SPMAGTF-SC trains on Camp Lejeune before deployment

300 U.S. Marines and Sailors with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Southern Command are preparing for their upcoming deployment to the Latin American and Caribbean region. They are equipped with many capabilities, but one of the most important to their mission is their water purification feature.

Six water purification technicians provided clean drinking water to the task force of Marines and Sailors during their command post exercise, or CPX, in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, from April 6 - 10.

“It is very important to provide clean drinking water,” said Lance Cpl. Brandon Drapela, a water support technician with SPMAGTF-SC. “The support to CPX has mainly been used to keep our Marines alive and well, prevent heat casualties and provide food services.”

The Marines trained on the water purification systems that could potentially be used to provide potable water during future humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, an effort that could reduce human suffering in a stricken community.

“The technicians used lightweight water purification systems to pull salt water from Mile Hammock Bay to be purified through a reverse osmosis process, and then disseminated the newly potable water across Camp Lejeune to CPX participants,” said 1st Lt. Delmari Tyndale, a detachment officer with SPMAGTF-SC.

The filtered water was used for food services to create hot meals, engineer project support and as drinking water to re-supply Marines and Sailors at different training locations.

“The systems can be assembled by two to four Marines in 45 minutes, and it takes as little as an hour to create 240 gallons of potable water,” said Tyndale.

A top priority of SPMAGTF-SC is being able to rapidly respond in the case of a crisis in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. Exercises, such as the CPX, give the SPMAGTF-SC Marines the opportunity to become proficient with their equipment, enhancing their response capability.

Lance Cpl. Joseph Sacco, a water support technician with the task force, said his team is committed to supporting the efforts of partner nations to help increase regional collaboration for crisis response.

“We will be there to provide water to the civilian populace to continue our mission of building relations with partner nations,” he added.