Guam Air Guard's Civil Engineering Squadron converts to RED HORSE Published April 28, 2008 By Senior Airman Christine Martinez Guam National Guard PAO ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The Guam Air National Guard's 254th Civil Engineer Squadron held a Flagging Ceremony April 4 at Andersen AFB as they converted from a CES unit to a Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers (RED HORSE) squadron. "This is definitely an exciting time for us and we are happy to carry on the flag for the youngest RED HORSE unit in the Air National Guard as we become an associate unit with the oldest RED HORSE unit in the Air Force," said Maj. Audie Artero, 254th REDHORSE Commander. "RED HORSE is deeply rooted in tradition and we hope we can proudly carry on the Taotaomona pride as we open this new chapter in our organization's history," said Artero. The unit will be an associate unit with the Air Force's 554th RED HORSE Squadron at Andersen, with current plans to relocate to Northwest Field. There will be no changes to the current chain-of-command at this time. "I already look forward to deploying with such an outstanding unit," Artero said. The Guam Air National Guard's 254th CES was federally redesignated from an engineering flight to a squadron on July 1, 1985. This conversion changes the primary skill sets from an engineering sustainment to a small scale engineering construction force. "It's a big change for all our personnel, and it's a challenge we've been looking forward to," said 2nd Lt. Leo Palomares, 254 RED HORSE Squadron engineering flight chief. This conversion will increase opportunities for additional training. It will grow the workforce and provide more opportunities to work with active duty Air Force counterparts, especially with Silver Flag and Commando Warrior coming to Guam, said Lieutenant Palomares. "We are all very excited and we thank everyone involved for their support," said the lieutenant. RED HORSE squadrons provide the Air Force with a highly mobile civil engineering response force to support contingency and special operations worldwide. They are self sufficient, mobile squadrons capable of rapid response and independent operations in remote, high-threat environments worldwide. Their major wartime responsibilities are to provide a highly mobile, rapidly deployable, civil engineering response force that is self-sufficient to perform heavy damage repair required for recovery of critical Air Force facilities and utility systems, and aircraft launch and recovery. In addition, they accomplish engineer support for bed down of weapon systems required to initiate and sustain operations in an austere bare base environment, including remote hostile locations. The primary RED HORSE tasking in peacetime is to train for contingency and wartime operations. They participate regularly in Joint Chiefs of Staff and major command exercises, military operations other than war, and humanitarian civic action programs. They also perform training projects which assist base construction efforts while simultaneously honing wartime skills.