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Welcome to Red Horse Country. This page is for all of you that have an interest in Red Horse and Air Force Engineering and Especially for those of the Penny Short 554th Red Horse Squadron......

"Either Lead Follow Or Get The Hell Out Of The Way"

Webmaster: R.G."Andy" Anderson

The above picture is known as "CHARGING CHARLIE" and is an example of what RED HORSE is all about. When the Navy and Army Engineers could not meet the Air Force needs in 1965 during the Vietnam War, congress authorized the Air Force to form it's own Mobile Engineering Forces and thus Red Horse was born.

The "ACRONYM" for "RED HORSE" is Rapid Engineer Deployable---Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer. So now you know what the meaning of Red Horse is. Red Horse is an Elite Engineering Force that is also trained in Combat Operations.

CREATION OF THE AIR FORCE ENGINEER UNITS!

In the 1960s, Air Force Civil Engineers responded to several emergency situations and the growing American commitment in Southeast Asia and, as a result, stressed the Air Force contingency capability necessary to respond worldwide.

The Lebanon Crisis of 1958, Berlin Crisis of 1961, and Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 demonstrated a need for mobile civil engineer teams ready for immediate deployment to perform construction work during wartime or other emergencies.

A HQ, USAF study group recommended that Prime BEEF (Base Engineer Emergency Force) teams be created to respond worldwide when needed. It was not until 1965 that the Air Force had its own engineering capability to react quickly in emergency conditions and wartime situations.

Although Prime BEEF teams gave the Air Force a deployable capability, they lacked the heavy equipment and skills necessary to augment Base Engineer forces in the event of bomb damage or disasters, as well as accomplish major repairs where contract capability was not readily available.

It was the war in the Republic of Vietnam that furnished the impetus for the Air Force to create an Engineer force suitable for the conditions there.

A 10 May 1965 memo from Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense, to Harold Brown, Secretary of the Air Force, asked, "I understand the Marines will move from a Viet Cong-controlled, undeveloped land area at Chou Lai to a four-squadron operational field in 28 days, during which they will construct an 8,000 ft. runway. Does the Air Force have the similar capability? If not, what can be done to develop it?"

Maj. Gen. Robert H. Curtin, USAF Director of Civil Engineering, initiated a study to determine how best to develop this capability. The study recommended that two Prime BEEF Heavy Repair squadrons be formed.

In September 1965, Tactical Air Command was tasked to organize, train, equip, and prepare two squadrons for deployment to Southeast Asia. The squadrons were called RED HORSE, an acronym for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron, Engineer. (In 1988 they were renamed Civil Engineering RED HORSE squadrons.)

The first two units, the 554th and 555th Squadrons, began their training at Cannon AFB, NM, in November 1965. Each squadron was organized as a mobile, self-contained unit of 400 personnel with a range of skills and construction equipment to provide combat engineering support to Air Force tactical unit. Each squadron included medical, food service, vehicle and equipment maintenance, and supply personnel to ensure self-sufficiency.

Upon completion of training the 554th Red Horse Squadron was sent to Phan Rhang, Vietnam and the 555th Red Horse Squadron followed about a month later and was assigned to Cam Rhan Bay, Vietnam.

The 554th Squadron was assigned to Osan Air Base, Korea from 1976 until 2007 and worked on projects throughout Korea and the Far East. The 554th Red Horse Squadron is now assigned to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and continues on with the mission of "Red Horse" in fighting terrorism and keeping our country safe.

WHAT IS A VET?

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can't tell a vet just by looking at them.

A Vet is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel. A Vet is the bar room loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang. A Vet is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.

A Vet is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning those slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

A Vet is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand. A Vet is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by, or the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

A Vet is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow, who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come. He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

A Vet is a Soldier and a Savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say "THANK YOU". That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded. Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".

Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, LtCol, USMC

VISIT OTHER RED HORSE COUNTRY PAGES!

Red Horse
Home Page
Red Horse
Training
554 Red Horse
Vietnam
554 Red Horse
Utapao
554 Red Horse
Kadena
554 Red Horse
Osan
Red Horse
Korea 73-76
554 Red Horse
Kunsan
554 Red Horse
Kwangju
554 Red Horse
Taegu
Don's Red
Horse Memoirs
Original 554th
Red Horse
554 Red Horse
History
Red Horse
History 1
Red Horse
History 2
554 Red Horse
Commanders
555 Red Horse
Vietnam
557 Red Horse
Squadron
823 Red Horse
Squadron
Red Horse
Reserve/Guard
202nd Red Horse
Squadron
Red Horse
Iraqi War
Prime Beef 3
Vietnam
Prime Beef 10
Vietnam
36th Red Horse
Anniversary
40th Redhorse
Anniversary
RedHorse Video
Red Horse
Photos
554 Red Horse
Guam
Red Horse
e-mail A-L
Red Horse
e-mail M-Z
Editor's Page
556RedHorse

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