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Clean Water for Marines

Up until recently, Marines operating from peaks thousands of feet high in Afghanistan had to carry their drinking water over a two-mile round trip on a daily basis. Engineers with 7th Engineer Support Battalion (ESB), 2nd Marine Logistics Group (MLG) came up with a convenient, cost-efficient solution. The 15-day project implemented a proven strategy using gravity-fed hoses, transfer pumps and a lightweight water purification system.

The project required 600 work-hours, the placing of more than 1,000 feet of cable weighing approximately 6,000 pounds, and covered 3,000 feet of rugged terrain in Kajaki, Afghanistan.

“The generator should not need to be replaced unless it breaks down, or the Marines leave,” states Gunnery Sgt. Wyatt Robertson, the utilities chief with Support Company, 7th ESB, 2nd MLG. “The only upkeep costs for us will be generator and lightweight water purification system preventive and corrective maintenance and fuel.”

Included in the commercial equipment the unit had to order were a 230-volt, 20-HP, 6-foot fully submersible Franklin Electric pump, a 15-HP Franklin Electric transfer pump, and hundreds of hose connections ranging in size and shape. Explains Robertson: “The transfer pump is electric, and runs off a generator. We also set up electrical equipment such as switchers and breakers. We have a whole electrical room, and everything can run from Observation Post (OP) Athens. The transfer pump pumps the water to about 3,000 feet across the peaks.”

The well pumps water from the lake that is created by the Kajaki Dam. A float device was crafted using four 5-gallon drums, some piping and the 20-HP pump, preventing the pump from resting on the bottom of the lake, therefore allowing it to pump water more efficiently.

The water then is pumped through to OP Athens, where it is purified with the lightweight purification system at a rate of 120 pounds per hours. Afterward, it is pumped to the highest peak 3,000 feet away, called Normandy, and then gravity-fed up to a more distant peak.

A Major Purchase, Indeed

Major Drilling Group International Inc., headquartered in Moncton, New Brunswick, just recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Bradley Group Ltd., a family-owned drilling company based in Rouyn Noranda, Quebec, for an aggregate purchase price of $80 million.

“The acquisition of Bradley Group is a unique opportunity to further Major Drilling’s corporate strategy of focusing on specialized drilling, expanding our geographic footprint in areas of high growth, and of maintaining a balance in our mix of drilling services. The operations of both companies are very complementary in terms of geography, personnel and strategies,” says Francis McGuire, president and CEO of Major Drilling.

The move adds 124 rigs and 841 employees to Major’s base of 571 rigs and 4,362 employees.