Kazakhstani Troops Keep Water Flowing at Iraq Outpost
American Forces Press Service
FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq, May 12, 2008 Six Kazakhstani soldiers completed a transfer of operations May 8 at Combat Outpost Murray that will provide U.S. soldiers of 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, with clean, drinkable water.
The Kazakhstani Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit team’s equipment pumps water directly from the Tigris River and filters it in large bladders that desalinate and distill it, reducing the risk of waterborne diseases. Their equipment can produce 2,500 gallons of drinkable water per hour, enough to provide soldiers with clean water for laundry and shower facilities.
The ROWPU team took over water purification operations from the 3rd Infantry Division’s 26th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team. The team had been treating water for soldiers in the area since late May 2007.
The Kazakhstani soldiers arrived at COP Murray on May 4 and spent the following three days setting up their operation. By May 8, their water was tested and approved for use.
“Kazakhstani soldiers have a good relationship with American soldiers,” said Capt. Ilyasov Askar, translator for the Kazakh unit. “The base we came from had soldiers from six or seven countries on it, and we would invite each other to celebrations of the different holidays.”
The team previously was stationed at Forward Operating Base Delta, in Wasit province. Twenty-nine Kazakh soldiers are deployed in Iraq, Askar said.
When the 1-30th Infantry Regiment redeploys to its home station at Fort Stewart, Ga., the Kazakh soldiers plan to remain, working with the 3rd Infantry Division’s 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team.
(From a Multinational Division Center news release.)