Military


203rd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers
[RED HORSE]

The 203rd is part of the Virginia Air National Guard. Its Federal mission is to provide a highly mobile, rapidly deployable, civil engineering response force that is self-sufficient for a limited period of time, to perform heavy damage repair required for recovery of critical Air Force and utility systems for aircraft launch and recovery. Accomplish engineering support for bed-down of weapons systems and the installation of critical utility and support systems required to initiate and sustain operations, especially in austere locations. Operate in remote, hostile environments as an independent, self-sustaining unit (with re-supply of consumables).

Its State mission is to provide a unit organized,trained and equipped which, under order of the Governor, will protect life and property, and preserve peace, order andpublic safety.

The 203rd RHF, which was activated in 1985, occupies about 60 acresof land and more than 75,000 square feet of real property on Camp Pendleton's 325acres.The 203rd RHF has a sister unit inFlorida - the 202nd RED HORSE Squadron. If activated to Federal service,these two units would join together to form a 400-man RED HORSE Squadron. The 203rd is a very active Air Na-tional Guard unit, deploying more than 200 people over the last 15 months forconstruction projects in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iceland, Qatar, Azores, England, Florida, Maryland and Virginia.

The 203rd isparticularly proud of its recent construc-tion projects in support of Operation Southern Watch in Southwest Asia. During the past few years, teams from the 203rd have deployed to the followinglocations: Qatar, twice, for electrical projects; Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, to construct various force protec-tion and quality of life projects; and Al Jaber AB, Kuwait, twice, to construct K-Span buildings and various forceprotection and quality of life projects.

On March 3, 2001 18 members of the 203rd RED HORSE died in a plane crash in Unadilla, Georgia



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