201st Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers
The 201st RED HORSE FLIGHT was established September 14, 1971, at Harrisburg International Airport. The unit moved to Fort Indiantown Gap in November 1971. In the short history of the 201st, the unit has received three Outstanding Unit awards, two Unit Effectiveness Awards, the Dining Facility Hennessey Award, the Air National Guard Deneke Outstanding Civil Engineering Unit Award, the Air National Guard "Best Civil Engineering Unit" Award, the President's Take Pride in America Award, the Mayor's Award for Distinguished Public Service/City of Harrisburg, plus numerous Marksmanship and other awards and citations.
The 201st is a 235-member, highly mobile, rapidly deployable, self-supporting construction team with one-third of its personnel in the vertical construction trades, one-third heavy equipment operators and one-third support function personnel.
The unit's mission is to directly support Combat Airpower and provide Commanders' in Charge (CINCs), Federal and State authorities a flexible, well-rounded, heavy construction and repair capability anytime, anywhere to accomplish engineering support for beddown of weapons systems and the installation of critical utility and support systems required to initiate and sustain operations, especially in austere, bare-base environments. Capabilities include engineering design, aircraft arresting system installation, airfield lighting, water well drilling, concrete batch plant and concrete mobile operations, quarry operations, asphalt plant operations, demolition, material testing, bomb damage repair and automatic building machine operations. This unit is manned, equipped and trained to operate in remote, hostile locations as an independent, self-sustaining unit. It supports the full spectrum of contingencies from general war and regional/low intensity conflicts to natural disasters and other contingencies.
Because the 201st RED HORSE is a combat-ready unit, great emphasis is placed on training. Personnel are trained in their individual Air Force specialties, personal survival skills, as well as in areas that support activities necessary to fulfill the special requirements of the unit's mission. The unit has deployed members to locations around the world to support Department of Defense projects and domestic action programs. Recently, RED HORSE members deployed to Haiti, Honduras, Korea, Guatemala, Columbia, Germany, Alaska, Canada, North Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee where they constructed roads, field camps, schools, buildings, water well systems and runway extensions. Unit tasks include deployments to England, Italy, California, New Mexico, along with some local civic action projects.
Within Pennsylvania, the 201st RED HORSE has been consistently involved in construction projects to support local communities. In the past five years, 30 suspected "crack" houses in various cities have been demolished and over 50 others sealed in support of the federal drug interdiction program. Additionally, an average of three domestic action projects, such as ball fields or parking lots, are completed each year for local communities. The most recent local civic action projects were the construction of the Schuylkill County Vietnam Veterans Memorial, two ball fields in Schuylkill county, two ball fields in South Hanover Township in Dauphin county and construction of Line Stabilization systems to improve water quality. The unit has also provided assistance to the governor four of the last five years during declared state emergencies, including emergency snow removal, stranded vehicle recovery from our interstate highways, transporting road salt from New York to various state storage facilities throughout Pennsylvania, flood debris cleanup and flood remediation projects. Many members of the 201st RED HORSE continually volunteer to participate in local activities such as parades and fairs, displaying the unit's commitment to our great country and commonwealth.
In addition to the RED HORSE mission, the 201st operates three schools at Fort Indiantown Gap: (1) The Regional Equipment Operator Training Site (REOTS) that has been in official operation since 1 October 1989. Six Hundred and Forty Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and the Air National Guard Equipment Operators are provided with the unique opportunity to train in the operation of specific RRR heavy equipment, (excavator, crawler tractor, 4 CY loader, and grader), not normally available at their home station. The second school ( Specialty Training Site) Utilities type engineer specialty training on a variety of war time tasks and a special emphasis on bare base beddown equipment. A total of 1790 Students were trained in FY 96. The POLRURK (Petroleum, Oil and Lubrications Rapid Utility Repair Kit), Minimum Airfields Arresting System (MAAS), Emergency Airfields Lighting System (EALS), Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit (ROWPU), Field shower units and the concrete saw are some of the specialty equipment now available for this specialized training. The unit also operated a field training site that instructs field feeding, billeting, laundry and mortuary to over 260 students in a year.
The 200th/201st Expeditionary Red Horse squadron is handling most of the large construction projects at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and throughout the region. The squadron is constructing several of Al Udeid's roadways -- a project worth about $2 million in materials cost alone. Constructing the eight miles of roadway on Al Udeid is currently one of the squadron's biggest paving projects in the theater.
The squadron is made up of 404 men and women. The 200th is located in Ohio, while the 201st is based in Pennsylvania. In wartime, the two units are joined to form a full squadron. The two units have been deploying together every year for the past 31 years.
In August 2002, elements of the 200th/201st Expeditionary Red Horse Squadron operated at Bagram, Afghanistan where it built housing facilities for the 455th Expeditionary Operations Group and repaired the runway at the airfield.
The 200th/201st ERHS, from the Ohio and Pennsylvania Air National Guards, is based at a forward-operating Enduring Freedom location and then deploys to other locations. More than 280 Red Horse members are working throughout Central Asia and Africa on various heavy construction and runway repair projects.
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