574th QM Company Hydrates Coalition Forces
Story by Pfc. Fabian Ortega
64th CSG PAO
AL ASAD, IRAQ — Daily water consumption in Iraq will swell during summer, when temperatures soar past the century mark; Soldiers of the 574th Quartermaster Company will work round the clock, purifying fresh water from the nearby Euphrates River and other sources for daily use on Al Asad.
A small team of Soldiers, or "water dawgs," as they are affably nicknamed, man the Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Units that provide the filtration needed to create potable water. The generator powered ROWPU's operate constantly, producing filtered water for distribution or storage on Al Asad throughout the year.
"Our Soldiers do a tremendous job here to sustain the base with its water needs," said Sgt. Shontrina L. Jones, a water treatment specialist with the 574th and Non Commissioned Officer in Charge at the water treatment point at Al Asad.
When the 574th arrived at Al Asad, the treatment facility was running at mission capable strength. A renovation had to take place, almost building from the ground up, to ensure all equipment was operating smoothly for optimum productivity, Jones said.
The 574th provides potable water for all "hard shelled buildings", or infrastructure already in place before U.S. and Coalition forces seized control of the former Iraqi Airbase, more than 2 years ago.
"Many of the buildings on Al Asad use the water we provide through our filtration system." said Jones. Such as the base hospital, she added, explaining that without this, basic hospital functions such as cleaning equipment and meeting the hospital staff's needs would not be possible.
Showering, laundering, personal hygiene, food preparation, medical treatment and something as simple as making ice, are some of the common uses for the water consumed each day in Iraq.
"We are the source for potable water," said Spc. Randelle R. Haubold, a water treatment specialist with the 574th.
"We'll have (maintenance units) come down and fill up their high pressure system washers, for tasks around the base," Haubold said.
The challenge of sustaining the second largest airbase in Iraq, has kept the water dawgs op tempo since arriving in country.
"We have two teams on rotating shifts, working 24 hours," said Jones.
The goal is to establish a water production site that will remain capable of supporting the demands of Al Asad, said Jones. Plans are in the works, to almost double the output of potable water as a preventative measure against water shortage, she added.
"Our workload will definitely increase, but I know my staff is more than capable of handling anything asked of them," said a confident Jones.
"My team remains flexible and that allows us to accomplish our missions." "I could not have asked for a better staff to work with," she said.
This seemingly tall task, is nothing this small team of water dawgs can't handle.
574th Quartermaster Company currently falls under the control and command of the 64th Corps Support Group, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom
574th Water Treatment NCOIC