GREAT FALLS — Students in Great Falls got to operate heavy equipment that was brought to CMR High School by the RED HORSE unit of the Air National Guard.
“Today's a great opportunity,” explained Technical Sergeant Scott Hampton of the Air National Guard. “Being a member of the Montana National Guard is a very special and time-honored tradition and a lot of the students in the city and in the state don't know we exist, so this is a great way to highlight the job opportunities.”
The RED HORSE is the civil engineering unit of the Air National Guard. The name is an acronym that stands Rapid Engineer Deployable, Heavy Operational Repair Squadron, Engineer.
"The mission of the 219th RED HORSE Squadron is to provide a highly mobile, rapidly deployable, civil engineering response force that is self-sufficient to perform heavy damage repair of facilities, utility systems, aircraft launch and recovery, as well as Explosive Ordnance Disposal."
"They are a rapid engineering deployment squadron that deploy all over the state and the country doing amazing things from building structures, building up bases out of, you know, nothing,” said TSgt Hampton.
Some of the equipment that was available to try included a semi with a lowboy trailer and with a KSpan Machine, 13K Forklift, a LMTV (Light Medium Tactical Vehicle), a HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle), a 30 KW Generator, an Environmental Control Unit (for deployment shelters), a Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit, Individual Protective Equipment, and Drafting & Surveying Equipment.
“That's good experience for all of us,” said CMR student Austin Clark. “We all get to learn what they actually get to do on the base. All these opportunities for everyone shows that it can be a good career for some people.”
A favorite piece of equipment among the students was a mobile simulator that accurately displayed driving machinery such as a dozer or an excavator. The goal was to let the students take a peek at the opportunities that they have post-high school.
TSgt Hampton said, “Figuring out what you want to do after high school is challenging. This is just a way to show students a very well-paying job that not only helps their community but helps the nation as well.” Click here to visit the MT ANG website.