Team Arlington performs in NY

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tabitha N. Haynes
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
The premier United States Air Force ceremonial units, the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard and U.S. Air Force Band, kicked off Air Force Week 2012 Aug. 18 at the Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.

Approximately 50,000 fans watched as the Air Force ceremonial units performed the National Anthem for the opening ceremony of the Yankees vs. Red Sox game.

The USAF Band Commander and Conductor Col. Larry Lang coached 40 ceremonial guardsmen to a musical homerun in the Yankees stadium live just moments before Air Education and Training Command Commander Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr. threw the opening pitch to the game.

"We work and train as a team just like the professional athletes," said Lang. "We practice daily - practice the timing and practice the performance. Each Airman spends years and years training to develop their skills as a professional musician. We only take the best of the best in the U.S. Air Force Band."

The USAF Band and Honor Guard are the elite ceremonial units stationed out of Washington, D.C. They are called to fulfill the congressionally mandated mission of conferring honors to our Nation's fallen at Arlington National Cemetery, Va.

Rain, snow, heat - regardless of the circumstances, this team conditions to ensure they will always succeed at their no-fail mission.

This year, the Air Force ceremonial units were chosen to display their talent here during Air Force Week, a program endorsed by the chief of staff of the Air Force.

Air Force Week provides the opportunity to show and tell civic leaders and the general American public what the Air Force does, while demonstrating its gratitude to the communities which support the Air Force by engaging in events that help give back to the community.

"It is important to support the secretary of the Air Force, and the Air Force as a whole," said Lang. "Demonstrating excellence to the public, and making sure Airmen are represented to the public is an honor."

Visit the USAF Band and Honor Guard websites for more information about the units and their missions. For up-to-date event information on Air Force Week, check out the Air Force Week website,, visit the Facebook page at or follow Air Force Week @AirForceNYC and #AFWeek on Twitter.

The USAF Honor Guard Colors Flight is one of the Honor Guard's four ceremonial flights. The flight displays and guards the Nation's flag, U.S. Air Force flag and flags of the many visiting dignitaries' native countries. The flight presents the colors for both Air Force specific events and with other services' Honor Guards for joint service missions. These teams generally consist of four individuals. The two outermost are rifle guards and serve as protectors of the colors, which are carried by the two individuals in the middle. The individual on the right carries the Nation's flag and the other carri the Air Force flag. This tradition dates back to the origins of warfare. The battle streamers hanging from the Air Force flag represent every conflict and campaign the Air Force has fought in since its birth in the U.S. Army Aeronautical Division in 1907. Their total weight is nearly 40 pounds. There are ceremonies in which additional flags would be presented as well.

The USAF Band Ceremonial Brass provides the finest musical support for state arrivals
at the White House, full honor arrivals for foreign dignitaries at the Pentagon, retirements, changes of command, awards ceremonies, patriotic programs and funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. The origins of The Ceremonial Brass trace back to 1964 when The United States Air Force Headquarters Command Band was incorporated into the USAF Band as a ceremonial unit. It became an all brass and percussion ensemble in 1985 and was renamed "The Ceremonial Brass." Since those early years, it has evolved into a 38-member organization consisting of world-class brass players, percussionists and a drum major.