The 819th RED HORSE Squadron was officially reactivated Aug. 8, 1997, and stationed at Malmstrom. RED HORSE is an acronym for Rapid Engineer Deployable, Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer. It is designed to provide rapid construction and major repairs of airfields and supporting infrastructure. The squadron’s more than 240 personnel are made up of virtually every civil engineering discipline and also include vehicle maintenance, supply, logistics plans, services, security forces, communications and medical personnel. This composition ensures self-sufficiency while performing missions in the most remote parts of the world. The squadron has the capability to deploy within 72 hours of notification.
The 819th was originally activated as a RED HORSE squadron Jan. 12, 1966, at Phu Cat Air Base, Vietnam, and was deactivated Aug. 31, 1990, at Royal Air Force Wethersfield, England. It enjoys a distinguished history of accomplishments, including seven Vietnam campaign honors, three outstanding unit awards and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.
Other than the 819th, there are three active duty, two Reserve and six National Guard RED HORSE squadrons in operation today. The 819th is the first “associate” RED HORSE squadron in the U.S. Air Force where approximately 75 percent is active duty and 25 percent is Air National Guard. The Air National Guard part of the 819th team is the 219th RED HORSE Squadron, which incorporates the former 120th Civil Engineer Squadron of the Montana Air National Guard.