VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Training Support Agency (TSA) conducted Lightweight Water Purification System (LWPS) initial training onboard Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia Sept. 18-22.
Sixteen Seabees from Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 and Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202 attended a four-day course to learn how to operate the LWPS. Using reverse osmosis technology, the lightweight, modular, highly transportable, self-contained water purification system is capable of purifying up to 75 gallons per hour of salt water and 125 gallons per hour of fresh water.
The training included both classroom and hands-on instruction for Operational New Equipment Training (OPNET) and Field Level Maintenance New Equipment Training (FLMNET) for the LWPS. The practical application for the OPNET included setup and teardown of the LWPS, pre-starts, taking water samples, monitoring pressure gauges, and safety checks. The FLMNET introduced students to backwash procedures, reverse osmosis element cleaning, and product water flush.
Chief Builder Wesley Harris, a NAVFAC TSA training specialist, monitored the course as it was conducted by two instructors from Tactical Environmental Components-Water Asset Recovery (TECWAR), the company that manufactures the LWPS.
"The training went very well," said Harris. "It provided our Sailors with the knowledge and skills necessary to operate and maintain the LWPS. This training gives Sailors the capabilities to support a multitude of naval operations around the world."
NAVFAC procures and fields water treatment and distribution systems for the expeditionary forces to provide quality water support to small units and detachments where distribution of bulk water is not feasible or practical in support of expeditionary core competencies and required capabilities.
Personnel in the utilitiesman rating primarily operate water distribution systems while construction electricians and construction mechanics provide maintenance support. For some students, the LWPS class was an opportunity for out-of-rate training, and for others, it was helpful to prepare for using the equipment during an upcoming training exercise.
"As NAVFAC's Training Support Agency, we plan, resource, and implement a cohesive integrated product support strategy to train military and civilian personnel to maximize the effectiveness of doctrine, manpower, and personnel in order to operate and maintain equipment throughout its life cycle," said Jerry Strubeck, NAVFAC TSA director. "Working with the original equipment manufacturer to transfer knowledge to the fleet during the initial fielding of equipment is a critical part of that process that also provides the foundation for development of follow-on training solutions."
Strubeck explained the follow-on training concept for the LWPS involved NAVFAC TSA completing and delivering revisions to two fleet training courses taught at the naval construction groups and the 12-day Water Treatment Course, taught at the naval construction training centers in Gulfport, Mississippi and Port Hueneme, California.
This is the second LWPS training held in the past two months. The previous class concluded on Aug. 31 in San Diego with a class of 13 Seabees from Amphibious Construction Battalion 1.
NAVFAC TSA, operationally controlled by the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering (CSFE) in Port Hueneme, California, coordinates this type of training with the introduction of new equipment to ensure military personnel are provided with the necessary skills, knowledge and education to increase efficiency and accuracy in fulfilling mission requirements and to provide quality support to the fleet.