201st RED HORSE Squadron Detachment 1

To support combat air power worldwide, RED HORSE provides the Commander of Air Force Forces (COMAFFOR) a dedicated, flexible, airfield and base heavy construction and repair capability. RED HORSE also provides many special capabilities that allow the COMAFFOR to move and support missions as the air order of battle dictates. The standard RED HORSE capability consists of 404 personnel (engineers and support personnel) with approximately 1,000 short-tons of vehicles, heavy construction, and support equipment. This organic support allows the unit to operate independently for extended periods of time until normal supply channels are established. In addition to the standard capability, the RED HORSE special capabilities consist of approximately 2,200 short-tons, which can be tailored to meet specific construction and repair requirements. When operating in a higher threat, non-permissive environment outside a forward operating base or collocated operating base, the RED HORSE commander, in coordination with the area commander (i.e., combat arms land force commander), determines additional security requirements based on operational risk.

With the shift in mission at the 111th Attack Wing from A-10 Thunderbolt II to the remotely piloted MQ-9 Reaper, there are those in the community who are sometimes surprised that the Biddle Air National Guard (ANG) Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania, is still open for business.  Then drill weekend hits, and the base population swells to more than a thousand with 13 111th Attack Wing units, and units from the Army Reserve and Army National Guard conducting training on base.  That’s when it becomes clear – Biddle ANG Base is operational.

The 201st RED HORSE Squadron (RHS) Detachment 1 was established in April 2008 and has remained ready to deploy in support of state and federal missions at a moment’s notice while also assisting base civil engineering with maintenance and upgrades to its infrastructure.  Lt Col James D Kash Det 1 Commander said, “The unit maintains a high state of readiness in order to be prepared, respond, and potentially deploy within 24 to 72 hours for local, state, and federal missions, disaster response, and national emergencies.”

The Air National Guard’s oldest RED HORSE units the 201st RHS and its sister unit the 200th  RHS both got the go-ahead to plus-up under BRAC 2005. In April 2008 the 201st RHS activated its 200-person Detachment 1 at Biddle ANG Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania.  The 201st RHS with its Det 1, now brings a 404-person RED HORSE Squadron and one of only two such National Guard squadron-detachment combinations within a single state.

Significant state-level missions the unit has supported include an activation in September 2011 for flood relief in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and in November 2012 to deal with the after-effects of Hurricane Irene.  The unit has deployed as part of the Pennsylvania Joint Task Force supporting two Presidential inaugurations in 2009 and 2013.  Rapid and deployable is in their name, and RED HORSE regularly takes their show on the road to assist NATO Allies and partners, as well deployments to other international locations. The Squadron has deployed internationally multiple times throughout its history.  The unit deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009 and 2014, and in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel/Inherent Resolve from September 2019 to July 2020. The unit has also supported projects in Germany, Guatemala, Guam, and Lithuania.

Lt Col James D Kash, Det 1 Commander said “Most of the construction work we do here on base, in the community, and in our training deployments is focused on maintaining our readiness and developing our Airmen both technically in their skill sets, and preparing them as leaders.”

The RED HORSE team, easily identified by their red caps featuring a logo of a red stallion operating a bulldozer, has multiple ongoing construction projects at Biddle ANG Base, and regionally at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

“Our big project at Biddle is building a re-fueler K-Span, which is a prefabricated structure that can be used for multiple purposes and addresses a key training need for rapid construction in a deployed environment,” said Lt Col Kash. “We’re also working on some paving projects and flight line lighting here, and a bunch of projects at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.”

When asked what he would say about the unit that would entice a potential recruit to join the unit, Lt Col Kash said, “We prefer to let our work and our reputation do the talking for us. RED HORSE Airmen have a rich legacy of coming through in the clutch for Pennsylvania and our country. That legacy will continue.”







April 2008- 201st RED HORSE Squadron Detachment 1 established

Biddle Air National Guard Base, Horsham, PA.