NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.-- Members of the 820th RED HORSE Squadron explain to members of NASCAR's Red Horse Racing team the capabilities of a mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicle, or M-ATV, during a base visit here Sept. 24. The two "red horse" teams met for the first time after several years of anticipation. (U.S. Air Force photo / Tech. Sgt. Minette Mason)
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.-- Tech. Sgt. Jason Bischoff (left), from the 820th RED HORSE Squadron, speaks with Kevin Ray, Red Horse Racing team manager, during a base visit here Sept. 24. The two "red horse" teams met for the first time after several years of anticipation. (U.S. Air Force photo / Tech. Sgt. Minette Mason)
by Staff Sgt. Minnette Mason
Nellis Public Affairs
10/5/2010 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- The commander of the 820th RED HORSE Squadron gave a mission brief and met with team members from a NASCAR truck racing team here Sept. 24 as part of an orientation between the Red Horse Racing team and the "red horse" squadron.
"This was great for morale in our unit," Col. Darren Daniel said during the base visit.
While they visited the base a few times in the past, this was the first time the Red Horse Racing members received an orientation of the 820th RHS. They learned the mission of RED HORSE civil engineers assigned to the squadron and saw demonstrations of the equipment they use, including a mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicle, or M-ATV. The team also observed as 820th RHS civil engineers conducted a mine blast.
"We always want to do something special," said Kevin Ray, Red Horse Racing team manager. "Last year, when we came out [to Nellis], we saw the Thunderbirds."
The team attempted to visit the 820th RHS then, but the unit was deployed, he added. This year, however, the team made sure the 820th RHS visit was incorporated in the racing schedule.
"The sign-up sheet [for the base visit] was full the first day," Mr. Ray said.
Because of its name, the Red Horse Racing team has drawn attention and curiosity in the Air Force civil engineer community for several years, explained Master Sgt. Joseph Hajik, REDHORSE program manager with the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency. After a few years of anticipation, he finally found an opportunity for "such a neat meet and greet," he said.
"This is just something I have been pondering for a few years," he added. "My curiosity and love of both entities sort of drove me to inquire about possibly connecting the two 'horses.'"
In addition, Red Horse Racing arranged for members of the 820th RHS to join the team in the pits prior to a NASCAR Trucks Series race Sept. 25 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"The [820th RHS] is very similar to our race team," Mr. Ray said. "We're both a very tight-knit family."
The 820th RHS is one of three active-duty RED HORSE squadrons in the United States. RED HORSE squadrons are unique because they have their own medical, supply, food services and vehicle maintenance support to provide self-sufficiency for extended periods of time in a hostile environment. Its self-sustaining construction capability extends throughout the entire western portion of our country, as well as overseas.
Red Horse Racing was founded in 2005. The team currently races Toyota Tundras in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Toyota Camrys in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, according to the team's Web site.