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NEWS | Feb. 18, 2016

Creating an ‘Army of One’ between Soldiers through water purification

By Sgt. Bethany L. Huff 204th Public Affairs Detachment

FORT POLK, La. - The Joint Readiness Training Center hosts units from across the Army for various different training events. From preparing to deploy to ensuring mission readiness, the JRTC experience is one that elevates all participants to be on their game throughout their duration.
This experience has Soldiers working together that would not normally work together, like Reservists in leading roles with active duty Soldiers in supporting roles.
“This is a great way to promote team building,” said Pfc. Fernando Moya, a water treatment specialist, with the 574th Quartermaster Company, 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. “It doesn’t matter where we’re from; we’re all here to accomplish a mission, together.”
Moya, a native of Tuscan, went on to state that while in Advanced Individual Training (AIT); he learned his craft alongside Reservists and National Guard Soldiers.
“I think that it is essential to work alongside each other,” said Moya. “We’re located in different areas, so we’re able to share knowledge among the different systems that we use on a daily basis. For example, I work in Alaska and we don’t use the winter systems because it’s always frozen up there, but these guys use it all the time where they’re from.”
The environment found within Fort Polk is rigorous and forces Soldiers to adapt and overcome obstacles found within the “box” or within exercise phases. Soldiers rely on each other to provide simple necessities that aren’t easily accessible within the woods. For example, the water purification team provides potable water to the soldiers located within the “box.”
“We’re supplying and resupplying purified water to the Soldiers within the rotation,” said Spc. Fearon Williams, a water purification specialist with the 574th Quartermaster Company, 17th CSSB.
There are five 3,000 gallon bags that hold the newly purified water and are distributed out to Soldiers in the field. The Jamaica, Queens, New York, native stated that the water treatment process provides 1,500 gallons of purified water per hour. The water is purified from a creek found within the area and is tested to ensure the water can be treated and used for various things such as shower water, drinking water and cooking water.
“This process is very important,” said Williams. “We all need water, just as we all need to work as a team to accomplish our mission.”