U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team wraps up southern California tour

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team wrapped up a three-day tour during a final performance at the Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers NFL football game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Calif., Sept. 16.

During the Drill Team's tour of southern California, they performed in Hollywood, Irvine, El Segundo, Santa Maria, Garden Grove, Los Alamitos, March Air Reserve Base and Los Angeles Air Force Base.

The team started the trip performing Sept. 13 on the "Today L.A." morning show on KTLA. Following three teasers, including one with Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson, the team performed a 16-man drill for three minutes, showing viewers on the morning show their precision routine.

"The mission of the Drill Team is to recruit, retain and inspire people to join the Air Force," said Staff Sgt. Chance Borgeson, a noncommissioned officer assigned to the Drill Team. "We hope to inspire people through our performances."

The team performed Sept. 13 in front of 205 students in the National Guard Youth Challenge Program at Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos. The youth program is designed to intervene in and reclaim the lives of 16-18-year-old high school dropouts, producing program graduates with the values, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as productive citizens.

In addition to performing in front of civilians, the team performed at March Air Reserve Base and Los Angeles Air Force Base, home of the Space and Missile Systems Center. The center, whose members develop, acquire, field and sustain the world's best space and missile systems for the joint warfighter and the nation, served as the host for the Drill Team's trip.

Another highlight of the southern California tour was performing at a high school football game between Garden Grove and Pacifica high schools Sept. 14. The performance was special for one member of the team because he had a dozen family members in attendance.

"I'm really proud to showcase what we do on a daily basis to my family and friends," said Airman 1st Class Avien Perez, a Long Beach native who attended Cabrillo High School. "We represent the precision of the Air Force."

The Airman's mother said it was amazing to see her son perform in person.

"I'm very proud of Avien and the entire Drill Team," said Shannon Maulupe, Perez's mother. Maulupe said when Perez first joined the Honor Guard, she wasn't completely sure what he did, so his local performance gave her the proper introduction.

"He gave me the Honor Guard handbook and said, 'Read this mom. It's all you need to know,'" she said.

TheĀ team's final performances concluding the southern California tourĀ inlcuded four-man drills at the Santa Maria mall. The precision drills drew in approximately 200 people from throughout the mall, who gave the team an inspired round of applause after each drill.

The team is currently on a tour of California, Washington and Idaho. Upcoming performance dates can be found on the Drill Team's website at http://www.honorguard.af.mil/drillteam/index.asp.