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ESGR in the News


GREAT FALLS, Mont. – These days, simulated training comes in many forms. Recently employers sat in the driver’s seat of several 219 RHS (Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron, Engineer) heavy equipment simulators to try their hand at operating a bulldozer as part of an Employer Open House. The simulation, used in training 219 RHS Airman, offered a risk-free environment in real-world scenarios without fear of crashing a bulldozer or having to bear the subzero temperatures outside.

The 219 RHS Open House was part of an employer outreach event held in conjunction with Montana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The event was designed to open the doors to Union representatives and others in the construction field to educate them as to the capabilities and training 219 RHS members receive in their military positions. These capabilities translate well in the civilian world and offer local employers highly trained Airmen who can be an asset to a local employer.

The Montana Air National Guard 219 RED HORSE Squadron hosted Union representatives from the Montana Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Center (Electrical JATC), Ironworkers 732, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) 233. Montana Department of Labor Job Service, Montana Apprenticeship and Training, Great Falls Home Builders Association and Builders Exchange attended.

The event shared the scope of the 219 RED HORSE Squadron’s mission and abilities. The 219 RHS is a highly mobile, rapidly deployable, self-sustaining heavy construction and repair unit capable of supporting airpower worldwide and especially in remote and austere operating environments.

Members of the squadron maintain 26 different Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC). These codes are used to identify a specific job within the 219 RHS. The wide range of capabilities makes them unique in the field of Civil Engineering Units. As a self-sufficient Squadron, they logistically field personnel to manage vehicle maintenance, food service, and supply for ordering parts.

Squadron members offer heavy construction capabilities during times of state and national emergencies. The unit is able to deploy to a location with tents and generators and utilize the talents of its electricians, power production, construction or water purification specialists to respond to any scenario. As a Tier 1 Initial Responder, the 219 RHS has the capacity to provide needed aid during fires, flood, snow or any natural disaster.

During 2021, the 219 RHS deployed members completing multiple construction projects across nine countries in support of OPERATION SPARTAN SHIELD, FREEDOMS SENTINEL, ALLIES REFUGE, and INHERENT RESOLVE.

Employers provide a visible connection between communities and military service when they employ Guard and Reserve members. As a Department of Defense program, ESGR helps to strengthen and empower both and this year celebrates 50 years in that role. For more information about ESGR outreach programs, call (800) 336-4590 or visit

Photo: An employer tries his hand at driving a bulldozer simulator at a Montana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and 219 RHS (Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron, Engineer) Employer Open House. The event was designed to educate local employers about the capabilities of the 219 RHS and offer local employers possible candidates for jobs in various construction fields.

Posted in: Montana
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