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NEWS | May 18, 2024

U.S. Air Force Honor Guard performance fosters valuable community relations

By Robert W. Mitchell 11th Wing Public Affairs

The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team performed professional drill and marching maneuvers before an audience at the 39th Cleveland International Tattoo in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 18, 2024.

“I love the different performances by groups from different cities, especially the drill teams,” said Cleveland-native and local high school security guard, Debra Turner. “Whatever branch of the military is performing, it doesn’t matter, I just enjoy that.”

The Drill Team joined local and foreign police and public safety ceremonial units and community recreation groups at the Cleveland Public Auditorium in a series of musical and dance performances in honor of fallen police officers.

The event, hosted by the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Society, featured pipe bands, youth Irish dance teams and the U.S. Air Force Band of Flight from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

Providing the public with a unique opportunity to see elite military discipline and attention-to-detail on display fosters positive relations between the Air Force and the public, according to Drill Team member and performance emcee Senior Airman Zachary Easley.

“When we perform with other performers from different countries, and from different parts of our country, we build bonds with them,” Easley said. “We recruit, retain and inspire the audience.”

Easley has served on the Drill Team for two of the three years he has been with the Honor Guard. He said he is “living the dream” traveling around the world with his teammates representing the Air Force.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was in high school,” Easley said. “I remember seeing the Drill Team perform on a Facebook video and I thought that was the coolest thing ever, I have to do that.”

Turner plans to organize a field trip at her school where the students may get a chance to see the Drill Team at a future event.

The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard provides premier ceremonial services to inspire the nation and represent all Airmen and Guardians to the world. The unit is located at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C.