556th Red Horse Squadron

The 556th Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer (RED HORSE) Squadron, located at Hurlburt Field, Fla., is one of 15 RED HORSE Squadrons within Air Combat Command, Pacific Air Forces Command, Air Force Reserve Command, and the National Guard. The 556th RED HORSE Squadron provides the Air Force with a highly mobile civil engineer response force to support contingency and special operations worldwide.

The 556th RED HORSE is a self sufficient, mobile, heavy construction squadron capable of rapid response and independent operations in remote, high-threat environments worldwide. They provide heavy repair and construction capabilities when requirements exceed normal civil engineer unit capabilities.

The primary mission of the 556th RED HORSE Squadron is to assess, plan and establish contingency facilities/infrastructure to support humanitarian/contingency operations and combat missions. Activities include rapid assessment/repair, bare-base development, and heavy construction operations such as runways, aircraft parking ramps, and large facilities.

The 556th RED HORSE Squadron possesses special capabilities such as remote beddown planning, water-well drilling, explosive demolition, quarry operations, material testing, concrete and asphalt paving, and expedient facility construction.

The 556th RED HORSE Squadron history began when it was constituted on Feb. 3, 1966. Following training at Forbes Air Force Base, Kan., the 556th RED HORSE Squadron deployed to U Tapao Air Base, Thailand on June 30, 1966. In addition to the main unit at U Tapao AB, the 556th also established detachments at five other Thai bases. The squadron constructed airfields, dormitories, dining halls, and other facilities. The 556th remained in Thailand units it was inactivated at U Tapao AB in late 1969.

On Feb. 23, 2006, the 556th RED HORSE Squadron was re-activated on Lackland AFB Texas. Prior to that, the unit at Lackland Air Force Base was designated as the 307th RED HORSE Squadron. The 556th RED HORSE Squadron remained at Lackland until it moved to Hurlburt Field, Florida on October 1, 2008 to bed down with the 823rd RED HORSE Squadron. This was a part of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force Total Force Integration plan. The two squadrons are among the first active duty and reserve combat support units to associate together as a part of the TFI plan.