RED HORSE demos Total Force Integration

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kevin Tanenbaum and Maj. Jessica D'Ambrosio
  • 99th Air Base Wing and 926th Wing public affairs
Total Force Integration is operating seamlessly across Nellis Air Force Base, to include the remote desert of Area 2 on the northeast side of the installation.

Here the 555th RED HORSE Squadron, a Reserve tenant unit, partners with its Regular Air Force sister squadron, the 820th RHS, to accomplish building infrastructure here and worldwide while on deployment.

Currently the two squadrons are working together to build a new firehouse in Area 2. Equipment operators and structures personnel from the 555th RHS have been pivotal in the construction by providing extra manpower.

“It's a huge win for both units,” said Maj. Jeremy Lock, 820th RHS Director of Operations. “We get additional help on our projects, which cuts time off our schedule, and the 555 RHS gets quality training opportunities right here in their backyard.”

The Reserve squadron is eager to assist, bridging a gap on weekends to keep the project moving forward.

“The 820th has schedules it has to meet, so on the weekends we come out here and give them that extra hand,” said Senior Airman Alan Carrillo, 555th RHS heavy equipment operator. “We help the 820th RED HORSE Squadron prepare, so that on Monday they can come in and hit the ground running.”

At the same time, the project is providing the reservists with experience and training needed to become even more capable in their career field.

“A lot of us don’t perform our Air Force job on the civilian side,” said Carrillo. “This gives us more of a real-life scenario; it’s more hands on.”
The success of this relationship is also attributed to behind the scenes work. In recent months, leadership from both units have been developing plans for more joint projects and more opportunities for face-to-face interaction at all levels aimed at building trust and respect between personnel.

Under the new P-Band construct, the 555th and 820th will have a more habitual relationship as they are banded together for deployments. “We’re getting the opportunity to develop the relationship between the two units, which is really important, especially when it comes time to deploy,” said Lock.

“We are much more dependent on each other. Going forward, our ability to work closely with each other will be critical to our mission success.”

The 555th RHS has been involved in many projects across the nation since it stood up here in October 2001. Last year the unit worked on the TERI Campus of Life in San Diego County, California. The project involved 200 engineers from the Air Force and Navy logging more than 22,000 man hours to help build a 20-acre learning academy for people with special needs.

In 2014 the squadron led planning and coordination Innovative Readiness Training rotations for the repair of airfield taxiways, aprons and hangars in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

The squadron was formed in 1965 as the 555th Civil Engineering Squadron (Heavy Repair) due to increased construction requirements in Vietnam. It was designated a Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer unit in 1998, and manned with Citizen Airmen in 2001.