819th RED HORSE Squadron completes field training exercise, prepares for unit validation

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Breanna Christopher Volkmar
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

In the midst of a cold front, tents were erected left and right as Airmen from the 819th RED HORSE Squadron prepared for their upcoming unit validation during a field training exercise at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana on October 23-24.

Rapid Engineer Deployable, Heavy Operational Repair Squadron, Engineer (RED HORSE) squadrons provide the Air Force with a highly mobile civil engineering response force to support contingency and special operations worldwide. 

The 819 RHS is a self-sufficient, 240-person mobile squadron capable of rapid response and independent operations in remote, austere environments worldwide.

“We are executing this exercise for training to show our capabilities and to be ready for our validation, which in turn will prepare us for upcoming deployments,” said Senior Master Sgt. Rigoberto Vasquez, 819 RHS superintendent.

The exercise was broken into two phases: phase one focused on moving both cargo and personnel, load planning, personnel recalls, equipment issue and passenger processing; phase two focused on bed down planning and execution, establishing camp security, Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), convoy operations, various construction tasks and proper wear of personal protective equipment (PPE) when responding to alarm conditions.

“RED HORSE is unique in that we are often setting the theater,” said Maj. Blake Rothschild, 819 RHS horizontal flight director of operations. “This training, in short, allows us to test our processes to go out the door, and once in the theater, our ability to survive and operate.”

Enduring 12-hour days, the Airmen resiliently pushed through wintry conditions and worked to complete the exercise ahead of schedule to avoid inclement Montana weather.

“This was my first exercise as part of this unit, so I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Rothschild mentioned. “That said, the team performed very well and has cleaned up their execution from previous iterations. There is always room for improvement, and we look forward to the [next training] opportunity in the coming months.”