Disaster Strikes RED HORSE Responds
By Maj. Rick Anderson, 120th Fighter Wing
/ Published September 15, 2011
Great Falls, Mont. -- According to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration in 2010 there were 950 natural disasters of which more than 850 were weather-related events.
In Haiti, the earthquake killed more than 222,000 people; Russia came second with 56,000 people killed by forest fires from the heat wave; China was third with 4,170 people killed from earthquakes, landslides and floods.
The Montana Air National Guard reflects men and women who are trained to fight wars, provide security and to assist in humanitarian efforts that have become more and more frequent. Among the most visible of these Airmen are the REDHORSE, more specifically their
highly mobile Disaster Response Bed-down System.
The DRBS was produced, after some lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina, to house local, state and federal emergency services personnel who are responding to the needs of the affected area.
Versatility is one of its mainstays. The system is deployable to temperatures ranging from 20 degrees below zero to 130 degrees above. The 1500 person bare base setup consists of
10 units that can house 150 personnel each and are strategically located across the nation.
The system also includes 16 billeting tents with electrical generation systems, a latrine unit, shower units, laundry and dining provisions and a water-purification unit that can produce up to 650 gallons of potable water per hour. The systems produce their own power and Airmen say living in one is far from roughing it.
The highly mobile system can be shipped anywhere in the world via truck or air transport, and is packed in individual storage units awaiting the next emergency or disaster.
In 2010, the 219 REDHORSE, the DRBS and 34 pallets of equipment were shipped to Haiti in direct support of the relief effort.