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Fort Hood Press Center
DATE: April 24, 2012 2:17:50 PM CDT

Soldiers take over post laundry operations; upkeep skills, avoid additional costs



By Pfc. Brian LaBombard, 13th ESC Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas –The 157th Quartermaster Company took responsibility of laundry operations that were previously performed by civilian contractors on April 1st. Since beginning the assignment, the unit has serviced over 150 loads of laundry on Fort Hood.

Soldiers with the 157th QM Co, 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) are very knowledgeable and efficient on the Laundry Advanced System which can wash and dry “no more than 200 pounds of laundry in about one and a half hours,” said Spc. Richard Balogun, a shower/laundry and clothing repair specialist from the 157th QM Co.


“The estimated cost avoidance to the Army is $193,800 annually,” said Maj. Mariwin Lara, the 4th SB support operations supply and service officer in charge.

Before taking over the operation, the Army was spending between $10,000 and $20,000 a month to wash the laundry from the Warrior Leader Course and the 21st Replacement Detachment, said Capt. Eric Vasquez, the company commander of the 157th QM Co.

The Soldiers in the 157th QM Co. are no strangers to the LADS system, said Vasquez. “In October of last year, we took six shower, laundry, and clothing repair teams to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif.” Numerous field training exercises and platoon level training has ensured that our Soldiers are fully trained on the LADS and the equipment is operational, he said.

“Soldiers are excited about putting their skills to work and while we are saving the Army some money we are also keeping the Soldiers’ skills polished,” said Vazquez.

Balogun, a native of the Togolese Republic in West Africa, explained that when washing and drying throughout the day, performing preventive maintenance checks and services is essential to keep the LADS fully operational and to clean the clothing properly.

157th QM Co. currently has three LADS trailers set up and running and each trailer has two washing/drying systems onboard. “We wash about 10 loads a day which averages to about 1500 pounds of laundry,” said Spc. Travis Holdridge, also a shower/laundry and clothing repair specialist from the 157th QM Co.

Holdridge, who is from El Paso, Texas, walked through the steps of operating the newer touch screen model of the LADS noting that, “the water is recycled and thoroughly cleaned for later use but when the water is too dirty to be recycled, the LADS will automatically get new water from the water supply.”

This laundry point is also excellent training for the quartermaster Soldiers who operate the same equipment downrange, said Holdridge. “This is the same setup that Soldiers would bring dirty uniforms and equipment to downrange.”

For other units taking the reins and supporting laundry operations, Holdridge, who has been operating the LADS for over five years, gave this advice: “I’ve seen this too many times, a unit tries to start up operations and the equipment is broken because it has not been maintained. If you take care of this equipment, it will take care of you. We PMCS daily and without the proper maintenance these machines will not function.”

For more information contact:
13th Sustainment Command Expeditionary
Public Affairs Office
(254) 288-7342
(254) 288-6410
Bldg. 39009, Support Ave.
Fort Hood, TX 76544
[email protected]