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800th RED HORSE Group activated under Ninth Air Force

800th RED HORSE Group emblem

The 800th RED HORSE Group activated at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, June 1, 2020. RED HORSE stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable, Heavy Operational Repair Squadron, Engineer. Three contiguous U.S. active duty RED HORSE squadrons consolidated to form the 800th RHG under Ninth Air Force. (Courtesy graphic)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (AFNS) -- The 800th RED HORSE Group activated June 1 during a ceremony at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. RED HORSE stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable, Heavy Operational Repair Squadron, Engineer.

The 819th RHS located at Malmstrom AFB, Montana; 820th RHS located at Nellis AFB; and 823rd RHS located at Hurlburt Field, Florida, comprise the new group nested under Ninth Air Force.

“The consolidation of the three contiguous U.S. active duty RED HORSE squadrons under a single group is in-line with the Air Force Chief of Staff’s priority to cost effectively modernize the lethality of the force,” said Maj. Gen. Chad Franks, Ninth AF commander. “This group will train and equip the Air Force’s primary heavy contingency construction capability presented to combatant commanders.”

Col. JJ Loschinskey, 819th RHS commander; Col. Peter Feng, 820th RHS commander; and Col. Andy DeRosa, 823rd RHS commander, played a key role in the creation of the RHG that contains three of the four active-duty RED HORSE squadrons.

“We are ecstatic to move to a squadron/group construct that supports Ninth (Air Force),” Feng said, who also became the 800th RHG commander. “This organizational change will ensure we can meet future National Defense Strategy requirements. We built on previous discussions from past RED HORSE commanders who recommended a structure that corrals the three squadrons under a command structure subordinate to one Numbered Air Force. The three commanders … advocated to their NAF commanders that creating this structure was vital to the success of the organization to support future warfighter construction requirements.”

While the 819th RHS and 823rd RHS were previously under the Ninth Air Force, the 820th RHS fell under 12th Air Force. As a group, the RHG will continue to provide multi-capable Airmen both in garrison and deployed.

“Multi-capable Airmen is what we build at RED HORSE,” Feng stated. “In garrison, the critical thing we have developed in our people, is the ability to think through big problems and solve them in any way possible. Then, while deployed, our multi-capable Airmen can perform tasks across many different AFSCs to accomplish the goals set forth in front of us.”

This is not the first RHG that has been established in the Air force, but it’s the first not in response to a conflict. The last time an RHG was stood up was in 2002 when the 1st Expeditionary RHG in Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, was created to manage construction requirements for RED HORSE units in the theater and became the 1st Expeditionary Civil Engineer Group that exists today.

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