Multi-state Air Guard team brings new training site to Camp Pendleton

The Virginia National Guard holds a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new airfield damage repair training site Aug. 30, 2016, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach, Virginia. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

The Virginia National Guard holds a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new airfield damage repair training site Aug. 30, 2016, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach, Virginia. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A multi-state effort to build a new airfield damage repair training site on Camp Pendleton culminated with a ribbon cutting ceremony Aug. 30, 2016, at Virginia National Guard’s training installation in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The site was constructed by Airmen of the Ohio National Guard’s 200th RED HORSE Squadron along with the Virginia Air National Guard’s 203rd RED HORSE Squadron and the Montana Air National Guard’s 219th RED HORSE Squadron, and it will provide a location for Air Force civil engineers to train on tasks associated with airfield operations and damage repair.

“This new training site is the latest investment in our continuing effort to improve on the already impressive capabilities at Camp Pendleton,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “This installation is a prime training destination not just for the Virginia National Guard, but for other active and reserve component military forces as well as public safety organizations. We owe a special thanks to the Airmen of the Ohio and Montana National Guard for the great work they did in building this outstanding training capability while our own Air Guard civill engineers are deployed on federal active duty. This will be a welcome sight for them when the get back to Virginia later this year, and it will be a great resource for them in the future.”

The training site measures 1,000 feet in length and is 150 feet wide, and it replaced an existing asphalt surface. The project placed 550 cubic yards of high strength concrete with more than 2,800 tons of asphalt and 6,000 tons of stone, and the asphalt from the old site will be recycled. It features special areas for creating a simulated crater for training on airfield repair operations and employment of a mobile aircraft arresting system.

The construction project provided Ohio Guard Airmen with real-world training on horizontal construction operations that will help them prepare for both their federal and state missions. They completed the project over eight weeks, with approximately 55 Airmen total serving in two-week rotations.

“This is fantastic work for us because it isn’t very often that we get a horizontal project of this magnitude where you have 15 pieces of heavy machinery running at the same time,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Joshua Barker, project manager from the 200th RED HORSE Squadron. “We have training environments back home where you simulate doing things like this, but to get out here and actually do it hands on and see the accomplishments is training that can’t really be match.”

Overall cost of the project including labor, equipment, travel and fuel is $850,000.

Camp Pendleton is the home base for the Virginia Air National Guard’s 203rd RED HORSE Squadron, and a large contingent of Airmen from the squadron are currently on federal active duty providing support in the Central Command area of operations.

The other recent addition to Camp Pendleton is it’s new multi-purpose training facility that is in the final stages of completion and has already had several organizations take it for a test drive. The facility consists of two 70 feet by 120 feet steel framed tensioned fabric structures that occupy 1.5 acres and include two 180-feet square grids where military units can set up their tactical operations center equipment and conduct battalion, brigade and division-level command post exercises.

The facility will also provide a staging base for personnel, equipment and other materiel in the event of a natural or manmade emergency in the area.

RED HORSE stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers. The unit is a highly mobile civil engineering response force that provides heavy repair capability and construction support for contingency operations worldwide.

Camp Pendleton is a state-owned, 328-acre installation which provides training facilities for National Guard units, as well as all other Department of Defense, active duty and reserve units as well as public safety organizations. It houses the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy, the Virginia Air National Guard’s 203rd RED HORSE Squadron, and the Virginia Army National Guard’s 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and Troop C, 2nd Battalion, 183rd Cavalry Regiment.

The post features administrative buildings, conference facilities, barracks, classrooms, dining facilities, a live-fire qualification range and nine different virtual trainers as well as a chapel, fitness center, distance learning center, wooded training areas, helipad, airfield damage repair site, land navigation course, airfield damage repair training site, beach and amphibious landing site.

View photos of Airmen constructing the site on the Camp Pendleton Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/CampPendletonCTC/photos/?tab=album&album_id=907314832711659

View photos on Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/albums/72157669944779384

View raw video on the Camp Pendleton Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/CampPendletonCTC/videos/907317422711400/

Additional information:

Va. Guard breaks ground on multipurpose training facility at Camp Pendleton

Va. Guard breaks ground on multipurpose training facility at Camp Pendleton