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554th RHS formally joins Team Andersen

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Chris Powell
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Members of the 554th RED HORSE Squadron not only have a new place to call home, but they were also introduced to their new unit flag in a relocation ceremony here that formally joined the unit to Team Andersen on Feb. 22.

The squadron's move to Andersen from Osan Air Base, Korea has been in the works since 2005, when Donald Rumsfeld, then secretary of defense, enacted a security policy initiative to draw down U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula. Since that time, the 554th RHS has moved more than 3,000 tons of equipment and 150 members to Andersen. 

"This transition, this re-flagging, marks the first time in RED HORSE history and Air Force history, that a RED HORSE unit has been aligned under a wing and a group," said Lt. Col. Eric Yates, 554th RHS commander.

To make that history took a lot of time and money. In total, it cost more than $33 million and nearly 150,000 man hours to complete. However, that appears to be money and time well spent when considering the 554th RHS' history of success.

"This transition has been [more than] two years in the making, and I am honored to finally give you all a formal welcome to the 36th Wing," Brig.Gen. Douglas Owens 36th Wing commander, told the 554th RHS members in attendance.

"The 554th Red Horse Squadron's history in the Pacific is measured in honors, achievement and sacrifice," the general said. The unit was instrumental in constructing facilities at Su Wan Air Base, Korea in the early 1980s for the beddown of newly assigned A-10s.

The 554th RHS has the awards to back up its claims of success. It boasts 16 outstanding unit campaign ribbons, 19 outstanding unit awards, seven of which come with the combat V device, and was the runner-up for the Maj. Gen. Robert H. Curtin award for the Best Large Civil Engineer Squadron in the Air Force.

Just like so many times in its past, the 554th RHS' is jumping into another extremely important construction project here.

"The 554th, lead by Lt. Col. Eric Yates, are again making history by constructing PACAF's expeditionary training campus - a 200 acre, 178 million dollar endeavor at Andersen's Northwest Field,"  General Owens said.

Those familiar with Andersen's past know Northwest Field hasn't been in use for some time, but with the additions of Commando Warrior, Silver Flag and combat communications, it will be an integral piece of Andersen's future mission. 

"The [554th] RED HORSE Squadron is bringing that old base back by the grit and determination of its Airmen. It's a remarkable story, sure to be one for the history books, and perhaps, one that we can be proud of," the general said. "These are historic times for the island of Guam, Andersen Air Force Base and of course for you, the 554th RED HORSE Squadron."

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