Winnsboro native deploys with US military to Belize in support of New Horizons exercise
By Master Sgt. Kelly Ogden, 12th Air Force Air Forces Southern
/ Published March 17, 2014
BELIZE CITY, Belize -- An airman from Winnsboro, La., has deployed to Belize in support of the U.S. Southern Command-sponsored New Horizons exercise.
Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Lowe, a vehicle maintenance operator from the 820th REDHORSE Squadron, Las Vegas, has been in the Air Force for 11 years and has deployed to Iraq three times, deployed to Afghanistan twice and has deployed to Kuwait once, but this is his first time being deployed to Central America.
His part in this large exercise began way before his boots even hit the ground in Belize.
Lowe is currently part of an elite group of engineers known as REDHORSE (Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers). REDHORSE squadrons provide the Air Force with a highly-mobile civil engineering response force to support contingency and special operations worldwide. Units are self-sufficient mobile squadrons, capable of rapid response and independent operations in remote, high-threat environments worldwide.
Lowe and his crew were responsible for preparing more than 25 vehicles (tractor-trailers, dump trucks, excavators, pickups, forklifts, backhoes and gas trucks) for a ground shipment from Las Vegas to Cape Canaveral, Fla., followed on by a sea shipment that arrived at the Port of Belize last week.
"We made sure that all vehicles got off the boat safely and then we transported them to different construction sites and staging areas in the country," said Lowe.
These heavy equipment vehicles will be used to assist civil engineers from both the U.S. and Belize to construct five New Horizons projects: a hospital ward in Belmopan, three schools in Belize City, and one school in Hattieville. The schools will support furthering the education of children in the country.
The New Horizons exercise, which began in the mid-1980s, is an annual exercise to train military civil engineers and medical professionals to deploy and conduct joint operations.
Since then, airmen and members of other services working under U.S. Southern Command have built schools, community centers, provided medical care and much more to form partnerships between the United States and Central American, South American and Caribbean nations.
This exercise has broadened Lowe's breadth of experience and he is looking forward to strengthening friendships and training side-by-side with Belize Defence Force soldiers and local contractors.
"It's great to be able to experience the different cultures in Belize, and it feels amazing to help those in need," he said.
Lowe will be in Belize until mid-July.