by Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
12/16/2012 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- Throughout
the Air Force, units depend on each other to successfully complete the
mission. For example, without supply, maintainers wouldn't have the
parts needed to make repairs.
Very few units can function independent of other support elements. Here
at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, there is one unit that can - the
577th Expeditionary RED HORSE Squadron.
"We are an all-encompassing, fully self-supported unit," said Tech. Sgt.
Zachary Peters, 577th ERHS structural journeyman. "RED HORSE is
comprised of 21 different trades capable of going into a combat
environment and constructing buildings, runways and just about anything
you need built."
RED HORSE is a unit specifically designed for building capabilities in
contingency environments as their name - Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy
Operations Repair Squadron Engineers - suggests.
"Typical civil engineer (squadrons) maintain existing base facilities,
whereas RED HORSE goes forward and deploys to remote areas, or even
existing bases, and builds new facilities," said Senior Airman Dominick
Thompson, 577th ERHS structural apprentice.
Like any other unit, support is needed to maintain it. For this reason,
the RED HORSE squadron has specialized Airmen assigned to it.
RED HORSE has what it needs - security, finance, structural and heat and
air - to go where there is nothing and build just about anything,
The squadron is currently working on a pair of two-story, concrete-block
buildings that will provide much-needed room for those who run the
It is not without a lot of work and coordination that a project of this type can be accomplished.
"You've got (an engineer) who does the planning and drawings, without
which we wouldn't know what the building should look like or which
materials to use," Thompson said. "We need supply and logistics to be
able to get the materials and equipment necessary for the job. You've
got to have the storage, manpower and experienced people."
The best part of being in RED HORSE is the sense of accomplishment upon completion of the jobs, Peters said.
"We get to build everything from the ground up," he said. "It's something different every time."