USAF Drill Team continues Fla. tour

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alexandre Montes
  • 11th Wing Public Affairs
The Honor Guard and I arrived at Tyndall Air Force Base on Aug. 19. Right away I could tell it was going to be an interesting and intriguing stop on our tour of Florida. One of the first greeters we had was a three foot alligator, something we don't normally find at home in D.C.

The alligator would not be the only audience for the Drill Team at Tyndall. The Drill Team performs before packed crowds everywhere they performed in and around Tyndall.

The first performance for the Drill Team was scheduled for Tyndall's main gate. This performance would not be without its share of changes and adaptation. The only thing that is predictable about Florida weather, is that it's unpredictable. Just prior to the Team's performance, the rain came in. Within minutes boisterous cheers and applause filled the base gym as the Drill Team executed another amazing performance.

The crowd, filled with F-22 and F-15 crew chief trainees, was filled with amazement.

"That was wicked awesome," said Airman 1st Class Donovan Ayers, 372nd Training Squadron. The Team was bombarded with questions on the performance and how to sign up for the Honor Guard.

The Drill Team was even able to get their message out beyond the fences of the base during local network interviews and filming. This public exposure would prove useful when the Team later performed at the Panama City Mall.

"Goooooood morning. This is Rob on Kat country radio and we have the Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team this morning," was the intro Master Sgt. Steven West and Airman 1st Class Jason Ruffin from the Drill Team received from Rob Stark, prior Air Force enlisted member, and his counterpart, Mellissa Miller.

Rob and Mellissa interviewed Sergeant West and Airman Ruffin, asking questions on how to join the Air Force and the Honor Guard, plus plenty of chances to share personal experiences. Also in the studio for the on air interview was 2nd Lt. Cody Chielos, 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs.

"You got to see [the Drill team] at the Panama City mall this afternoon," said Lieutenant Chielos, "It's the most amazing thing you will ever see." This was yet another contributing factor to the crowd that would fill the mall later in the week.

The last performance in the Tyndall area would prove to be the biggest one, thanks to the wide spread publicity during the week. The mall was packed with shoulder-to-shoulder spectators. Before the team could even take the stage the mall echoed with the chants of "Gooooooo Air Force!" The majority of the crowd stayed for the second of the back to back performances.

Having completed their performances and perfectly demonstrating the Air Force's precision, the Drill Team then headed out for its next destination- Tampa Bay, Fla. The Team plans to bring a little thunder to Tampa- no matter what the weather will be.
For more information on the Untied States Air Force Honor Guard and the Drill Team visit