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Water dogs from A Company, 308th Brigade Support Battalion, are on track this year to deliver record-breaking amounts of water in support of Warrior Forge at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Warrior Forge is an annual training event for Reserve Officers Training Corps cadets that includes tactical movements, physical training, live fire exercises and confidence courses all thirsty work at the height of summer.
Keeping the cadets hydrated are the Soldiers of A Co., 308th BSB, whose water section includes 29 Soldiers working on an eight-day cycle to deliver water to 41 sites.
According to water treatment NCOIC, Staff Sgt. Sean Salie, if the current rate of water consumption continues, the water dogs will deliver about 250,000 gallons of water in support of Warrior Forge. Last years water deliveries for the exercise totaled 188,000.
Salie said the increase is the result of two factors. The first is, there are 6,700 cadets participating this year. Last year there were 6,400.
The second reason for the increase is one that Salie explained with a bit more pride.
Logisticians are running it (water distribution) this year, he said. In previous years its just been regular units doing this. A lot of times the cadets had to bring their own water.
The amount of water delivered varies daily, said Spc. Erin McClendon, a water dog assigned to A Co., 308th BSB. Some days, she said, her team delivers as much as 1,000 gallons; other days, only about 100.
We work really hard, but this is the only time we get to use the hippos, she said, referring to the 2,000-gallon, truck-mounted water delivery system she uses to fill the water buffaloes.
She said she appreciates the opportunity.
Her sentiments were echoed by fellow A Co. water dog Spc. William Houston.
I love this hippo, he said. With fuel, you make a mess and its a big environmental issue. With water you can have fun.