Potable water well design for Humanitarian Civic Action well drilling missions
Published:January 01, 1998
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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Military Geology in War and Peace
In warfare, military geologists pursue five main categories of work: tactical and strategic terrain analysis, fortifications and tunneling, resource acquisition, defense installations, and field construction and logistics. In peace, they train for wartime operations and may be involved in peace-keeping and nation-building exercises. The classic dilemma for military geology has been whether support can best be provided by civilian technical-matter experts or by uniformed soldiers who routinely work with the combat units. In addition to the introductory paper this volume includes 24 papers, covering selected aspects of the history of military geology from the early 19th century through the recent Persian Gulf war, military education and operations, terrain analysis, engineering geology in the military, use of military geology in diplomacy and peace keeping, and the future of military geology.