Vermont National Guard Logo News
Articles
News | Oct. 26, 2017

National Guard purifies and distributes water

By Spc. Avery Cunningham 172nd Public Affairs Detachment

National Guardsmen are working together to supply the local area with drinking water using their reverse osmosis water purification units (ROWPU). The units supply anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 gallons of water a day. From the early morning and into the night residents with containers and tanks on their trucks make their way to receive clean water.

The 714th Quartermaster Company, 292nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Puerto Rico National Guard, operates a ROWPU capable of preparing 3,000 gallons of water an hour, and the Mobile Construction Team, 200th Red Horse Squadron, Ohio National Guard, runs a smaller ROWPU capable of filtering 1,500 gallons an hour. They are assisted by the Alpha Company, 139th Brigade Support Battalion, South Dakota National Guard, who use their load handling system compatible water tank rack (hippo) to fill water containers for residents and go on missions to smaller communities who cannot reach the area.

Along with the hippos from South Dakota, local government trucks are also working with the service members to supply water to the region.

“We supply their trucks with water, and they distribute it to the different communities,” said Spc. Jose Bonilla, 714th QC, 292nd CSSBN.

The unit has been in Comerio for three weeks and has been fighting the elements the entire time. The area still experiences occasional flooding and mudslides following heavy rain and after the unit first set-up by the river 36 hours of rainfall threatened to flood out the machines, prompting them to maneuver all of their equipment elsewhere.

As a result of the continuing natural disasters, the local water company Acueductos, tests the water every seven days for microbes and other contaminants to ensure that it is safe to drink, said Bonilla.

The challenges have not slowed down the Soldiers. Due to flooding, they moved to a new location upstream where they prepared pools to draw from.

“We fill everybody up to capacity when they show up with their gallon jugs and their tanks,” said Isaac Strickler, MCT, 200th RHS.

Many of the locals make the trip, bringing water jugs, coolers, tanks, barrels, and even rinsed out laundry detergent bottles to hold water, and they have been appreciative of all that the service members have done.

“Most of the local community has been very receptive to us coming here,” said Strickler. “They’re very happy to have us. We have people stop by, giving us hugs, giving us cokes to drink, and a few families in the local area have supplied meals.”

There’s still a need for purified water while infrastructure is repaired; the guardsmen report that they are able and willing to stay as long as their fellow Americans need support.
National Guard News
An Airman from the 14th Air Support Operations Squadron jumps from a Pennsylvania Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook during airborne operations at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. The pilots and crew chiefs of the Chinook worked to provide the Airmen with a stable platform as they moved over the drop area.
Fort Indiantown Gap hosts airborne training
By Brad Rhen, | May 20, 2022
FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – For the first time in about a decade, paratroopers dotted the skies above Fort Indiantown Gap May 17-18.In what is believed to be the first airborne training conducted at Fort Indiantown Gap in 10...

Active, Reserve and Army National Guard components attend a vehicle recovery course at the Regional Training Site-Maintenance (RTS-M), 177th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, Fort Custer Training Center, Augusta, Michigan, May 19, 2022.
Active, Guard and Reserve Soldiers attend vehicle recovery course
By Master Sgt. David Eichaker, | May 20, 2022
AUGUSTA, Mich. – Soldiers assigned to all three components of the Army attended a wheeled vehicle recovery course at Fort Custer Training Center in May. The Regional Training Site-Maintenance (RTS-M) facility hosted the...

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ezekiel Wieland, 272nd Cyber Operations Squadron, 110th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard, participates in a cyber-warfare training event, Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, Michigan, March 8, 2022.
AI-powered app aims to discover talent in Guard, Reserve
By David Vergun, | May 20, 2022
ARLINGTON, Va. – Members of the Reserve and National Guard are highly skilled across various private-sector industries and have the potential to make substantial contributions to Defense Department missions, a DOD official...

Alaska Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Steven Borcherding, right, 176th Maintenance Squadron aero repair, and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kyle Lawrie, left, 3rd Maintenance Squadron aero repair, help the passenger of a May 16, 2022, Taylorcraft F-19 crash near Goose Bay Airport, Alaska.
Alaska Guard Soldier, Airmen help rescue plane crash victims
By David Bedard, | May 20, 2022
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Two Airmen and an Alaska Army National Guard Soldier helped rescue two plane crash victims near Goose Bay Airport west of Anchorage May 16.Alaska Army National Guard Spc. Zach Cherry,...

U.S. Army Spc. Tyler Martin, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter repairer with Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, Virginia National Guard, conducts maintenance on a Black Hawk at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, March 18, 2022.
Virginia Guard keeps Black Hawks on mission in Kosovo
By Sgt. 1st Class Warren Wright, | May 20, 2022
CAMP BONDSTEEEL, Kosovo – U.S. Army helicopter repairers and maintainers play a critical role in keeping aviation assets flying through routine upkeep and conducting on-the-spot repairs, keeping helicopters safe and ready to...