SUMTER — Airmen assigned to the 823rd RED HORSE Squadron based at Hurlburt Field, Fla., are wrapping up work on a $363,000 repaving project.
The 21-airmen team began repaving Aiken Street from the corner of Polifka Drive to the south end of the road near Shaw’s static aircraft displays on June 29
“It was simply time for repairs on that road,” said Don Kendrick, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron heavy equipment superintendent. “That roadway had a lower pavement condition index. It warranted being resurfaced, while providing valuable training to 823rd RHS personnel.”
The project started by milling the top two inches of asphalt from the damaged road, said Guglielmo.
“We started this project from scratch,” , said Capt. Trevyn Guglielmo, the 823rd RHS project engineer. “Everything from performing site surveys, developing the plans, organizing a crew and now executing the task.”
The 823rd is an Air Combat Command team assigned to Ninth Air Force. RED HORSE stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer.
The unit is designed to be a highly mobile civil engineer response force to support Department of Defense operations worldwide and to carry out special skilled construction tasks that range from bare-base development in a combat zone to paving roads at a stateside fighter jet base such as Shaw, said Master Sgt. Julio Maisonet, 823rd pavements and construction superviser.
With 2,000 tons of asphalt slated for this project, Guglielmo and his team of airmen plan to pave just over a mile of roadway, Guglielmo said.
“We have been working 10 to 12 hour days to stay on track with our project completion date,” Guglielmo said. “If we get off track and don’t keep to our original timeline it could potentially cost the Air Force more money, and that’s not what we want.”
With temperatures at Shaw climbing upwards of 95 to 100 degrees over the summer months and a heat index of 110 to 115 degrees, Guglielmo and Maisonet have ensured their airmen are taking extra precautions to operate safely and efficiently in South Carolina’s weather.
“It’s been about 20 degrees hotter here in comparison to where we came from,” Guglielmo said. “Temperatures have reached black flag conditions and beyond, so we ensure the airmen get as much rest as they need. We’re also outfitted with several five- and 10-gallon water jugs to keep everyone hydrated.”
Being a self sufficient, globally operating unit, the 823rd uses tasks like these to train and prepare for deployments, Guglielmo said.
“This current task that we’re completing here at Shaw is lending a lot of my airmen some of the necessary training needed for upcoming deployments,” Guglielmo added. “We do our best to stay mission capable and worldwide deployable at all times, and jobs such as these help us do just that.”