Airmen improve base for Soldiers in northern Iraq
In the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, Airmen from the 332d Air Expeditionary Wing are using their construction expertise to help the U.S. and Iraqi governments and the U.S. Army.
The 557th Expeditionary Red Horse Squadron is deployed in support of the Army's 555th Combat Support Brigade (Maneuver Enhancement) here. Red Horse stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operations Repair Squadron Engineer.
"Red Horse is a heavy construction outfit that directly supports combat air power worldwide," said Senior Master Sgt. Brian Richardson, Red Horse airfields manager. "They provide air component commanders a dedicated, flexible airfield and base heavy construction and repair capability, along with many special capabilities that allow commanders to move and support missions as the air order of battle dictates."
In Mosul, Red Horse Airmen are helping the Army with transition of battlespace.
"Transition of battlespace is returning American-occupied real estate back to the Iraqi government," Sergeant Richardson said. "With the closure of Forward Operating Base Courage, the troops stationed there are redeploying to Marez. The 557th ERHS is developing real estate and constructing facilities to support these additional troops."
So far the 557th ERHS has worked on the following:
- 4,400-square-foot joint operations command building
- 5,700-square-foot tactical operations command building
- 7,200-square-foot State Department building
- 2,800-square-foot 101st Forward Staff headquarters
- A 169- and 204-unit containerized housing living area
- Four helicopter pads
- 1.5 miles of barriers for force protection
- 6,000 feet of fiber-optic cable to upgrade communications
- 60-foot communications antennae
Normally, a Red Horse team works from scratch. They move into an area where there is nothing and construct facilities, install utilities and build an airfield to support combat operations.
At Marez, with the exception of a few facilities, the Red Horse Airmen have inherited existing facilities and are renovating them. The team is working closely with the Army host unit.
"Working with the Army is great," Sergeant Richardson said. " If there was ever a prime example of joint operations, this is it. The Army and Air Force (are) working and living side by side to get the job done."
Source: U.S. Air Force
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