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    RED HORSE Assembles and Supports in El Salvador

    RED HORSE Assembles and Supports in El Salvador

    Photo By Maj. Valerie Hollenback | Air Force National Guard’s 202nd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Jorge Garcia 

    106th Public Affairs Detachment

    The RED HORSE were divided into the three engineering sites while the Army Reserve, active duty Army, elements of the Marine Corps and engineers from the Salvadoran army worked in the other two sites, constructing four new schools and one clinic.
    With BTH18 being his first deployment, Staff Sgt. Ryan Bray, an electrician with the 201st RED HORSE Squadron, out of Fort Indiantown Cap, Pennsylvania, is valuing every aspect of his experience here.
    “It was amazing to see everything come together because I really did not have that kind of experience at first,” said Bray. “Now that I see how a building is developed and assembled, the process felt like an orchestra; everything is well put together.”
    Maj. Angel Villafane, the senior engineer with the 202nd RED HORSE out of Camp Blanding, Florida and an employee for the Department of Defense (DOD), specified how this training not only illuminates the fledgling engineer with the subtle and technical aspects of the trade, but it sheds some insight on what war-time environments will be like in future deployments for Airmen.
    Master Sgt. Orlend Cox, an engineers assistant with the 201st RED HORSE Engineers, has traveled overseas on multiple occasions to perform missions, and with the BTH18 being his last training mission before he retires, he hopes he has given the Air Force everything he could to produce quality products. However, even now, Cox remains anxious and cautionary when completing missions overseas and it helps him remain attentive and determined.
    “When you first engage in the mission, it’s all new,” said Cox. “But within a day or two you settle in and get back to business and get things done accordingly.”
    On the other hand, with years of experience, the restlessness tends to dissipate giving one the confidence needed to meet the deadline. Master Sgt. Phillip J. McLawhorn, non- commissioned-officer-in-charge for the 203rd RED HORSE out of Camp Pendleton, Virginia, notes, that his confidence is based on knowing the mentors and mentees that educated his troops and that it bears remembering your experiences when one encounters a logistical issue that makes the mission difficult.
    “Waiting for contracting materials is sometimes a difficult part of the process, but I’ve been in the industry long enough to understand that it is a systemic process that requires patients to get to the finish line,” Said McLawhorn. “Professionally, as an engineer, share how you were able to overcome working with a lack of materials, or even how you might’ve motivated your Airmen or fellow wingmen to get to the finish line.”
    For some Officers, commanding the RED HORSE can be an educational experience. For Maj. Jessica L. Ditson, the Commander of the RED HORSE engineers, coming to El Salvador was revelation waiting to happen.
    There were different base materials than what was expected initially during the training, Ditson observed. Materials didn’t come in U.S. sizes—they came in metric form and the engineer’s plans weren’t aligned with the materials they were given. However, the Airmen were discerning enough to make incredible adaptations of the materials needed to comply with the set schedule.
    “They deploy a lot and they often build in really austere conditions, so they’re always approaching a problem with, ‘what do I have here that can benefit the mission,’”Ditson expressed. “Their determination has made this experience really amazing because I had no idea what it meant to be apart of a RED HORSE Squadron and I hope they consider me an honorary member—I would love to serve with them again.”
    The engineers based their training during BTH18 on the DOD’s Unified Facility Criteria, which highlights the standards on design, sustainment, renovation, planning, and modernization criteria. After a year has passed, Army Southern Command sends an inspector to validate the quality of construction based on DOD military grade standard.



    Date Taken: 07.25.2018
    Date Posted: 08.19.2018 13:06
    Story ID: 285742
    Location: SV

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