Clean water…PURE and simple.

Photos and Story by Sgt. Paul Evans/ Unit Public Affairs Reprsentative, HHC 103RD

Danville, KY- For many National Guard soldiers, April 9, 2010 may have been just another sunny Friday.  However, for the water and fuel platoon in the Kentucky National Guard’s Alpha Company of the 103rd Brigade Support Battalion, it was an important day of training on their new equipment. While some of the younger soldiers fresh out of Advanced Individual Training (AIT) had been trained on the new Lightweight Water Purification System, many of those who had been around a little while longer were working with this equipment for the first time.

As far as water purification is concerned, the soldiers of Alpha Co. aren’t fooling around.  In addition to familiarizing themselves with the equipment they will be using in the field at their annual training at Fort Knox and Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center this summer, these soldiers have already been called upon to serve their community once this year.  This occurred when water treatment facilities in Buckhorn, KY stopped working and the soldiers of Alpha Co. stepped in to keep clean water flowing to the city in the meantime using a different water purification system with more capabilities.

According to Sgt. Kevin Kreuger, the Lightweight Water Purification System works by pumping water from the source up to the filter tank, then pushing it through reverse osmosis elements which convert the water to drinkable status.  The system automatically cleans itself by backwashing water every 15 minutes.  It’s capable of producing 6-8 gallons of water per minute, approximately 3,000 gallons of water per day, and is mobile enough to be loaded into the back of a HMMWV (high-mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicle).  Typically, the system is used in the field for providing clean water to units such as infantry and field artillery.

Training on the water purification system was conducted on land provided by the Danville VFW’s Post 3634.  This has turned out to be a good arrangement for both groups, as it provides Alpha Co. land nearby to train on, it’s a good recruiting tool for the VFW, and veterans enjoy knowing that they’re doing something to help their comrades.  According to Post Commander Paul Poland, “that’s what we’re here for: to support them (soldiers) any way we can.” Coordinating the day’s training on the new water purification were Alpha Co.’s First Lieutenant Nicholas Ramsey and Staff Sgt. Greg Lark.  Alpha Co. is a line unit of Harrodsburg, KY’s 103 Brigade Support Battalion, which supports the 138th Field Artillery Brigade based out of Lexington in the Kentucky Army National Guard.

About kentuckyguard