USAF Honor Guard showcases routine in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- The United States Air Force Honor Guard Drill team is scheduled to perform at the 2016 Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 30 - July 7.

"It's an honor and a privilege to be part of this magnificent tattoo, especially as the only American presence. We are truly representing the U.S. and all 660,000 total force Airmen stationed around the globe," said Capt. Kenda Gusme, USAF Honor Guard Drill Team commander. "We get to show our power, precision, prestige and superiority of the U.S. Military to a global audience."

This is the first time in 20 years that a U.S. Military team will showcase a routine during the event.

"We are delighted to welcome the U.S. Air Force drill team to Halifax and are looking forward to their performance at the 2016 RNSIT," said Jim Forde, RNSIT producer. "The team has earned a worldwide reputation for excellence and we are pleased to have a military unit from the United States participate in this year's show."

The tattoo was first held to mark the visit of Queen Elizabeth for the International Gathering of the Clans in 1979. It wasn't until 2006 that it earned its Royal status by the Queen.

According to Forde, since its inception, an average of 60,000 people attend each year - 40 percent being American.

There will also be a special musical scene to honor the Fort McMurray residents affected by the recent wildfires that destroyed roughly 2,400 homes and buildings.

"The strength shown by the Albertans in one of the most difficult times in its history and the wave of solidarity across Canada will be the main focus of this musical tribute," said Tom Peet, tattoo director.

Attendees will get to experience performances by groups from Germany, Kenya, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada and the United States. These routines help promote the theme of the show, 'Bond of Friendship.'

"[International Tattoos] are an eye opening experience, it's a bigger scale than just entertainment. We get to tell the Air Force story while interacting with personnel from around the world," Gusme said. "We get to tell them about ourselves, as Airmen and Americans, as well as learn who they are and the countries they represent."

As part of the tattoo, there will also be Canada Day Parade presentations, held on July 1. Canada Day celebrates the actions on July 1, 1867, when Canada became a new federation with the signing of its own constitution, the Constitution Act.

During the parade, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Halifax Regional Police, the military and the fire department will pay tribute to the victims of the Orlando, Florida shooting, by carrying rainbow flags.

Along with the main events at the Scotiabank Centre, there will also be free performances at various locations on the Halifax Waterfront, July 4 - 6.

For more information on the tattoo, visit www.nstatto.ca