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Fort Campbell’s 101st Sustainment Brigade lead logistics in Liberia

 

Written by Sgt. 1st Class Mary Rose Mittlesteadt
101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs

101st Sustainment Brigade - LifelinersFort Campbell KY - 101st Airborne Division

Buchanan, Liberia – As service members of the Joint Forces Command – United Assistance complete their missions, the logistical mission to redeploy the equipment used to battle the virus is picking up speed.

The 101st Sustainment Brigade (Lifeliners), Task Force Lifeliner, JFC-UA, from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, is the lead logistics element for Operation United Assistance in West Africa.

Task Force Lifeliner brings numerous capabilities for assisting the government of Liberia and the U.S. Agency for International Development-led efforts to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in western Africa.

Pvt. 1st Class Joshua Bone with the 227th Quartermaster Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, Task Force Lifeliners, Joint Task Force - United Assistance, offloads a tactical water purification system (TWPS) at a waterfront in Buchanan, Liberia, on Jan. 8, 2015. The TWPS is a logistical capability that is used to provide clean water for forces supporting Operation United Assistance.  (Sgt. 1st Class Mary Rose Mittlesteadt, 101st Sustainment Brigade)

Pvt. 1st Class Joshua Bone with the 227th Quartermaster Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, Task Force Lifeliners, Joint Task Force – United Assistance, offloads a tactical water purification system (TWPS) at a waterfront in Buchanan, Liberia, on Jan. 8, 2015. The TWPS is a logistical capability that is used to provide clean water for forces supporting Operation United Assistance. (Sgt. 1st Class Mary Rose Mittlesteadt, 101st Sustainment Brigade)

These capabilities will also lead the redeployment of the service members and their equipment back home upon completion of the mission.

One of the unique capabilities brought by 101st Sustainment Brigade is a tactical water purification system, also referred to as TWPS. The tactical water purification system is part of the brigade’s capability to allow the task force to self sustain by making drinkable water out of virtually any type of water – salt, brackish or sewage water – with minimal contracted water.

“Specifically for Operation United Assistance, the 101st Sustainment Brigade deployed the TWPS to support the JFC-UA forces in Liberia, primarily due to not completely understanding the environment and feasibility of bottled water for consumption,” said Maj. Brian Cozine, the 101st Sustainment Brigade support operations officer.

Although the purification system was brought in as a backup plan, it has been put to good use to augment the contracted bulk water and consumable bottled water contract.

“It can produce up to 30,000 gallons a day from fresh water and 24,000 gallons from seawater,” said Staff Sgt. Tammie Beasley, the senior water treatment noncommissioned officer for the brigade.

Pvt. 1st Class Tieyu Zhang with the 227th Quartermaster Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, Task Force Lifeliners, Joint Task Force - United Assistance, prepares a pump to be put into the seawater as part of the employment of a tactical water purification system (TWPS) at a waterfront in Buchanan, Liberia, on Jan. 8, 2015. The TWPS is a logistical capability that is used to provide clean water for forces supporting Operation United Assistance. (Sgt. 1st Class Mary Rose Mittlesteadt, 101st Sustainment Brigade)

Pvt. 1st Class Tieyu Zhang with the 227th Quartermaster Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, Task Force Lifeliners, Joint Task Force – United Assistance, prepares a pump to be put into the seawater as part of the employment of a tactical water purification system (TWPS) at a waterfront in Buchanan, Liberia, on Jan. 8, 2015. The TWPS is a logistical capability that is used to provide clean water for forces supporting Operation United Assistance. (Sgt. 1st Class Mary Rose Mittlesteadt, 101st Sustainment Brigade)

The system is capable of high levels of production.

The 101st Sustainment Brigade’s 227th Quartermaster Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, water purification team draws the water into the purification system straight from the Atlantic Ocean, just north of the Sea of Guinea.

“We use the seawater for the mere abundance of seawater versus freshwater or well water,” said Capt. Patrick Peacock, commander of the 227th QM Company.

The potable water generated by the system can be used by the forces in Liberia for anything, to include drinking water, but will be primarily used for wash racks to clean equipment to Department of Agriculture standards, prior to redeployment.

All equipment must be inspected by customs to ensure they are clean from any agriculture debris, said Cozine. The system is the most cost-effective means to allow the JFC-UA forces to successfully redeploy their equipment.

The 227th QM Company is not the only unit in the Army that has provided this critical commodity to a humanitarian or combat mission. Tactical water purification systems have been used many other austere locations to include Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti.

In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to ease the water shortage during Operation United Response in 2009-2010, a water purification system was immediately put to use by the 16th Quartermaster Company, 530th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade.

Like many other unsung heroes of the Army, Peacock’s Soldiers, also known as “water dogs” find the ability to provide the resource of water a fantastic opportunity.

“It is remarkable to have my water section pull water from the coast of Liberia and make potable water,” said Peacock.

As the brigade anticipates the arrival of ships, into the Port of Buchanan, to redeploy equipment back to the U.S., it will continue to use the tactical water purification system to ensure the successful redeployment of equipment.


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