AF Drill Team Performs at Disneyland During Armed Forces Weekend
By Capt. Angelic Dolan, SMC Public Affairs
/ Published May 23, 2012
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team participated in the Torrance Armed Forces Day Celebration weekend May 18-20 and concluded their stay in Southern California by going to Disneyland.
Thousands of people came to the Torrance 53rd Armed Forces Day Celebration weekend events, which featured multiple performances by the drill team.
"I have never seen anything like this before," said Amy Lewis, Torrance resident. "They perform with such concentration and precision as they flip the rifles. I was so happy to have the opportunity to see them perform during this celebration."
The Torrance Armed Forces Day Celebration is the longest running Department of Defense-sanctioned celebration in the country and has run consecutively for 53 years.
Leo Kelly, Army Veteran and spectator, said, "I feel honored to be here at the celebration of our armed forces; I try to support in any way I can. I am a proud veteran, and it was nice to see the drill teams' military bearing during their performance.
The drill team paid tribute to all of the nation's military branches during its 16-person performance featuring a choreographed sequence of show-stopping weapon maneuvers, precise tosses, complex weapon exchanges, and a walk through a gauntlet of spinning weapons.
"The drill team is a traveling component of the USAF Honor Guard, whose mission is to inspire Air Force awareness among military and civilian audiences through its complex drill presentations," said Capt. Alexander Stanton, drill team flight commander. "We travel around the world representing every airman and every Air Force mission."
The team concluded their weekend here by performing at Disneyland.
"It was a great experience performing in Disneyland in Town Square," said drill team member Senior Airman Austin Germain. "It was a great turnout and quite the experience to also lead the Disneyland parade. I could hear the spectators cheer us on as we performed and marched down the parade route - it is that cheering sound that encourages us to perform the way we do."
Disneyland's Town Square and the parade route were packed with spectators as the drill team demonstrated their 16-person performance.
"It is my job to narrate the performance and I also pump up the crowd," said The Voice of the drill team, Airmen 1st Class Andrew Johnson. "It does not matter how loud the crowd cheers them on, you will not break their concentration."
Drill team members represent the best of each of the individual ceremonial flights. All members have risen to the challenge and developed the discipline required to be a member of this elite performance unit.
Spectator Tom Sutherland summed up the team's performance best: "I got to Town Square an hour early to get front-row viewing. It was exciting to see one of the members stand still as the rifles revolved all around him and then as he walked through the spinning rifles. I was filled with adrenaline just watching!"