Water packaging trailer purifies field H20

| March 27, 2015 | 0 Comments
Col. David Preston, USARPAC sustainment division chief, tries purified water from the Water in a Box system during a weeklong field-testing and train-the-trainer exercise on Schofield Barracks, Feb. 9-18. The WiaB can produce several days of water for a company-sized element.

Col. David Preston, USARPAC sustainment division chief, tries purified water from the Water in a Box system during a weeklong field-testing and train-the-trainer exercise on Schofield Barracks, Feb. 9-18. The WiaB can produce several days of water for a company-sized element.

Staff Sgt. Kyle Richardson
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — U.S. Army-Pacific Soldiers recently participated in a weeklong field-testing and train-the-trainer exercise using the Aspen 2000 water purification system combined with a water packaging trailer known as “Water in a Box.”

Currently, there are only two such systems in use in the Army: one with USARPAC and the other with U.S. Army-South.

Although the system is still in the concept phase, water treatment Soldiers with the 40th Composite Supply Company, 45th Sustainment Brigade, 8th Theater Sust. Command, will learn how to operate the system and then provide feedback to help improve the system and design.

“The 40th CSC are our technical experts; they are the unit that can best field this equipment,” said Col. David Preston, USARPAC sustainment division chief. “They know water, they have the best training on water production and purification, and they can provide adequate feedback.”

As resident experts in water purification and distribution, the 40th CSC water treatment Soldiers will train Soldiers in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, on the Water in a Box system. The 3rd BCT will then use the system during Pacific Pathways.

“We have identified an issue with water distribution and production throughout the Army. Bottle water on the battlefield takes a lot of assets to transport and store. … This system creates a new capability,” added Preston.

Eric Nelson, a civilian contractor with U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force, said approximately 50 percent of logistics involving the Army’s resupply missions revolve around water.

“We’re attempting to bring water to the frontline Soldiers,” said Nelson. “This system is designed to go to the forward edge of a combat environment from a platoon-sized to a company-sized (combat operation post). It can purify any water source, and it doesn’t matter the purity of the water or the contamination of the water.”

Pvt. Elton Barnes, a water treatment specialist with 40th CSC, said he felt honored that he was a part of something that could potentially save lives. Even with only six months in the Army, he saw the potential in the new system.

“Although there are several larger systems operated by water treatment specialists, Water in a Box allows forward deployed units to become more self-sufficient. It reduces the need for us to deliver water or store it,” said Barnes.

In any environment, water is a necessity – for drinking, cooking, personal hygiene and operations.

Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Love, USARPAC fuel and water treatment supervisor, said that over all branches of military in the Indo-Asia Pacific region, the Army is the primary lead on water purification and distribution.

“USARPAC is always looking for innovative technology to advance our mission capabilities, and this concept system is right on time,” said Love. “We can test this system on its practicality and durability. The Pacific region has almost every environment imaginable. The Water in a Box system could potentially solve future problems and limit wasting resources.”

With the input from the 40th CSC and the Tropic Lightning Soldiers, Water in a Box could receive valuable changes, making it more efficient. The input gained from the testing could help the system come closer to a final design.

If there was ever a question about the water’s quality or taste, Barnes put it to the test.

“The water tastes good,” he said. “It tastes just like regular water.”

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Category: Exercises, News

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