GREAT FALLS, Mont. --
More than 35 members of the 219th RED HORSE Squadron and the 120th Airlift Wing of the Montana Air National Guard participated in Exercise Related Construction in June while deployed for training in Postonja, Slovenia.
The acronym RED HORSE spells out the specialized construction work performed by the MTANG unit: Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer.
The Montana Airmen worked multiple projects simultaneously, insulating and building a catwalk in an attic of a barracks and replacing the plumbing to meet the current safety code. They also insulated a water tank by building a protective wall and placed shelves in a range control barn site.
“Safety, mission training and cultural experience were the words that echoed in my head throughout this training event,” said 219th RHS Deployment Commander Maj. Mark Dehn.
Slovenia’s state partner, the Colorado Air National Guard, completed upgrades to half of the barn in 2015. The CoANG Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Michael A. Loh, visited the site to see the previous work of his COANG Airmen and the current progress of the MTANG.
“From interacting with the Colorado Air National Guard to fostering relationships with the local vendors, this is an interface that will persist beyond our time here,” Dehn said.
A total of $40,029.58 was spent locally using 2520 man hours to upgrade the Bile barn and Postonja barracks.
“I am extremely proud of the work that these Airmen have accomplished,” Dehn said. “Their craftsmanship, attention to detail and constant accountability for safety is second to none. By completing these projects our Airmen further enhance the abilities of NATO forces participating in Exercise Immediate Response to communicate with forces on the exercise range.”
The barracks and barn are used in Exercise Immediate Response by American forces several times a year.