By Staff Sgt. Kyle Richardson, 41st Fires Brigade, PAOAugust 29, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas--The "water dogs" of Company A, 589th Brigade Support Battalion, 41st Fires Brigade pumped nonpotable water from Lake Belton and converted it into potable water using a tactical water purification system during a three-day field training exercise at the Belton Lake and Outdoor Recreation Area from Aug. 16-18.
This time there were no picnics at the lake as the Water Assassins headed to BLORA to train up on the essential skills of water purification, water production and distribution. The 28 Soldiers took the next few days to setup tents, purifying equipment, draw nonpotable water, produce potable water, maintain safe levels of drinking water, and tear down.
Within approximately four hours of reaching the training area, the unit had their water purification stations setup and running; ready for Soldiers to drink clean water. The Water Assassins can purify water around the clock and store up to 15,000 gallons of water. The platoon can also support up to a battalion sized element.
"We can pull water from almost anywhere, said 1st Lt. Brian Harris, a platoon leader for Company A, 589th BSB."If it's saltwater or oil, it doesn't matter, we can purify it. However, depending on where the source is coming from determines how long it would take to purify."
It has been more than three years since the unit has trained on water purification because of the Army's focus on deployment operations. Now that the deployments are cutting back, the 41st Fires Bde. has gone back to full spectrum operations; the leadership in Company A, 589th BSB is looking forward to training on more essential tasks.
"You need air to breathe and then you need water, said Sgt. Tylan Bohman, native of Palmer, Alaska, Company A, 589th BSB."Guns and ammo are important in a deployed environment, but you need water almost every day. It's important to know our jobs and to deliver fresh water when needed."
The Water Assassins use four major filtrations systems essentially creating the ideal water. Bohman said their water was called "Victory Water."
"When the water goes through the tactical water purification systems, the system is ripping apart the water molecules and then reassembling them in into so-called perfect water molecules," said Staff Sgt. Paul Naccarato, water platoon's senior noncommissioned officer, Company A, 589th BSB. "Once the process is all done, the water comes out better than bottled water. Most bottled water brands only use the process known as reverse osmosis. We use reverse osmosis, microfiltration, and several other filters throughout our process."
Although water purification isn't as adventurous as tanks, rockets and ammo, but it's just as important and the Water Assassins will continue to train and provide clean water for Soldiers in need.