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Welcome to the RED HORSE and Prime BEEF Association

An Association of Past and Present Members of Prime BEEF and RED HORSE

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The RED HORSE and Prime BEEF Association was formed in 2001 as it was determined there was a need for all USAF Combat Civil Engineers to remain in touch, re-establish old friendships, create new ones, perpetuate our spirit and traditions, represent the interests, provide a fraternal atmosphere, encourage social interaction, develop a scholarship fund and support our members in their time of need.
 
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RED HORSE and Prime BEEF Association
 
 

 

 
Civil engineers hone combat skills at Silver Flag PDF Print E-mail
on Saturday, 15 September 2007

Views : 4553    

Published in : , Latest News


by Master Sgt. William Huntington
442nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs


9/9/2007 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- For many people, a trip to Florida's Gulf Coast means playing in the surf and enjoying life on sandy beaches.

For 442nd Civil Engineer Squadron members attending Silver Flag exercises in July, it meant chemical warfare training, bomb crater repair and long, often grueling, hours of work in the hot sun.

Nearly 50 of the civil engineers from Whiteman AFB, Mo., joined Airmen from 21 other Air Force units from as far away as England for the five-day exercise held here.

Detachment 1, 823rd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers Squadron hosts the Silver Flag training. The RED HORSE detachment's 77-person cadre provided the 157 Airmen a hands-on "class room" designed to train CE, services, finance, contracting, communications and personnel troops in building and maintaining bare-base operations at forward-deployed locations. It's something the red-hatted RED HORSE Airmen do well as they train more than 10,000 people at the facility each year.

Training on the 1,200-acre, heavily wooded site just east of Tyndall's main base mirrors what Airmen could expect if deployed to a base with little or no infrastructure and are called upon to prepare the site for a follow-on deployment of an operational flying organization.

Moreover, the "training aids" supplied by RED HORSE - a freshly bomb-cratered 6,000-foot runway, crashed aircraft, a tent city waiting to be erected, and much, much more - add to the realism of the exercise.

"The training program simulates a bare-base environment very well," said Staff Sgt. James Van Gilder, a 442nd CES firefighter. "It is an intense program that builds confidence in your abilities."

The full spectrum of engineering talent - readiness, fire-protection, engineering, entomology, fuels, structures, electrical, power production and others - is put to the task establishing the base. Often one CE discipline found itself assisting in the missions of another discipline.

"All areas were undermanned so everyone was doing a little bit of everything to get the job done." said Tech. Sgt. Mark Kuhaneck, a 442nd CES power production specialist. "The challenging part was trying to accomplish all the tasks with a limited number of people in a short period of time."

The tasks from the cadre came fast and furious.

Using Harvest Falcon and Harvest Eagle equipment, the engineers built a tent city for force beddown. While doing the work, they endured simulated attacks, which take them through all of the chemical warfare mission-oriented protection postures. Advanced base recovery after attack is another element integrated into the program.

Utilities and HVAC - heating, air conditioning and ventilation - troops provide the needed power and air conditioning to make life more bearable in the hot, humid climate.

On the runway, which is always hotter than the rest of the base, heavy equipment operators or "dirt boys" as they are affectionately termed, fill and repair bomb craters while other engineers string a temporary airfield lighting system in preparation for aircraft operations.

On another part of the site, Airmen tap a small lake for water to be processed through a reverse osmosis water purification unit. An ROWPU would provide the potable water needed at an airfield.

Firefighters face both aircraft and structure fires. At a crash site in the woods, they rescue aviators from a "downed" aircraft.

Deployed CE leaders coordinated the effort. The RED HORSE cadre closely monitored the entire operation as Airmen built mission-essential skills.

"(We were) able to work with the equipment and use it as if it were a real-world operation," Sergeant Kuhaneck said. "We did mobile aircraft arresting system installation and operation, generator maintenance and operation, mobile generator operation and light carts operation. We do not have this equipment (at Whiteman) and it provides us with hands-on training."

Sergeant Van Gilder agreed.

"I benefited from learning how to use newly-developed equipment, and refreshed my skills with equipment I've previously used," he said "The intense training environment tested the strength of our team, but positively impacted our group dynamics as a result."

While the local environment presented some physical challenges for Sergeant Van Gilder and the other firefighters, it also helped each of them learn something about themselves.

"Part of the curriculum for firefighters is to perform your job while wearing your chemical equipment underneath your fire gear," he said. "Wearing that equipment - combined with the extreme heat of a Florida summer - provides you with a clear understanding of your personal limitations."  (Air Force Reserve Command News Service)

Web version: http://www.afrc.af.mil/newsreleases/story.asp?id=123067351


Last update: Saturday, 15 September 2007

   
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