An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | Aug. 9, 2022

Northern Strike 22-2 Provides New Training Environment to MWSS 471

By Sgt. Derek Chandler 126th Theater Public Affairs Support Element

Many people across the world understand the convenience of how easy it is to obtain water. But when service members are out in the field, Marine Air Group 41, Marine Air Wing Support Squadron 471 Detachment Bravo (MWSS 471), use their equipment to produce fresh water at Northern Strike 22-2 in Grayling, Mich., on Aug. 4, 2022.

“Our role here at Northern Strike is to be able to provide joint operations in the form of potable water,” said U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Kyle Douglas, water support technician operations chief of the MWSS 471.

The water filtration system assigned to the MWSS 471 creates clean and drinkable water from any water source. Approximately 7,400 service members have come to exercise Northern Strike 22-2 and the MWSS 471 has the capability to serve all of them. Northern Strike fully integrates new operational warfighting initiatives to include the joint warfighting concept and the joint concept for contested logistics.

“The Marines understand this more than they did before because they usually are only able to actually just purify the water at their home site and then dump it on the ground," said Douglas. "Now, they know that there are Soldiers and Airmen out in the fields needing this water. So that brings a more realistic training value to them.”

Douglas explained the tactical water purification system (TWPS) is what takes a water source, such as a lake, and cleans the water removing any impurities or pesticides. Over a several step process, the TWPS removes any solid materials from the water, tests the acidic level and kills bacteria.

“A lot of Marines like to brag that our TWPS water is better than bottled water,” Douglas shared.

Parts per million is the standard unit of measurement to determine the toxins in water. Bottled water is on average 100 to 200 parts per million while the TWPS produces water with approximately 0.8 parts per million.

The water their unit provides not only serves as water to drink, but goes into other forms of hygiene such as portable showers. Northern Strike provides the operational and developmental framework required to fully integrate this into joint, all-domain training.

Additionally, Douglas shared what Northern Strike provides for his Marines.

“It gives them confidence that they provided water to a unit that’s actually out in the fight, providing rounds down range to protect our nation," said Douglas. "Those Marines really get that actual true realistic training. They know there is a lifeline they are providing to other units.”

Northern Strike provides units with a place to train and test their ability to rapidly deploy, set the theater, and provide timely support.

Douglas concluded, “It would be way more beneficial for our unit to come up to Northern Strike every year.”