Ohio Air Guard Engineers Conduct Annual Training in Spain

  • Published
  • By Story by Senior Airman Grace Riegel
  • 200th RED HORSE

MORON AIR BASE, Spain - Ohio Air National Guard Airmen from the 200th Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer (RED HORSE) completed construction projects at Morón Air Base as part of the Deployment for Training program. 

The RHS deploys quickly and efficiently, anywhere at any time, and builds what is needed to accomplish a Department of Defense mission. The DFT program enables RED HORSE to practice quick large-scale builds.

This year, 200th RHS members traveled to a remote base in Spain that serves more than 550 U.S. military members, dependents, civilian contractors and local nationals. They stayed true to their motto, “Can Do, Will Do, and Have Done,” by constructing a patio and parking lots, renovating office space and laying the groundwork for a new firing range.

“Our goal as the 200th RHS is to accomplish all projects in a safe and timely manner,” said 1st Lt. Brandon Shaver, project engineer. “We were blessed to have great projects on this mission. Not only did we complete all intended projects, we were also able to assist in other projects around the base.”

The 200th RHS DFT team comprises engineers, heavy equipment operators, carpenters, electricians and other subject matter experts who divide and conquer construction projects. Many are traditional Air Guard members who report one weekend a month and two weeks a year to conduct annual training. This year, that annual training was at Morón Air Base in Spain.

Master Sgt. Kevin Thierry, project manager, said the preparation required to plan for an overseas DFT project and get the job done under any circumstances is something the RHS does well.

“When we show up overseas, we have what we have and we have to make it work. At the end of the day we still have to get the intended project done,” said Thierry. “The main difficulties that we have faced here have been equipment and material shortages. I am very proud of the product we have been able to push out with the out-of-the-box thinking that the Airmen and NCOs have provided. To me, it shows how we adapt and overcome.”

This training marked the first time some Airmen traveled with their squadron and applied the skills they learned in their technical training schools. 

Two siblings from Shelby, Ohio, Airman 1st Class Jacob Vogt, Airfields Troop, and his younger sister, Airman Abby Vogt, Services Troop, experienced their first trip outside the United States together.

“I’m not in Spain working my normal job,” Abby said, “I got to experience a multitude of careers as a general laborer that RED HORSE offers and help on multiple projects.”

The siblings even shared cramped space on the long ride over in a C-130H Hercules.

“RED HORSE is like a family,” Jacob said. “We come on these trips and all work together as a family. It’s not only cool to have my sister in the same unit and a part of my RED HORSE family, but also that we got to travel to Spain together.”