202nd RED HORSE Squadron

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.

On 5 Jan 1985, the Air National Guard civil engineering program expanded through the formation of the 202nd Civil Engineering Squadron Heavy Repair (CESHR) unit in Starke, Florida. Three weeks later, the 203rd Civil Engineering Flight Heavy Repair (CEFHR) was activated at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  These two units, the 202nd CESHR and 203rd CEFHR, make one complete squadron, the 202nd CESHR. Major General Robert F. Ensslin Jr. presented the squadron guidon to Lt Col Frank Kozdras, the first commander of the newly formed unit at Florida’s Army National Guard’s primary training area at Camp Blanding located in north central Florida.

The 202nd CESHR represents a major element in the Air Force RED HORSE program. The 202nd CESHR represents one of only six such units in the Air Force whose primary capability consists of recovery, repair and maintenance of bombed or otherwise damaged military air bases and facilities.  The unit possesses a 16 man RH-1 team on call to deploy within 12 hours to provide site layout and beddown action for follow-on teams and combat units.

The 202nd CESHR initially started operations out of six temporary facilities provided by the Quartermaster at Camp Blanding consisting of approximately 24,000 square feet of administrative, shop, and warehouse space.  In 1993, the unit moved into its present facilities on 140 acres of land leased from the State.  The new Civil Engineering Squadron Heavy Repair compound has five buildings with offices and shop space for Headquarters, Cantonments, Supply and Logistics, Airfields, and Vehicle Maintenance. These permanent facilities provide a training and staging area for the 220 member squadron.

Specialized training is conducted for the 202nd CESHR with formal schools held at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida (RED HORSE Demolition Training and M-60 Machine Gun Training), Nellis AFB, NV (RED HORSE Quarry School), and Enid Oklahoma (Speedstar Well Drilling School). Contingency and proficiency training is conducted on a year-round basis using base facilities

In the spring and summer of 1998, the 202nd Red Horse Squadron (RHS) was placed on State Active Duty (SAD) to combat wildfires in Florida.

In 1999, members of the 202nd RHS deployed in support of Operation Southern Watch in Southwest Asia and participated in Exercise Northern Viking in Iceland.

In July 2002, members of the 202nd RHS deployed to Jamaica to assist in the building of a medical clinic.

In August through October 2004, the 202nd RHS and its sister unit the 203rd RHS, provided support across Florida in response to Hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Ivan.

The 202nd RHS and 203rd RHS were deployed to Camp Darby, Italy to support depot storage of prepositioned RED HORSE assets.

On 29 Aug 2005, the 202nd RHS was one of the first units to enter the Gulf Coast area after hurricane Katrina.  Seventy-three engineers from this unit worked in hard-hit Hancock County, Mississippi.  The unit initially established a base camp for other emergency personnel.  The 202nd also completed extensive repairs in Hancock County communities, working nearly around-the-clock on multiple construction projects to restore power, clean and repair schools, and refurbish electrical supplies.  As a Florida unit, the 202nd RHS worked many other hurricanes. However, Katrina’s devastation surpassed anything in their previous experience.

In 2006, the 202nd RHS and 203rd RHS deployed for a seven-month mission supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The mission required the members to facilitate more than 130 construction projects as the lead element for the 557th Expeditionary RED HORSE Squadron and the 1st Expeditionary RED HORSE Group.

In the fall of 2020, approximately 100 members from the 202nd RHS, deployed for eight-months to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. They accomplished multiple air base/air facility, hangar, runway, and other heavy engineer repair and construction projects throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.


5 Jan 1985- 202nd Civil Engineering Squadron federally recognized
15 Oct 1988- All units redesignated Civil Engineering Squadron, RED HORSE
8 Mar 1989- All units redesignated RED HORSE Civil Engineering Squadron
1 Mar 1994- All units redesignated RED HORSE Squadron

Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Starke, FL

HQ Florida Air National Guard