554th RED HORSE Squadron (PACAF)


The 554th RED HORSE Squadron was constituted as the 554th Civil Engineering Squadron,
Heavy Repair, on 1 October 1965, and assigned to Pacific Air Forces for organization.  The unit
was organized 12 October 1965 with station at Phan Rang Air Base, Vietnam.  Members of the
554th and 555th, the first two RED HORSE squadrons, received training at Cannon AFB prior to
their deployment to Vietnam, and the 554th was the first to arrive in country in February 1966.  Its
first major project was repair of the AM-2 runway at Phan Rang AB.  In 1967, it became the first
RED HORSE unit to own and operate a concrete batch plant, constructing parking aprons.  The
unit also completed numerous dormitories, dining halls, and other facilities at several bases.  It was
reassigned to the 1st Civil Engineering Group in May 1967.    

The 554th moved to Cam Ranh Bay AB on 15 February 1970 and then to Da Nang AB on 30
November 1971.  By the end of 1971, the 554th was the only squadron remaining in the Republic
of Vietnam.  It moved to U Tapao AB, Thailand, on 30 June 1972 to remove modular facilities

there.  On 5 January 1976, the unit moved to its current location at Osan AB, Korea, and was
assigned to Pacific Air Forces.  It had a detachment in the Philippines for a short time.  In the early
1980s, the 554th was instrumental in constructing facilities at Suwon AB to bed down an A-10
squadron newly assigned to Fifth Air Force.  

In 1987 the 554th was assigned to Seventh Air Force, PACAF.  On 15 October 1988, it was
redesignated as the 554th Civil Engineering Squadron, RED HORSE.  On 8 March 1989 it was
redesignated as the 554th RED HORSE Civil Engineering Squadron, and on 1 March 1994 as the
554th RED HORSE Squadron.  The unit’s size was significantly reduced in the mid-1990s, but a
plus-up began in 1999.  By November 2000 it was back to an assigned strength of 144.  

Today the 554th is the only known Total Force squadron in the Air Force, composed of active
duty, Reserve, and Air National Guard components.  In late 2000 the Air National Guard activated
the 254 RED HORSE Flight, Camp Murray, Washington, to augment the 554 RHS.  On 1 Oct
2001 Air Force Reserve Command activated the 555th RED HORSE Squadron, assigned to the
610th Regional Support Group, Nellis AFB NV, also to augment the 554th.  Gaining command
was Pacific Air Forces.

In 2004, the 554th established an airborne capability known as the 554th RHS Assault,
Assessment, and Repair Operations (AARO, pronounced “arrow”) team to provide a rapid airfield
seizure and repair capability for the Pacific theater.

In addition to its construction projects, the 554th is active in natural disaster recovery work in the
Pacific region.  The Han River flows near Osan AB, and floods on a regular basis.  Using their
heavy equipment, RED HORSE has repaired levies and minimized damage to the base and the
local community numerous times.  It also played an important role in the recovery and repair of
Clark AB, Philippines, following the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

554th Lineage and Honors

Lineage, Constituted 554th Civil Engineering Squadron (Heavy Repair), and activated, on 1 Oct
1965.  Organized on 12 Oct 1965.  Redesignated:  554th Civil Engineering Squadron, Heavy
Repair, on 15 Oct 1969; 554th Civil Engineering Squadron, RED HORSE, on 15 Oct 1988;
554th RED HORSE Civil Engineering Squadron on 8 Mar 1989; 554th RED HORSE Squadron
on 1 Mar 1994.


Service Streamers. None

Campaign Streamers.

           Vietnam Defensive 1965-1966
           Vietnam Air 1966
           Vietnam Air Offensive 1966-1967
           Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase II 1967-1968
           Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase III 1968
           Vietnam Air/Ground 1968
           Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase IV 1968-1969
           TET 69/Counteroffensive 1969
           Vietnam Summer/Fall 1969
           Vietnam Winter/Spring 1969-1970
           Sanctuary Counteroffensive 1970
           Southwest Monsoon 1970
           Commando Hunt V 1970-1971
           Commando Hunt VI 1971
           Commando Hunt VII 1971-1972
           Vietnam Ceasefire 1972-1973

Armed Forces Expiditionary Streamers. None

Decorations. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat "V" Device:  9 Jan-15 Sep 1966;
21 Mar-17 Aug 1967; 1 Jan-31 Dec 1969; 1 Jan-16 Mar 1970; 17 Mar 1970-16 Mar 1971; 17
Mar 1971-30 Jun 1972; 1 Jul 1972-30 Jun 1973.  Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards:  1 Jul
1973-30 Jun 1974; 1 Apr 1976-30 Jun 1977; 1 Jul 1977-30 Jun 1978; 1 Jul 1978-30 Jun 1979;
1 Jul 1979-30 Jun 1980; 1 Jul 1981-30 Jun 1983;1 Jul 1983-30 Jun 1985; 1 Mar 1987-2 Oct
1988; 3 Oct 1988-7 Jul 1990; 8 Jul 1990-30 Jun 1992; 1 Jul 1993-30 Jun 1995; 1 Jul 1995-30
Jun 1997.  Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm:  1 Apr 1966-28 Jan 1973.

Assignments, 2d Air Division, 12 Oct 1965; Seventh Air Force, 1 Apr 1966; 1st Civil
Engineering Group (Heavy Repair) (later, 1st Civil Engineering Group, Heavy Repair), 15 May
1967; Seventh Air Force, 16 Mar 1970; Thirteenth Air Force, 30 Jun 1972; Pacific Air Forces, 5
Jan 1976; Seventh Air Force, 1 Mar 1987-.

Stations, Phan Rang AB, South Vietnam, 12 Oct 1965; Cam Ranh Bay AB, South Vietnam, 26
Dec 1969; Da Nang AB, South Vietnam, 30 Nov 1971; U-Tapao Afld, Thailand, 30 Jun 1972;
Osan AB, South Korea, 5 Jan 1976-
Emblem, Updated 2016

Date Prepared. 29 Feb 2000