S. Marine Corps' 8th Engineer Support Battalion out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.
"We want to reinforce this mission which is so important to our Army," said Brig. Gen. Gwen Bingham, Commandant of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Center and School, Ft. Lee, Va. "Water purification is important to our military forces both in peacetime and in war and we're glad to know the men and women here are excited in participating in this event."
The annual competition was held at Ft. Story, Va. and hosted six teams with five members on each. The objective of the competition was to train and educate water production teams. It also acted as a training management tool for commanders to assess the competency and readiness of water purification teams.
The competition consisted of a 100-question written exam covering four separate water purification "platforms" commonly deployed by the U.S. Army, and hands-on evaluations of water purification techniques.
During the hands-on testing, seawater was made drinkable by pumping it through machinery where it was filtered and purified. Evaluators determined the water's purity, drinkability and the efficiency with which it was produced.
"It feels good to know we can get clean water to those in need," said Marine Cpl. Lawrence Contreas, a water technician with the 8th ESB. "We know (if) we can't fly this water out or convoy it out, we can produce it in almost any scenario."
This competition ensures individual commands can provide direct support water purification, storage and distribution for brigade, and echelons above brigade, on an area basis. Water purification and distribution units can provide up to 360,000 gallons of potable water per day from a fresh water source or 240,000 gallons from salt water.
Next year's scheduled competition will be held at Fort Story and Fort Lee, expand to two phases and include 12-16 teams.