U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Douglas Cox, 36th Wing commander, cuts the ribbon marking the opening of the newly established Pacific Regional Training Center at Northwest Field near Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Dec. 7, 2017. . U.S. and partner nation service members will regularly use the training area to strengthen civil engineering skills needed during humanitarian and disaster relief. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard Ebensberger)
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The largest troop-built construction project in the Pacific since the Vietnam conflict came to a close this month, with the completion of the Pacific Regional Training Center (PRTC) on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
On Dec. 7, the 554th RED HORSE Squadron held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the conclusion of more than 70 construction projects, valued at $251 million, making up the new PRTC on Northwest Field. Airmen throughout Pacific Air Forces will use the facilities to prepare for real-world contingency and deployment missions.
“This site will ultimately be the platform to provide essential civil engineer training for thousands of Airmen every year,” said Master Sgt. Raymond Worley, 554th RHS lead planner for the center. “Instructors from both Commando Warrior and the RED HORSE’s Silver Flag flight can now provide training to nearly 3,000 security forces, civil engineer, force support and partner-nation personnel year-round.”
After the original construction of Northwest Field during World War II, the PRTC revitalized use of the grounds instead of developing new areas and will enable service members to stay “Prepared to Prevail” throughout future conflicts or contingencies in the region.
The new facilities were built by RED HORSE Airmen, which stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer. Wearing distinctive red ball caps, these Airmen are trained and equipped to complete heavy construction and airfield repair missions in expeditionary environments.
“Over the past nine years, the troop-built project led by the 554th RHS brought together numerous sister units throughout the Air Force, Navy and partner nations to assist and gain valuable training experience while completing construction projects,” Worley said. “Troop-built projects save the Air Force time and money and allows service members to meet similar goals as they would in a contingency environment.”
The historic airfield also serves as training ground for Silver Flag, a recurring exercise enabling Airmen from across PACAF to practice vital airfield damage assessment, airfield marking, crater repair and expeditionary airfield lighting systems installation techniques.
In addition to expeditionary engineers, the 736th Security Forces Squadron’s Commando Warrior flight calls the PRTC home and trains PACAF security forces Airmen on U.S. Central Command and regional tactical requirements in support of contingency missions and home station security.
The PRTC now offers units space for operations, offices, training classrooms and the warehouse storage for vital equipment in support of contingency and humanitarian operations around the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. U.S. and partner nation service members will regularly use the training area to increase readiness and interoperability of Pacific partner forces for effective crisis response in the region.
“As a rapidly deployable unit, staying up to date on all training is a major key to our mission,” said Airman 1st Class Antony Williams Jr., 554th RHS structural engineer. “I’m excited to work hands on in the new facilities. New sites such as the Heavy Repair Training facility, will help us prepare to complete any mission in a deployed environment.”