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December 12, 2013
T. Anthony Bell

FORT LEE, Va. (Dec. 12, 2013) -- The 92W Water Treatment Specialist Course is the longest of the Quartermaster School's advanced individual training areas of study. Thirteen weeks in duration, it has a sizable dose of classroom instruction but also features plenty of hands-on training.

During the seventh week of the course, Soldiers are immersed with the operational and technical aspects of the Army's Tactical Water Purification System. Working at the TWPS Training Area, the students are required to set up the site and prepare the equipment, operate it to standard and then shut it down.

Sgt. 1st Class Ronald Moore, noncommissioned officer in charge of the TWPS site, said the students training there Friday were in the second of three weeks of instruction.

"This phase is very critical because it allows them to get to know how to properly maintain it, dismantle it and shut it down," he said, noting that maintenance and proper operation are tantamount to supporting troops in the field. "These are skills that will help sustain the equipment during deployments."

Working in groups, the team members read from manuals, discussed their plans of action and operated the machinery under the watchful eyes of instructors.

Pvt. Tyana Dixon, one of the students, said she was encouraged with the instruction.

"I think it was great," said the Romeo Company, 262nd QM Bn., Soldier. "It provides a lot of hands-on training that will help prepare us for our assignments."

The TWPS uses reverse osmosis technology to process approximately 1,500 gallons of water per hour "if you're purifying from a fresh or brackish water source," said Moore. "It can process up to 1,200 gallons per hour if it is a salt water source."

Dixon went on to say the end result of the training, getting the water purified and ready for consumption, is somewhat the reward for the work put into the process.

"The most challenging part is being able to complete the process, knowing that the chemicals and everything else you added actually did purify your water," she said. "If you didn't do the right thing, or take the right steps, it could cause Soldiers harm or make them sick. You definitely want to make sure you're doing your job correctly."

In the eighth week of the course and final week at the TWPS site, students will learn troubleshooting procedures and techniques. The last part of the instruction includes a hands-on and written test.