Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Good News from Iraq: 14 May 2008

From MNF-I, Kazakhstani Troops Keep Water Flowing at COP Murray.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU — Six Kazakhstani soldiers completed a transfer of operations at Combat Outpost Murray May 8 that will provide Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, with clean, drinkable water.

The Kazakhstani Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit (ROWPU) 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 has the capacity to 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 26th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. The 26th BSB’s ROWPU team had been treating water for Soldiers in the area since late May 2007.

The Kazakhstani team arrived at COP Murray 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 was previously stationed at FOB Delta in Wasit Province. There are 29 Kazakh soldiers currently deployed in Iraq, Askar said.