Without clean air, food and water, the U.S. military cannot complete its mission in the Horn of Africa or anywhere else in the world.
That's where the U.S. Army 490th Civil Affairs Battalion Functional Specialty Unit steps in. The 490th CABN FxSP conducted a field sanitation certification training course here, March 26-30. Twenty-four service members participated in the course.
"The course is designed to help unit commanders protect their soldiers from food-, water-, air- and insect-borne diseases, as well as noise and inhalation hazards. It also teaches you how to properly apply pesticides and inspect for general food sanitation," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andre Moxley, 490th CABN FxSP preventive medicine non-commissioned officer and lead instructor for the course.
The majority of the 40-hour course took place at the Central Texas College classroom with field training also performed in the camp galley and water sanitation training.
"We (want to educate) Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines on how to properly identify rodent and insect infestations that can cause illness. They (are) also educated on PPE (personal protective equipment) as well as the proper use of insect repellant," said Moxley.
Because field sanitation happens at the unit level, preventive medicine non-commissioned officers like Moxley only need to certify the finished work once teams are trained. Units can remain mission ready when not confronted with illnesses and other related problems resulting from improper field sanitation, said Moxley.
"A lot of the preventive aspects of the course (are) new to me," said U.S. Army Sgt. Jeff Hanson, 490th CABN FxSP medic and course assistant instructor. "I've been treating injuries for years, so (it's) nice to get the education on how to teach my troops preventive measures."
Units operating in remote areas throughout the Horn of Africa rely heavily on proper sanitation to stay healthy and mission effective, said Moxley.
"I'm learning a lot about field sanitation and the proper procedures for keeping the field environment clean," said Spc. Lynn Long, 490th CABN mFxSP ember and course participant. "I feel I will be better qualified to maintain field sanitation because not only am I learning the field manual, but I'm also getting hands-on training."