RED HORSE unit will stay at Malmstrom AFB

David Sherman

by MTN

GREAT FALLS – The 819th RED HORSE Squadron will remain at Malmstrom Air Force Base, according to a press release from U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) on Tuesday.

The Air Force had been considering moving the RED HORSE unit from Malmstrom to a base in Guam.

Tester met with Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James on Tuesday to confirm the decision by the Air Force.

In February 2015, Tester pointed out that moving the 819th and its equipment could negatively impact the Montana Air National Guard’s 219th RED HORSE unit.

The two units often work closely together and have carried out numerous projects across the state, including road repairs in Great Falls and an overhaul of the Tabor Dam in St. Ignatius.

“Keeping the 819th RED HORSE unit in Montana speaks to the tremendous work of our airmen and the successful partnership between active duty units and the Air National Guard. This news ensures that the squadron can continue to meet the emergency needs and provide the engineering support needed in Montana and throughout the region,” Tester said in the press release.

U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) also applauded the news.

In a press release, Daines said, “This is great news for Malmstrom, the Great Falls community and the state of Montana. The 819th RED HORSE unit…holds an important role in our national security and is a critical partner for the Montana Air National Guard’s 219th RED HORSE unit.”

RED HORSE is acronym for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers.

The Malmstrom AFB website provides this overview of the unit:

RED HORSE squadrons provide the Air Force with a highly mobile civil engineering response force to support contingency and special operations worldwide. It is a self-sufficient, 404-person mobile squadron capable of rapid response and independent operations in remote, high-threat environments worldwide.

It provides heavy repair capability and construction support when requirements exceed normal base civil engineer capabilities and where Army engineer support is not readily available. RED HORSE possesses weapons, vehicles/equipment and vehicle maintenance, food service, supply and medical equipment.