TINIAN, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands --
Water purification technicians with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, Marine Aircraft Group 12, provide what could be considered the most critical resource to any exercise, operation and survival.
Without purified water, any mission is at risk. Marines suffering from dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke or water contamination may not be able to perform the tasks they deployed to do.
The water purification technicians have set up shop on Chulu Beach on the island of Tinian in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, the same beach Marines used to conduct a tactical maneuver recorded in history as “the perfect amphibious landing” during World War II.
“We are providing water for this entire exercise,” said Lance Cpl. Fabian A. Gomezortiz, a water purification technician with MWSS-171, MAG-12.
“The fresh water supply on the island is very limited. In order for the Marines here to be able to operate and not affect the supply of water the islanders need, it is crucial that we do our jobs as efficiently as possible.”
The ‘water dogs’ take salt water from the Pacific Ocean and circulate it through their light-weight purification system. “This system basically does reverse osmosis,” said Cpl. Adam Santana Jr., a water purification technician with MWSS-171, MAG-12. “It cleans the water by circulating it through several filters and high pressure pumps removing all harmful sediments and bacteria.”
Clean water can be a valuable morale booster as well. “With this water, the Marines will be able to take a clean shower,” said Santana. “A nice shower after working all day in this heat can really change someone’s mood drastically from feeling bad to feeling great.”
The ability to provide troops with clean potable water has been a key figure in military expeditions throughout history.
The ‘Water Dogs’ on Tinian will provide their fellow Marines with clean water throughout the entirety of Exercise Geiger Fury 2012.