MHAFB Ceremonial Guardsmen train with USAF Honor Guard
By Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 14, 2018
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- The air was crisp, frost and ice formed on the asphalt of the parking lot and one-by-one, ceremonial guardsman quietly took their place outside.
As they marched in a detail, the guardsmen seemed unaffected by the inclement weather. The sound of their footsteps in absolute unison echoed the lot.
Each movement snapped into place with precision and care; the ceremonial guardsmen responded to guidance with perfection.
The difference with this event was the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard providing in-depth instruction to each member on how to hone their skills as guardsmen.
The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard held a ceremonial guardsman training course Dec. 3-12 to help the base honor guard maintain their skills during multiple member sequence training.
“The sequence was split up into pallbearing, color team and a firing party. We ensure that each member is adequately trained to make sure they're sharp on the marks,” said Senior Airman Tyler Insley, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard ceremonial guardsman training flight instructor.
Twenty-three ceremonial guardsmen participated in the course from different locations.
“Three of those members actually came up from Nellis Air Force Base to receive this training, so it’s very beneficial to them as well,” said Tech. Sgt. Kyle Little, 366th Fighter Wing base program manager for honor guard.
The Airmen also studied in uniform preparation and standing manuals, which encompass the regulations and standards a guardsman must uphold.
“I had the honor to go through an MTT (mobile training team) course back in July 2017, and I took all of the information seriously and tried to help implement it into our honor guard,” said Little. “For these guys to come out and help train us, it drastically improves our honor guard as a whole.”
This training slightly differs from what an official ceremonial guardsman would experience, but is crucial for a base ceremonial guardsman to master.
“The primary difference is the manning. The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard has over 300 members that are specialized to each element,” Insley said. “The base honor guard here only has 22 members, so they must be able to perform all of these duties.”
During the course, the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard had the opportunity to coach Airmen before performing their duties at a funeral service in Boise, Idaho.
“We actually got to partake in a base honor guard funeral for a member native to Idaho,” Insley said. “We went out on the detail and witnessed the base honor guard perform the service flawlessly.”
The instruction and discipline that the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard provided helped Airmen with their duty as ceremonial guardsmen.
“The training that we went through and also participating in the active duty funeral showed us that we sometimes take the work that we do in the military for granted. It’s an honor to wear the ceremonial uniform just like it’s an honor to wear our military uniform.” said Senior Airman Alicia Armstrong, 366th Civil Engineer Squadron engineering assistant and base ceremonial guardsman. “The guidance that the U.S Air Force Honor Guard gave us provided the tools to be more humble. When we go on a detail, it’s not about us, it’s not about who sees us. We are out there representing our base honor guard, our individual squadrons, and our supervisors. Being in the base honor guard is an honor and to be able to pay our respects for the fallen members is a humbling experience.”
After graduation, Armstrong expressed her gratitude toward the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard for coming here and leading the course.
“I feel extremely confident after this training. Every little movement that we made, they made sure to watch and critique us if we needed it,” Armstrong said. “I believe that any future detail that we do, we will represent the base in our fullest capacity.”