Drill Team takes show to West Coast

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dan DeCook
  • 11th Wing Public Affairs
Spinning an M-1 Garand rifle with an eight inch fixed bayonet, at more than 40 miles an hour, mere inches from their faces is a normal day for the United States Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team.

Once again, the Drill Team is on the road performing with the timing and flawless execution they are known for, this time they are in Sacramento, Calif. The team is performing regularly during the 156th annual California State Fair.

"It was very interesting to be able to perform at a state fair where you know you're going to get a good crowd of people expecting to see a great show," said Staff Sgt. Timothy Plakas, USAF Drill Team. "We sometimes perform for crowds that are hesitant to make noise, so when we get a crowd like the one today it excites us and we usually perform better."

The crowds of more than 675,000 people throughout the week showed great enthusiasm as they watched the 16-man drill team perform five times over a three day span.

"This was one of the coolest things I have ever seen, said 16 year old Misty Leonard. "We went to an air show once last year, but this was way better because we got to be so close."

The oohhs and ahhs, loud cheers of "go Air Force" and clapping didn't faze the team as they breezed through the five shows without a weapon hitting the ground or any injuries in what can easily be seen as a very dangerous routine.

Now that the fair is over, the team has its sights set on interacting with as many people as they can they can during Air Force Week Sacramento.

Air Force Week Sacramento runs through Sept. 13 and will feature more than 10 performances by the Drill Team. For the Team's schedule as well a complete Air Force week schedule, visit www.airforceweek.af.mil.