Drill Team kicks-off 2008 performances

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Madelyn Waychoff
  • USAF Honor Guard Public Affairs
The United States Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team revealed its newly choreographed routine in front of a large hometown crowd February 22 at bustling Union Station, in downtown Washington, D.C.  The crowds there came to a standstill and watched as the drill team's public event opened the 2008 performance season. The new routine will be used throughout the year during their travels to "recruit, retain and inspire" Airmen and civilians. 

"This routine is longer and more difficult than our previous performance," said Capt. Joshua Hawkins, drill team commander. "We spent a very intense month at Maxwell (Air Force Base) preparing, practicing and perfecting this performance and I know the team was excited about the chance to finally unveil it today." 

The team spent all of January, and into February, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., not only practicing the new routine, but working on teamwork and physical conditioning. As one of several key Air Force-level communicator teams, the Airmen also focused on tactics of the Air Force's strategic message. Upon their return, team members said they were glad their first performance would be in front of their friends and family in Washington, D.C.  Next, the team will perform at the Air Force's 4-star conference in DC and then set-out on a week-long tour throughout Chicago-area high schools in March to support Air Force Recruiting Service. 

The team plans to visit more than 70 major events for the Air Force and travel nearly 130 days of this year, including performances at each Air Force week city, and representing the Air Force at major sporting events such as the NCAA Men's Final Four and NASCAR races with the Air Force-themed race car. 

When explaining why the new performance is important, Capt Hawkins said, "the Air Force has affirmed our Airmen's critical role in defending our nation. We've placed emphasis on showing the Air Force's mastery of our domains in air, space and cyberspace. So, this year we set out for our drill to embody just how Airmen do that. This year's performance truly underscores how effective personal discipline, combined with quality training, produces limitless results." 

"Seeing the reaction today, I'd say the hard work of training was worth it." said Staff Sgt. Jason Martin, drill team head trainer. "What you will see from us, this year, is a much more intense performance than in years past, and I hope everywhere we go, we spread the Air Force's story just as well as we did at this year's unveiling!"