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Abstract

Geologists from the U.S. Army Engineer District in Mobile, Alabama, have supported military water well drilling missions throughout the world. Many of these missions supported design requirements for Humanitarian Civic Action (HCA) wells but did not follow standard military water well construction practice. These design requirements have often been the result of local well construction regulations or the need for well yield that exceeded typical design.

Each branch of our military has water well drilling capability, and most drilling systems are similar in depth and hole size ratings. Standard well completion kits for mobilization have been developed for construction of wells up to 455 m (1,500 ft) deep. Normal training for military well drillers has been limited, and the emphasis is on completion of a tactical, low-yield well where many potable well construction practices are not required.

Humanitarian Civic Action well drilling missions have become an integral part of Nation Assistance exercises. Some HCA wells required special training, modifications to drilling equipment, and special well designs to meet the goals of the exercise. The probability of success had to be high for these missions to be approved. Consequently, civilian geologists were used to support the siting, well design, and procurement of materials. Some of these complex missions required on-site consultation. A specialized team of personnel including geologists, hydrogeologists, and geophysicists, designated the Water Detection Response Team, was assembled during the 1980s by the Corps of Engineers to site well drilling locations for military drilling operations and is used for many HCA missions.

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