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RED HORSE Preparing for the Thaw "2015"

  • Published
  • By 1Lt Matt Blackburn
  • 200 REDHORSE
Over the winter of 2014-2015, in addition to moving snow, and completing a lot of computer based training, the 200th RED HORSE Squadron, Ohio Air National Guard (ANG) spent the long cold days preparing for three missions:  Israel Deployment for Training (DFT): Serbia Humanitarian Civilian Assistance (HCA); and Senegal DFT.

Israel, Site 61 construction - DFT: 

In coordination with National Guard Bureau (NGB), the U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) tasked the 200 RHS to construct 4 x 10,000sf multipurpose exercise buildings, a communication pad, and overall development of the Site 61 location; a primary site for the JCS JUNIPER COBRA exercise.  As the overall project lead, with project management responsibility, the 200 RHS will partner with CTF 68 (USN Seabees), 103 CES, 122 CES, and 169 CES (ANG Prime BEEF), from start through project completion. 

Over the winter, the 200 RHS coordinated with Host Nation Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), USEUCOM, USAFE, USAREUR, ANG, and Naval Marine Construction Battalion (NMCB) to develop an initial base master plan, and to gather the necessary: survey, life-support, project design, and construction information to meet the FY15 construction timeline.

The 200 RHS developed 90% design plans, detailed construction schedule, and Bill of Materials.  A Host Nation A-E design firm is certifying the designs, and once construction begins, a host nation general contractor and safety foreman/work manager will ensure the construction is completed in accordance to local laws and codes.

The 200 RHS and NMCB 11 placed personnel on the ground in March 2015 and began the required clearing and initial site grading in preparation for the deep foundations to be constructed by a local contractor.   Following foundation construction, the first of six, 19 day, rotations will begin on or around 1 June 15.  The 200 RHS will fill 3 of the rotations, and the103, 169, and 122 CE Squadrons will fill the other three rotations.  NMCB 11 will provide 20 personnel of mixed capabilities for the duration of the project. 

Construction of the four multipurpose buildings is expected to take 120-150 days.  But, the long term Site 61 build-out will take years, providing long term construction opportunities for multiple engineering units.  The project is led by: Lt Blackburn (OIC), SMSgt Pelkey (NCOIC) and SMSgt Dimasso (PM).

Serbia, Bujanovac school renovation - HCA:

In coordination with NGB, USEUCOM, U.S. Embassy, and the Government of Serbia, the 200 RHS was tasked to repair and rehabilitate two schools, within walking distance of each other, for the municipality of Bujanovac, Serbia.  Serbia and Ohio are partnered as part of the State Partnership program (SPP, this project is an HCA project.

In February 2015, members from the 200 RHS traveled to Serbia to: meet and inspect local vendors for materials availability and purchasing method, further define the projects scopes of work, complete price estimates, develop schedules and coordinate logistics required for the two projects.

The 200 RHS is partnering on the projects with the Serbian 4th and OHANG's 112th Engineering BNs.  In coordination with the Engineering BNs, and officials from Bujanovac and the schools, the project scope was defined and funded.  If additional funding is obtained, projects of opportunity were identified.  Funding for the projects of opportunity is being worked by the U.S. Embassy.  The 200 RHS is completing the designs for the currently funded troop labor portions of the projects, and a Serbian AE firm is completing the designs for the projects of opportunity.  Due to the proximity of the two project sites, personnel and equipment will be shared.   The Serbians are providing billeting and other the other life support requirements necessary to support the 200 RHS personnel.

The two HCA school repair and rehabilitation projects in the municipality of Bujanovac, Serbia will only require one 20 day rotation of 40 personnel.  To simplify the project -and avoid moody teenagers- construction is anticipated to start in early August, when school is not in session.  The project is led by:  Capt Nienberg (OIC) and SMSgt Breitbach (NCOIC).

Senegal, Thies Airbase construction - DFT

In coordination with NGB, Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAF) tasked the 200 RHS to design three buildings to support the FLINTLOCK exercise in spring 2016.  The 200 RHS previously completed an initial site survey and airfield pavement evaluation (APE) in the fall of 2014.  This data was passed onto NGB, SOCAF, and other stakeholders for evaluation.

Since the completion of the site survey the 200 RHS, in coordination with SOCAF, has been refining the design -currently at 15%- of the three buildings using the NAVY austere design standards, as directed by SOCAF.  The three buildings will serve as operations, fitness and small arms facilities during the FLINTLOCK exercise.  In addition, heavy equipment rental and large material costs have been determined, although means of obtaining are still to be determined.   The Seabees of CTF 68 are expected to begin work on a fourth building in the summer of 2015.  This fourth building will also support the FLINTLOCK exercise however the projects are not linked as they are in Israel, the 200 RHS is excited to continue collaborating with CTF 68 and NMCB 11.

While the construction timeline is expected to start in late 2015, or early 2016, and last for a total of three months; NGB and SOCAF are still negotiating the requirements for this 2016 DFT.  There is potential, for the project to grow, with the addition of an airfield renovation project.   If the airfield renovation is added to the overall project, the increase in timeline and personnel requirements will certainly require additional units to complete the project. 

Even though the overall project requirements are uncertain, construction of the three buildings must be complete by April 2016 to support the FLINLOCK exercise which beings in May of 2016.  The project is led by: Lt Askins (OIC), SMSgt Stansberry (NCOIC) and SMSgt Hamilton (PM).

(The 200th RED HORSE Squadron, Ohio Air National Guard, is based out of Camp Perry and Mansfield Ohio, story by 1Lt Matt Blackburn- Israel, Capt Roger Nienberg - Serbia, 1Lt Jason Askins - Senegal)