RED HORSE logistics hub supports Airmen uprange

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Erik Hofmeyer
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing
An Air Force horse has been making tracks throughout Southwest Asia as this mobile force is making a difference in the war on terrorism.

The Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers, or simply RED HORSE, supports contingency and special operations missions with mobile, self-sufficient civil engineers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Airmen assigned to RED HORSE mainly work in civil engineer construction projects, but include Airmen in varying specialist such as medics, information managers, security forces, personnel, contracting and others, said Master Sgt. Ricky Dumm, the 1st Expeditionary RED HORSE Group first sergeant.

"Currently, we have 151 ongoing projects throughout the (area of responsibility)," Sergeant Dumm said. 

RED HORSE units have recently completed projects that directly supported the beddown of F-15E Strike Eagles in Afghanistan and an A-10 Thunderbolt II beddown in Iraq, improving the capability to project combat air power, said Maj. Tim Dotson, the 1st ERHG commander.

The 379th Air Expeditionary Wing here is home to the 1st ERHG, a tenant unit serving as the logistics hub to coordinate and supply the forward-deployed missions throughout the AOR.

RED HORSE historically operates on a "hub and spoke" concept, exercising centralized control from the hub and carrying out missions from the spoke locations. The 379th AEW hub supports eight different locations throughout the AOR, said Major Dotson.

The number of RED HORSE Airmen here is a composite of approximately 560 people representing over 50 different units. About 150 Airmen come from active-duty stations, and the rest from Air National Guard units, Major Dotson said.

To accomplish their specialized mission, members of the 1st ERHG maintain and account for their own vehicle fleet, receive and palletize materials for shipment to forward-deployed locations.

There are approximately 75 different types of vehicles in the fleet used for transportation and heavy construction operations to establish and repair infrastructure, said Tech. Sgt. Linroy Davis, a 1st ERHG vehicle maintenance craftsman.

RED HORSE operators depend on these utility vehicles for tasks such as water-well drilling, explosive demolition, quarry operations, material testing, expedient facility erection, and concrete and asphalt paving.

Some vehicles come into the 379th AEW damaged from the field and need maintenance, and others are in for scheduled maintenance.

"Personnel in the field can repair vehicles up to a certain point, but when there are hard breaks, they send them to us," Sergeant Dumm said.

The 379th AEW is an ideal location for a base of operations due to its geographical location and proximity construction and vehicle supply vendors.

"We're close enough to the fight to palletize and ship equipment out quickly, and all the supplies we need are available here in our host nation," Sergeant Dumm said. "We can get anything they need uprange to the nearest airfield possible."

"That's what makes this location so important; in Iraq and Afghanistan, they don't have the luxury of driving out the gate and driving to a hardware store," Sergeant Dumm said.

RED HORSE units have the capability to travel into austere, high-threat environments and execute missions with very little outside support using their own convoy logistic patrol teams when redeploying and moving construction equipment from mission to mission.

With RED HORSE assets spread out in many locations, this group of Airmen from the 379th AEW exemplify the RED HORSE motto of: "Can do, have done, will do," Major Dotson said.

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