by Tech. Sgt. Meghan Skrepenski
Virginia Air National Guard Public Affairs
6/18/2015 - ANDERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Airmen
from the Virginia Air National Guard's Virginia Beach-based 203rd RED
HORSE Squadron and the 202nd RHS from Camp Blanding, Florida are
training and refining essential skills here, March 24-June 24.
The Red Horse Airmen are improving their abilities and readiness by
constructing a Facilities Systems Training building, under the Air
National Guard's Deployment for Training program.
"As a trainer, the project presented challenges to everyone here as the
"Tilt-up" construction is different than the construction we usually
work with, it made for an interesting, dynamic environment to train in,"
said Tech. Sgt. J. Trevor Sprinkle, the FST project structures lead
from the 203rd RHS. "It was a unique experience as a trainer when 3, 5
and 7 levels are all working together on a project learning how to
complete it together, when you can't reference past experiences."
Throughout the trip, the teams led by Lt. Col. Jaime A. Rios, 202nd RHS
Director of Operations and Supervisory Civil Engineering, and project
Officer in Charge are learning how to merge 2 RHS units with the active
duty operations and discovering the best way to meet the needs of the
"This was a very large project, for seven weeks the entire project was
horizontal as we created the separate panels for the 'tilt-up' design
using forms and reinforced concrete." said Rios, "Then in just one week,
the construction went from horizontal work to vertical. After this the
worksite became three-dimensional and we have been working on further
development of the building and site."
This training mission presents the opportunity for the squadron Airmen
to focus on multiple specific skill-sets: project planning, design,
surveying, site development with cut and fill operations utilizing heavy
equipment, vehicle maintenance and repair, project and troop
management, logistical and personnel support, food preparation and
lodging procedures, utility systems, and electrical and fire alarm
"This training mission has provided the opportunity to train on the
installation of a Fire Suppression System," said Senior Master Sgt.
James E. Young, 202nd RHS utilities superintendent. "This is a very
unique opportunity for ANG personnel as we don't have the chance to
utilize the skills needed for a FSS installation often."
Within this environment, most of the 202nd RHS have trained outside of
the scope of what they do within their own Air Force Specialty Code,
explained Young. A few of the Airmen have received specialty-specific
training with active duty members from the 554th RHS for HVAC planning
and design, and the 554th has also trained side by side with 202nd and
203rd RHS personnel.
When viewing the worksite as a whole, multiple skills are often
demonstrated within a small working area, during a short period of time.
For example, on the afternoon of June 3, Airmen engaged in site
excavation and restoration to improve drainage, drilled holes for
installation of an electrical meter, dug a trench to connect the
grounding for the Lightening Protection System, and shot site elevation
to ensure the LPS was 12 inches below final grade. Meanwhile, on the
other side of the worksite, Airmen worked on site cleanup, installation
of conduit for lighting, external receptacles and devices, assembly and
installation of "eyebrows" for doorway rain protection, grounding rod
burial, and reinforcement of seals on the roof to prepare for a
large-scale concrete pour to finish the roof.
"The Airmen are using skills upon which they have previously trained and
have adapted in a unique way as they train others with less
experience," said 1st Lt. Jason C. Dodge of the Virginia Air National
Guard's 192nd Fighter Wing Support Squadron Civil Engineer Flight and
FST Project Site Officer. "During the past few days, we have returned
the site grade to original elevation to prevent pooling of water and
flooding of the building, trained on multiple pieces of equipment across
multiple AFSC's and continue to perform quality control on the work
"Overall, the training has been really good and it's been a rewarding
trip," said Senior Airman Alexander "Bud" Nolan, a Water and Fuel System
Utilities maintainer from the 202nd RHS. "I have enjoyed working with
the multiple RHS units."
RED HORSE stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair
Squadron Engineers; the unit mission is to provide a highly mobile civil
engineering response force to support contingency operations worldwide