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Mountain Safety Research (MSR), a division of Cascade Designs, Inc., has been awarded $4 million in Department of Defense appropriations to procure the MSR MIOX Individual Water Purification System (IWPS) for the U.S. Marine Corps.
The MSR MIOX Individual Water Purifier System is a modular, mission-specific, on-the-move water purification and hydration system designed to integrate with the Marine Corps' Infantry Load Bearing Equipment (ILBE). It will enable Marines to gather freshwater from any source and purify it into safe drinking water.
"The men and women of our Armed Forces need access to safe, pure water, and that can be a challenge when they're deployed in the field," said U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash). "This project is another example of Washington state ingenuity filling a desperate need within our Armed Forces, and making a difference in the daily lives of our men and women in uniform."
The MSR MIOX Water Purifier technology was developed for use by the U.S. Military in a joint effort between Cascade Designs and MIOX Corp., an Albuquerque, N.M.-based pioneer in mixed-oxidant water purification technology. Initial development funding was provided from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
According to Dan Fitzgerald, U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command, Individual Clothing and Equipment division, "Procuring a system to enable our Marines to collect water from any source and purify it into safe drinking water is a core requirement. MSR has developed a water purification system that meets our needs to integrate seamlessly into our equipment for mission-specific, on-the-move operations to keep our Marines safer on the battlefield."
"Clean and safe drinking water is something we may take for granted at home but isn't always available for our troops bravely serving overseas. This water purifier will be a critical survival tool for our Armed Forces," said Senator Cantwell (D-Wash).
U.S. Congressman McDermott (D-7th/WA) said, "We take access to safe drinking water for granted, but nothing could be further from the truth for soldiers on patrol in dangerous, uncertain areas around the world. That's why MSR's advanced technology is so important, because it allows the U.S. Marines Corps to carry a lifeline to safe, pure drinking water."
"Dehydration and overheating can quickly reduce a Marine's ability to conduct effective missions and increases battlefield risks. It is a must for Marines conducting operations behind enemy lines to have the ability to quickly purify water from any source," said Congressman Norm Dicks (D-6th/WA). "I'm pleased that MSR and its development partners have effectively addressed the risks of keeping our Marines safe from drinking contaminated water."
Lee Fromson, president of Cascade Designs, commented, "We are pleased with the opportunity to work directly with the Marine Corps to provide our state-of-the-art water purification technologies to address the most basic of survival needs. At Cascade Designs, we've been manufacturing gear for extreme environments for over 30 years in our Seattle factory and look forward to continuing to meet the evolving needs of U.S. soldiers and Marines."
The MSR MIOX Purifier Pen is a unique and compact technology that uses electrolysis to effectively eliminate common water-borne pathogens such as E. Coli, Giardia and Cryptosporidium, as well as other agents like VX nerve gas, Soman, the blister agent Lewisite and the biological agents causing Anthrax, Plague and Smallpox. Concurrent with military tests, the MSR MIOX purifier technology was field-tested by the Marines in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, and was shown to offer a fast, safe, palatable and portable drinking water that was lightweight and significantly reduced the footprints of on-the-move operations.
Technology for the MSR MIOX Purifier was successfully launched in the military in 2003 when 1,000 units of the MSR MIOX Water Purifier Pen were shipped to the U.S. Marine Corps. U.S Special Forces, Air Force and Army units in Afghanistan and Iraq have successfully used the product. The MSR MIOX Water Purifier technology was also used during the disaster relief and hurricane recovery efforts in Florida in 2004, New Orleans in 2005 and for the Tsunami efforts in Indonesia earlier in 2005.