Drill at Hill
By Airman 1st Class Clay Murray, 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 13, 2007
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah --
The Airmen of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard drill team were not seen in the red and brown sepia tone like the heroes in the blockbuster movie '300,' but some would say the warriors in Air Force blue were just as impressive.
Team Hill members watched as the Airmen performed April 3 on Hill Air Force Base at the Hess Fitness Center.
There are 16 rifle-bearing honor guard members that perform together on the team. Along with these members, there was a backup performer, an announcer, a public affairs specialist, and a commanding officer. Rather than bear the 11 pound M-1 Garand that the enlisted drill team members carry, the officer wields a saber during performance.
The performance began with the drill team entering very slowly in a line formation. Following entry, the team executed several flashy formations and movements incorporating the clicks of shoes and taps of rifle butts on the hardwood floor. The members spun, flipped and exchanged their rifles as the formation shifted into squares, crosses and other shapes.
After the team's entrance and warm up, they moved on to a five-man performance by the commanding officer and four enlisted members of the team. The four enlisted members surrounded the commander and swapped and swung rifles as he stood still. Then, the riflemen thrusted their bayonets inches from his face as he remained motionless. The audience showed their enthusiasm for the team's trust as clapping hands and cheering voices rang throughout the basketball court.
"(The drill team) is just like a family, we're very close," said Senior Airman James Floyd from Hardeeville, S.C. "We train in Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, together for a month and then we work and live together. It's a lot of fun."
Once the small team had returned to the larger flight, the group faced the crowd and spread out into a line that was one man thick. This demonstration utilized somewhat of a domino effect as from one end to the other the Airmen performed maneuvers to the cue of the Airman beside them.
For the end of the presentation, the team made two lines facing one another. As they spun their rifles in front of themselves, the commander briskly walked down the line coming within inches of rifles spinning at high velocities, but not once making contact with any of them.
At the end of the performance, Airmen from the drill team mingled and met with the crowd. They spoke with members from the base honor guard, shook hands with base leadership, and gave autographs to excited children.
"I was in basic training lined up for the job they originally recruited me with," said Airman Floyd, "but I saw the honor guard and I told myself, 'I really want to do that.' "
The Honor Guard continued their performances in the local area of Hill AFB Saturday when they performed at the nationally-televised Real Salt Lake and Futbol Club Dallas game.
The drill team performed on the field of the Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, during half time.
"(Their performances) show the public what the United States Air Force represents: skill, precision, accuracy, and professionalism," said 2nd Lt. Kristen Jones, 75th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operations officer in charge.
Real Salt Lake tied the game 2 - 2 against FC Dallas.