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RED HORSE units team up for construction project

  • Published
  • By Michael E. Dukes
  • 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Four Reserve RED HORSE squadrons combined forces at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina this summer to help keep their skills sharp between deployments while building a storage building for the 560th RED HORSE Squadron.

Members of the 556th RHS from Hurlburt Field, Florida, 555th RHS from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, 567th RHS from Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina, and the 628th Civil Engineer Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, joined the 560th RHS over a 6 month period to construct a 4,800 square-foot steel frame storage facility.

“Currently, we are working to complete the interior electrical, site electrical and concrete aprons,” said Maj. Matthew Gill, 560th RHS director of operations. “We will close out the structural components of the building when those jobs are completed. The next phase of the project will include building the driveways and laying sod, which will probably happen after the turn of the fiscal year.”

Reservists in these RED HORSE units train together to sharpen their skills between mobilizations. They call joint projects like this Troop Training Projects. “Participation by all four RED HORSE squadrons within AFRC gives them the hands-on planning, design, and construction experience necessary to refine their skills. It creates a valuable synergy between the squadrons, providing opportunities to share best practices and techniques in construction and project management,” said Maj. Horace Jones, 622d Civil Engineer Group deputy commander.

The $489,000 project focused on everything from the ground up including: site grading, forms and rebar laying, footing excavation, concrete foundation, steel frame erection, insulated siding and roofing, site and internal electrical, two large retractable doors and gutters.
“We’ve had enormous help from 628th contracting, 628th civil engineering squadron, 315th FM, and all of our AFRC RED HORSE Squadrons – All four of the RED HORSE Squadrons from AFRC were all involved in this project,” Gill said.

RED HORSE Reservists from South Carolina, Florida, Nevada and North Carolina used the opportunity to fulfill their annual tour obligations by participating in a two week rotations over the project’s approximate 16-week duration.

“When tasked, Reservists deploy together, typically as a squadron. The expeditionary squadron is comprised of Reserve and active duty RED HORSE, and individual positions are filled by Airmen from multiple units. The synergy created during TTPs like this one at JB Charleston greatly enhances effectiveness during deployment,” Jones added.

Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer (RED HORSE) squadrons are the U.S. Air Force's heavy-construction units. RED HORSE units possess weapons, vehicles/equipment and vehicle maintenance, food service, emergency management, contracting, supply and medical equipment and personnel.

EDITOR's NOTE: Master Sgt. Shane Ellis contributed to this story.