Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team performs at the Luke Air Force Base Air Show

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Madelyn Waychoff
  • USAF Honor Guard Public Affairs
Among the planes, food tents, crowds and booths a group of young Airmen march forward, slowly drawing attention with their crisp uniforms and precise movements. As followers gather to watch, the Airmen stand waiting, knowing that in just a few moments more will gather, following the sounds of cheering.
The Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team, stationed out of Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., is performing at the Luke Air Force Base Air Show, also the first Air Week this year. They began their visit to Arizona by visiting a local high school to perform and talk to students about the Air Force, and to help promote the air show.
Each day of the show the team held two performances, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, every performance drawing hundreds of onlookers as the team performed their 16-man, 17-minute drill routine, which features overhead and underhand tosses and rifles spinning at 40 miles-per-hour.
"This was one of the coolest performances on the ground I've seen," said Miles Anderson, a local attending the air show. "I've never seen rifles move that fast. And they don't even seem to blink when the rifles are coming right at them."
The drill team, like the Air Force Thunderbirds, is not just a showcase performance team, they also help recruit new Airmen for the Air Force. During their visit to the local high school two team members met with the school's recruiter and spoke to some of the students about the benefits of the Air Force.
"It was great getting to talk to the students," said Senior Airman Ruben Chavez, a drill team member. "I think we actually might have gotten through to a few of them and at least made them consider joining the Air Force."
This stop on the team's "Desert Tour 2007" is the last. They have spent nearly three weeks visiting seven Air Force bases and conducting more than 28 performances and Airman Leadership School, NCO Academy and base honor guard visits.
"The trip's been a long, but great success," said 1st Lt. Joshua Hawkins. "We had a great chance to really interact with people and allow them to see a portion of the Air Force they may not get to see very often. And it was a huge cap to it all to close out our tour with the Luke Air Force Base Air Force Week, where all the awesome capabilities of the Air Force are showcased in one place."