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Nothing Like RED HORSE PDF Print E-mail
on Monday, 08 September 2008

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Published in : , Short Stories

Zamounde Allie

554th, 819th


I joined the Air Force in June of 1987, and after completing basic and technical training I headed to RAF Wethersfield AS to serve in the 819th. At first I was simply happy to receive England as my first assignment, but I had no idea what was in store for me at the 819th.

My wife and I arrived on 13 October and after awaking from our jet lag in the middle of the night (a day later) to hurricane force winds I found out what RED HORSE meant.

Gazing out of my billeting window I saw heavy equipment moving about the base and men and women hard at work cleaning up and repairing storm damage. I reported for duty at the Orderly Room and then to my assigned flight chief. Well, the ball never stopped rolling from then on until I left three years later when the unit was shut down and I was given orders to Charleston AFB (I'll get to that story another day).

My flight chief briefed me on what was expected (get trained fast/perform well) so I did just that. My first example of what it took to be a good horseman came during one cold wet week of loader and dump truck training. The trainer took me and another rookie out to the stockpile and said "take that pile over there, and move it over there; when you're done move it back again. You take the dump truck and you the loader." After showing us how to inspect the equipment and operate it safely he watched us perform sitting in his pickup truck smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee the whole week.

At the end of the week the trainer signed our AF Form 171's and asked each of us what we thought about the training. I replied that I learned a lot and explained that it was a great experience learning how to do controlled dumps and efficiently load the truck. My counter part nodded in agreement, but added that he was bored with doing the same thing all day. When we returned to the shop (hangar) the flight chief asked the trainer how we did and he stated that we did good, but one of us needed a little attitude adjustment.

The next Monday at role call the flight chief stated when he got to my name that I was selected to go on a TDY to Italy for 8 days, and then right afterwards to RAF Welford to build explosive munition berms (too many to count), but one thing that stuck out in my mind was that week of training when we loaded and moved that pile of clay back and forth.

Now here I was for 60 days plus doing nothing but loading and spread dumping clay. I kept my attitude right and learned how to operate all of our equipment, rock crusher, and joined the explosive demolition team, too. See that's just it, a horseman does what he/she does all day in any weather if the type of job permits, and don't complain (get bored)--we make it happen! I went on to complete almost two years out of the three on TDY working major projects and having a great time while learning a wealth of applicable skills and experiences along with life-time remembered friends and fellow RED HORSEman. I was forced to retrain in 1995, but there's nothing like a horseman. You can't get any better than that in the Air Force! Oh, and by the way my fellow rookie got his attitude straight quick fast and in a hurry--that's how we do it!



GS-12 Zamounde S. Allie, Jr. (TSgt, USAF Retired)

Last update: Monday, 08 September 2008

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