Guam National Guard Water Purification Specialists At Work in Iraq

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By Staff Sgt. Mark Wojciechowski, 133rd MPAD

water inspection
Spc. Arthur Relech, a water purification specialist in the Guam Army National Guards 909th Quartermaster Detachment checks an issue meter to see how much water has been drawn from their site in Iraq.

MUQDADIYAH, Iraq – There is plenty of bottled water for drinking in and around Iraq, but water used for other things, such as showering and washing cloths, needs to be tested and treated by a water purification specialist.

Spc. Craig Naputi Quinata and Spc. Arthur Relech are water purification specialists in the Guam Army National Guard’s 909th Quartermaster Detachment. They are the only water purification specialists at Forward Operating Base Normandy.

Attached to the Ohio Army National Guard’s 644th Quartermaster Detachment, the two Soldiers arrived here in November 2005.

The team maintains the Reverse Osmosis Water Purification System. They purify the water in FOB Normandy, including the Iraqi army section of the base.

“We make sure all of our ROWPUs are in good condition and we do our checks to make sure we add the necessary chemicals so they can use water we produce,” said Relech.

“Where we come from, we mainly produce water from the ocean, which means more maintenance on the ROWPU. Here, it is fresh water so there is not as much maintenance,” explained Quinata.

The two Soldiers hail from the village of Inarajan in Guam. Quinata is married and is the father of a one-year-old boy and four-year-old girl. Relech is also married and is the father of a four-year-old daughter.