RED HORSE Airmen return home
on Tuesday, 07 April 2009

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by Nellis Public Affairs
99th Air Base Wing

4/6/2009 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.  -- More than 290 Airmen, assigned to the 820th RED HORSE Squadron, returned home from a six-month deployment to South West Asia, April 6 at approximately 3 p.m. here.

The Airmen were greeted by family and friends at the Nellis Air Terminal immediately upon arrival. Some Nellis senior leaders were also present to welcome the Airmen home, which included Brig. Gen. Kevin McLaughlin, vice commander of the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center and Col. Dave Belote, 99th Air Base Wing commander.

RED HORSE squadrons provide the Air Force with a highly-mobile civil engineering capability in support of contingency and special operations worldwide. They are self-sufficient, mobile squadrons that provide construction support such as runway repair, electrical upgrades and equipment transport. RED HORSE squadrons also build lodging facilities, storage areas and operational buildings in deployed environments.

Many of the recently returned RED HORSE Airmen kept in touch with home by participating in the "Adopt an Airman" program, which partnered a deployed Airman with community members prior to their departure in September 2008. During their deployment, Airmen received support from their community partners through care packages, letters and pictures from home. The parties were finally reunited and celebrated the Airmen's service and safe return home to the Las Vegas Valley.

"It's great to welcome back our Airmen, have them reunited with their families and then send them on their way after a long deployment," said Capt. Kristine Kilian, 555th RED HORSE Squadron section commander and a key player in organizing the Airmen's homecoming. "[The homecoming] was a team effort by everybody." 

The recently returned RED HORSE Airmen will add to the more than 130 Airmen with the 99th Security Forces Group, who returned April 1. 

"I want to thank the men and women that were over there with us in Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar," said. Col. Wilfred Cassidy, the 820th RED HORSE Squadron commander here who deployed as 1st Expeditionary RED HORSE Group commander in Qatar. "They did outstanding work and really made a difference. I would like to thank the family members here - you were the motivation that kept us going all along. Also, thank you to the commanders, honorary commanders and sponsors of the Adopt an Airman program."

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Last update: Tuesday, 07 April 2009

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