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RED HORSE HISTORY

Webmaster: R.G."Andy" Anderson

If your Unit Patch isn't shown and you have a picture of it --- Then Please E-Mail me a copy of it. Also could use more information on your Units to add to this page...Thanks

FATHER of RED HORSE


Brigadier General William T. Meredith

General Meredith entered active military service in February 1941 as a private in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and after completion of basic engineer training at Fort Belvoir, Va., was assigned to the 21st Aviation Engineer Regiment at Langley Field, Va.

He was transferred to the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations where he was placed in charge of construction of the Karachi and Malir airports in India. In November 1942 he was transferred to Ledo, Assam, in India, and assigned as leader of a patrol composed of Naga hillmen, with responsibility for terrain reconnaissance for the forward security over the supply trail into Northern Burma. He, Major General R.A. Wheeler and Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Seagroves (Burma Surgeon) were ambushed and trapped by Japanese forces. They were surrounded for two weeks, supplied by air drop, broke out and walked 127 miles back to Ledo, Assam. During this action, in March 1943 General Wheeler awarded him a battlefield commission as second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers.

General Meredith returned to Fort Belvoir in October 1944 where he was assigned to the Engineer School as an instructor. In November 1945 he was relieved from active duty and joined the Virginia Department of Highways.

In February 1947 General Meredith returned to active duty with the Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Belvoir as assistant post engineer and in April 1948 again became an instructor in the Engineer School.

In July 1961 General Meredith began a series of assignments in which he was primarily concerned with restructuring civil engineering organizations to adequately fulfill their mission of direct combat support. This was accomplished by two projects that established Air Force combat engineer organizations - PRIME BEEF (Base Engineer Emergency Forces) and RED HORSE (Rapid Engineer Deployable, Heavy Operations Repair Squadrons, Engineer).

He first served at Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Directorate of Civil Engineering as chief of the Operations Branch, Base Maintenance Division; then as special assistant to the deputy director for civil engineering; and from August 1964 to February 1966, as deputy chief, Plans and Operations Division. He assumed command of the Civil Engineering Construction Group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in March 1966, with responsibilities for implementation of the PRIME BEEF and RED HORSE projects; in July 1967 became commander of the 560th Civil Engineering Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., with responsibilities for training RED HORSE personnel for Southeast Asia duty; and from October 1967 to November 1968, served in the Republic of Vietnam as commander of the 554th Civil Engineering Squadron at Phan Rang and as vice commander of the First Civil Engineering Group at Tan Son Nhut Airfield with responsibilities for carrying out the RED HORSE mission.

In December 1968 General Meredith was assigned to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Civil Engineering, at Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., as director of programs and in June 1969 became deputy chief of staff for civil engineering. He was appointed assistant for Real Property Maintenance, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Installations and Logistics), Washington, D.C., in August 1970.

He was promoted to the temporary grade of brigadier general effective Aug. 1, 1970, with date of rank July 4, 1970.

General Meredith retired in 1973 and lives in Ocala, Florida.

554th RED HORSE Squadron
Phan Rang AB, Vietnam
1965 - 1972
First In, "Last Out" of Vietnam
Utapao AB, Thailand
1972 - 1976
Osan AB, Korea
1976 - 2007
Andersen AFB, Guam
2007 - Present

The 554th Civil Engineering Squadron Heavy Repair (CESHR) or other wise known as the Penny Short Red Horse Squadron born at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico in November 1965. Cannon is where the Penny Short received their Red Horse Training prior to going to Vietnam.

At the end of December 1965 the 554th Red Horse Squadron arrived at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. In January of 1966 the 554thCESHR went to Phan Rang, Vietnam and commenced building their compound, water towers for the base, and improving the runway by laying matting on the entire surface of the runway.

The 554th Red Horse Squadron relocated to Utapao, Thailand in 1972. While at Utapao the Penny Short Red Horse Squadron had detachments performing construction projects at bases in Thailand, in South Korea, in Okinawa, and in the Philippines. In 1975 the squadron constructed a Cambodian refugee camp at Utapao, assisted in the recovery of Vietnamese aircraft that fled Vietnam to Utapao then they were parked in the grass along the aircraft ramp and sank up to their bellies when it rained, also recovered a Jolly Green Giant Helicopter that had been shot down during recovery operations for the Mayaguaz merchant marine ship in Cambodia.

During the summer of 1975 the 554th Red Horse Squadron commenced phasing down in Thailand and started sending building materials, supplies, vehicles, and heavy equipment to Osan AB, South Korea. The last group of Horsemen left Utapao the first part of 1976 and went to Kunsan AB, South Korea where they formed up as Detachment 1, 554CESHR.

In South Korea the Penny Short became a dominant trademark at all bases on the peninsula. When the First Team Spirit Exercise was conducted it was the 554 Red Horse Squadron that led the way in constructing tent cities and bedding down participants in this exercise. This tradition has continued every year up to the present.

After our military officers where axed to death by the North Koreans for cutting a tree down in the DMZ and the subsequent visiting congressional leaders realized that our troops where not adequately protected they turned to Red Horse to fortify our air bases. The Penny Short Squadron started many revetment projects throughout all of the air bases in South Korea to protect our airmen and their war machines.

Currently Stationed at Osan AB, South Korea

On April 15, 2006, the first group of Horsemen arrived at Andersen AFB, Guam to open the 554th Red Horse OL-A (Operating Location Alpha)to start beddown operations in preperation for movement of the 554th Red Horse Squadron from Osan AB, Korea.

555th RED HORSE Squadron
Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam
1966 - 1970
Nellis AFB, Nevada
2002 - Present

The 555th Red Horse Squadron constructed hundreds of buildings at several sites. Triple Nickel completed the troop housing facilities at Cam Rahn Bay along with maintaining the AM-2 Matting Runways, Taxiways, and Parking Aprons.

Inactivated January 1970 at Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam

Reactivated on 23 February 2002 as an Air Force Reserve Red Horse Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

556th RED HORSE Squadron
Utapao AB, Thailand
1966 - 1969

The 556th Red Horse Squadrons primary tasking was the construction of support facilities such as dormitories and dining halls. However they did complete the taxiway-runway-apron complex at Nakhon Phanom AB, Thailand.

Inactivated 1969 at Utapao AB, Thailand

557th RED HORSE Squadron
Osan AB, Korea
1968 - 1969
Talil AB, Iraq
2005 - Present

The 557th Red Horse Squadron assisted in the build up of US Air Forces in South Korea as a result of North Koreas seizure of the USS Publo a United States Electronic Information Gathering Naval Ship.

The 557th Red Horse Squadron worked thoughout Korea, ie. Kwangju AB, Taegue AB, Kunsan AB, Suwon AB, and Kimpo International Airport.

The 557th Red Horse Squadron relocated to Eglin AFB, Florida in 1969.

Inactivated in 1972 at Eglin AFB, Florida.

Reactivated in April 2005 in Talil, Iraq to support "Operation Iraqi Freedom".

819th RED HORSE Squadron
Phu Cat AB, Vietnam
1966 - 1970
Malmstrom AFB, Montana
1997 - Present

The 819th Red Horse Squadron layed AM-2 matting over 46 acres and erected 5,000 LF of aircraft revetments. The 819th completed a majority of construction at Phu Cat and helped to close down Tuy Hoa AB, Vietnam. The 819th Red Horse Squadron was also stationed at RAF Wethersfield, UK and was tasked with traditional heavy repair roles for the United States Air Forces Europe.

Currently stationed at Malmstrom AFB, Montana (ACC)

820th RED HORSE Squadron
Tuy Hoa AB, Vietnam
1966 - 1970
Nellis AFB, Nevada
1970 - Present

The 820th Red Horse Squadron completed revetments for 170 aircraft, 120,000 SF of wooden facilities, 36 acres of AM-2 matting. Upon leaving Vietnam the 820th Red Horse Squadron relocated to Nellis AFB, Nevada.

The 820thRed Horse Squadron has participated in DESERT SHIELD-DESERT STORM, ALLIED FORCE and numerous projects in Central America. The 820th is currently tasked with DESERT SHIFT 2000 (PSAB)

Currently Stationed at Nellis AFB, Nevada (ACC)

823rd RED HORSE Squadron
Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam
1966 - 1970
Hurlburt Field, Florida
1972 - Present

The 823rd Red Horse Squadron completed construction at five different locations in Vietnam (Bien Hoa, Tan Son Nhut, Vung Tau, Da Nang, Pleiku). They constructed a tent city in 1975 for 5,000 Vietnamese refugees.

The 823rd Red Horse Squadron also participated in DESERT SHIELD-DESERT STORM, RESTORE HOPE, JOINT ENDEAVOR, AND ALLIED FORCE. The 823rd is currently tasked with DESERT SHIFT 2000 (PSAB)

Detachment 1, 823rd Red Horse Squadron is stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base and is engaged in training all civil engineers within the CONUS in Rapid Runway Repairs and other Wartime skills that they may be called upon to perform. The training site at Tyndall is called Silver Flag.

Headquarters for the 823rd is Currently located at Hurlburt Field, Florida (ACC)

1st Civil Engineer Group
Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam
1967 - 1971

In late 1966, as the number of Red Horse Squadrons in Vietnam grew to five, a control element to plan and coordinate the efforts of the squadrons was needed to obtain maximum construction capability. After a false start and establishment of a temporary organization, the 1st Civil Engineering Group (Heavy Repair) formally activated on 15 May 1967. The unit's mission was to command and control the five Red Horse Squadrons in Vietnam. It managed and directed the activities and construction programs of the units and helped prevent diversion of Red Horse assets from essential projects.

Located at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, the 1st Civil Engineer Group consisted of a command section, three divisions, and an administrative services section and was authorized 17 officers and 58 enlisted personnel.

The 1st Civil Engineer Group continued to oversee the Red Horse program in Vietnam until 1970. On 16 March 1970, the unit moved to Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, where it was attached to the 2750th Air Base Wing for administrative and logistics support. The Civil Engineering Center (an AFCESA predecessor unit) provided operational control. The unit was formally inactivated effective 1 November 1971. The group was redesignated the, Provisional, and activated in October 2001.

560th Civil Engineering Field
Activities Center
Eglin AFB, Florida
Inactivated 1970

The 560th Civil Engineering Field Activities Center was capable of field training 2,300 civil engineering airmen each year. This capability kept the six RED HORSE SQUADRONS in Southeast Asia supplied with fresh HORSEMEN to continue the mission that the Horse Units were projected to accomplish.

Inactivated January 1970

200th RED HORSE Squadron (ANG)
Camp Perry ANG Station, Ohio
1971 - Present

201st RED HORSE FLIGHT (ANG)
Indiantown Gap ANG Station, PA
1971 - Present

The Air National Guard established its Red Horse Units at Camp Perry ANG Station, Ohio (200th RHS) and at Indiantown Gap ANG Station, PA (210st RHS) in 1971. The mission was to develop the ANG with in-house capability to provide training for Prime BEEF teams. The units have deployed members to locations around the world to support Department of Defense projects, and supported state and local citizens through various civic action programs. The 200th and the 201st deployed to Camp Snoopy, Qatar, for three months in 2000 to take on more than a dozen construction projects. In 2002, the combined squadron completed a rotatio at Al Udeid AB, Qatar, to perform construction projects throughout Southwest Asia in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. It marked the first time an entire reserve component RED HORSE Squadron was tasked and partially mobilized to support a major wartime operation and functioned as a full RED HORSE Squadron, rather than just augmenting active duty operations or backfilling open positions.

202nd RED HORSE Squadron (ANG)
Camp Blanding Starke, Florida
1985 - Present

203rd RED HORSE Flight(ANG)
Camp Pendleton Virgina Beach, Virgina
1985 - Present

In January 1985, the ANG activated the 202nd Red Horse Squadron at Camp Blanding in Starke, Florida. Three weeks later, the 203rd RHF was activated at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The 202nd helped defeat wildfires in Florida in the spring of 1998, and supported hurricane recovery efforts in their area that fall. In 1999, members of the 203rd deployed in support of OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH in Southwest Asia and participated in Exercise Northern Viking in Iceland. In April 2003 the combined squadron was federally activated for the first time in its history when it was deployed to Southwest Asia in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. In 2004, the 202nd and the 203rd responded to provide assistance to bases in Florida in the wake of three disastrous hurricanes, Charley, Frances, Ivan.

219th Red Horse Flight (ANG)
Great Falls, Montana
1997 - Present

The 219th Red Horse Flight was activated as an Air National Guard associate unit with the 819th Red Horse Squadron in 1997. The 219th Red Horse Flight provides one-third of the manpower and equipment of the 404-person combined squadron. Although the 219th Red Horse Flight is a relative newcomer to the Red Horse mission, it,s roots can be traced to a long-established Air National Guard civil engineer unit - the 120th Civil Engineer Squadron which was assigned to the 120th Fighter Wing, Great Falls International Airport, Montana. In November 1996, an advance team of six personnel detached from the 120th CES with orders to prepare for the re-role of the `120th CES operatrions flight to a Red Horse Unit.

307th RED HORSE Squadron AFR
Lackland AFB, Texas
Det#1, 307th RED HORSE Squadron AFR
Barksdale AFB, LA

Some Active Duty missions were transferred to National Guard and Air Force Reserve Units. The 307th Red Horse Squadron Air Force Reserve has rehabilitated their own facilities plus completed projects at Hahn and Sembach, Germany.

The 307th Red Horse Squadron Air Force Reserve is currently working with active duty squadrons on training deployments.

Currently at Lackland AFB, Texas and Det# 1 is at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana

1st Expeditionary Red Horse Group
Qatar AB, United Emmirants
2001 - Present

Following the events of September 11, 2001, the buildup of forces in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM illuminated the immediate need for construction support at many locations in the CENTCOM's Area Of Responsibility. The immediate response of two Red Horse Squadrons (the 823rd RHS, followed by the 820th RHS) to meet those construction requirements necessitated the formation of a headquarters unit to coordinate Red Horse construction efforts and provide theater-wide logistics support. The 1st Expeditionary Red Horse Group was stood up as that headquarters unit in October 2001, and began directing construction effort at various locations throughout the CENTCOM's Area Of Responsibility.

31st Red Horse Flight
Leghorn, Italy
1996 - 2004
712th Red Horse Flight
Camp Darby
2004 - Present

The 31st Red Horse Flight was constitued on 1 August 1996 and activated at Leghorn, Italy (Camp Darby), as a U.S. Air Forces in Europe unit, assigned to the 31st Support Group at Aviano AB, Italy.

Its job was to equip, store and maintain heavy-repair vehicles, and support equipment and move it to forward operating locations as required. Unlike most Red Horse organizations, the 31st had few civil engineers. Vehicle mechanics and supply specialists comprised half the flight.

In September 1997, the unit provided natural disaster assistance to Assisi, Italy, following an earthquake that left 4,000 homeless.

In May 1998, the 31st Red Horse Flight assisted following a massive mudslide in Siano, Italy. Vehicle operators used Bob-Cat loaders to clear an estimated 500 tons of mud.

The unit further supported Red Horse deployments to Bosnia during Operation Joint Endevor, in the Balkans during Operation Joint Endevor, in the Balkans during Operation Allied Force/Sustain Hope, and in Southwest and South Central Asia during Operation Enduring Freedom.

The 31st Red Horse Flight was deactivated on 22 March 2004.

The 712th Red Horse Flight was activated on 22 March 2004 at Camp Darby and is still active. The unit is assigned to the 712th Air Base Group, Moron AB, Spain.

7219th Red Horse Flight
Spangdahlem AB, Germany
1985 - 1994
7319th Red Horse Flight
Aviano AB, Italy
1985 - 1994

These Red Horse Flights were activated on 23 January 1985 respectively. These units' jobs were to equip, store and maintain heavy-repair vehicles, and support equipment and move it to forward operating locations as required.

The 7319th's equipment and personnel deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1990 in support of Operation Desert Shield.

Inactivated November 1994.

When we went to Korea the jungle fatigues that we wore in Vietnam, Thailand and the Phillipines were phased out and we commenced wearing the standard issue fatigues. This meant that we could no longer wear the Red Horse Patch on our left shoulders, so we started wearing the Red Horse Sheild on our basic issue fatigue shirt pocket. We also wore this Red Horse Sheild on our dress blue uniforms.

 
 
 

         
Click on the above pictures to enlarge General Archie Mayes Letter!

                             

                             

                   

Click on the above pictures to enlarge each page one at a time to read the Article concerning General Mayes in "The Colonel Wears Four Hats".


This is a picture taken at the 35th Red Horse Anniversary at FtWalton Beach, Florida. On the Left is Bea Salazar next to his wife is Anthony Salazar and next to him is General Mayes one of the founders of Red Horse. During WWII General Mayes was a Major in the Army Corps of Engineers. While in Germany Major Mayes was the Engineer in charge of building the pontoon bridge across the Rein River that General Patton used to get his tanks across on his way into Berlin.


In this picture at the 35th Red Horse Anniversary at FtWalton Beach, Florida is Anthony Salazar, General Merideth, Bob Snyder, and Stan Klein.

Anthony "Sal" Salazar, writes

Well guys it was really worth the expense to be there and see the Triple Nickel reactivated. It is a Guard outfit and it is far from fully manned, but they are well on their way. They don't have any equipment yet, but they will begin purchasing some pretty quick. They just managed to get all of their credit cards for this purpose. They are located in Area 2 at Nellis. The 820th is in the same area with all of their equipment. They are located away from the main Base for those of you that have never been there. I counted two Major Generals and three Brigadier Generals there and several bird Colonels. I suspect that the majority of them were Reserve or National Guard people. There were people there from Penny Short in Korea and I believe only one past Commander from Triple Nickel, a LtCol Medeiros. He was placed in charge when they were phasing out. The individuals that I spoke to personally are highly motivated and eager to begin their new assignment. I was impressed with their professionalism. They are all a real fine group of men that any one would want to serve with. One thing for sure guys the Triple Nickel is in very capable hands. As Snider stated it looked good to see 555 Red Horse Squadron up on the wall of their facility. In addition they had a large Red Horse right in front of their facility standing on its hind legs and exact replica of the one's that we have already seen. The Commander is a real nice individual with some good Red Horse experience behind him. After the ceremony we were all treated to some good eating and that is when we got to mingle with a lot of the visitors and the Red Horse personnel. I know that I will be going back someday in the future to see what they have accomplished. The individuals that we got to talk with at the reunion in Florida opened up my eyes to a lot of things that I was unaware that the Reserve and National Guard are involved in. That was a good experience talking to those individuals. When you have been away for twenty three years you are not aware of the changes that have taken place until you meet with these individuals first hand. Don Averett was with us at Cannon, he was in Penny Short and attended a reunion last year in Korea as an original member of the Penny Short. The reunion was put on by the 554. I met one of the Chiefs from Korea there at Nellis that knows Don from that reunion. Guys we are so fortunate to have been able to be in Red Horse because the bond that developed between all of us is a form of unity that only we know and it lasts forever. Take care and keep in touch.

The following patches were sent to "Red Horse Country" by CMSgt Wayland Davis!

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