The 819th was originally activated as the 819th Installations Squadron at Abilene, Texas (later Dyess AFB) on 15 June 1956. On 1 July 1960 it was redesignated as the 819th Civil Engineering Squadron. The unit was inactivated at Dyess on 25 June 1961. On 12 January 1966 the unit was redesignated the 819th Civl Engineering Squadron (Heavy Repair) and activated at Forbes AFB, KS. It was organized at Ban Sattahip Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand on 8 March 1966 and deployed to Phu Cat AB, South Vietnam in May 1966. It eventually completed much of the facility construction and a large percentage of the earth moving and paving required at Phu Cat. The unit placed more than 2 million square feet of AM-2 mat and erected more than 5,000 linear feet of aircraft revetment. The 819th deployed briefly to Tuy Hoa AB from January to April 1970 to help
close the base.
The 819th redeployed from Vietnam in April 1970 and was stationed at Westover AFB, MA, until
1973 when it moved to McConnell AFB, KS. In 1979, it was realigned from Tactical Air
Command (TAC) to United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) and was assigned to Royal Air
Force Wethersfield, United Kingdom. The unit was tasked with rapid runway repair
responsibilities for USAFE, along with its traditional heavy repair role. The 819th was inactivated
at RAF Wethersfield on 31 August 1990. Seven years later, on 1 June 1997, it was reactivated
under Air Combat Command (ACC) at Malmstrom AFB, MT, as the first-ever Air Force-Air
National Guard RED HORSE associate unit.
The units first full-fledged mission after reaching full manning was in November 1998, when it
deployed with members of the 820th RHS to Central America to perform essential infrastructure
repair in the wake of Hurricane Mitch. The squadron has also been involved in construction
projects in Southwest Asia, including a major runway project at Masirah Island, Oman, in 2002-
2003 during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and major construction projects at several bases
in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. The 819th RHS is an Air Combat Command asset,
assigned to Eighth Air Force.
In the fall of 2001, the 819th took the lead in establishing an Airborne RED HORSE capability.
After training with the Army at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and working with AFCESA to
establish MARES (mobile airfield repair equipment set), in February 2003 the first Airborne RED
HORSE team stood up in Southwest Asia, led by the 819th ERHS.
Lineage, Constituted 819th Installations Squadron on 23 Apr 1956. Activated on 15 Jun 1956.
Redesignated 819th Civil Engineering Squadron on 1 Jul 1960. Discontinued, and inactivated, on 25
Jun 1961. Redesignated 819th Civil Engineering Squadron (Heavy Repair), and activated, on 12 Jan
1966. Organized on 8 Mar 1966. Redesignated: 819th Civil Engineering Squadron, Heavy Repair,
on 15 Oct 1969; 819 RED HORSE Civil Engineering Squadron on 1 Mar 1989. Inactivated on 31
Aug 1990. Redesignated 819 RED HORSE Squadron on 1 Jun 1997. Activated on 2 Jun 1997.
Service Streamers, None
Vietnam Air 1966
Vietnam Air Offensive 1966-1967
Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase II 1967-1968
Vietnam Air/Ground 1968
Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase III 1968
Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase IV 1968-1969
Tet 69/Counteroffensive 1969
Vietnam Summer/Fall 1969
Vietnam Winter/Spring 1969-1970
1967; 1 Aug 1967-31 Jul 1968; 1 Jun 1969-16 Mar 1970. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1
Jul 1974-30 Jun 1975; 1 Jul 1975-30 Jun 1977; 1 Jul 1977-30 Jun 1978; 30 Jun 1982-30 Jun
1984; 1 Jul 1988-30 Jun 1990. Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: 1 Apr 1966-15
Thailand, 8 Mar 1966; Phu Cat AB, South Vietnam, c. 10 May 1966; Tuy Hoa AB, South Vietnam,
1 Jan-10 Apr 1970; Westover AFB, MA, 15 Apr 1970; McConnell AFB, KS, 15 Sep 1973-Apr
1979; Wethersfield RAF, England, 8 Apr 1979-31 Aug 1990. Malmstrom AFB, MT, 2 Jun 1997-.