BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The United States Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team has made an annual tradition of visiting to Keesler Air Force Base to show off some extreme skills.
Part of the base's annual drill down competition, the competition brought sharp movements, precise coordination, and extreme discipline to the drill field. Four squadrons made up of airmen within the base faced off in a test of skill.
"It gives them the opportunity to excel not only in their academics, but in military standards and discipline," said Technical Sgt. Roger Anderson.
After the competition was over, the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team took to the field showing the epitome of refinement for the seventh year in a row at Keesler.
"They like the relations with the honor guard. We like the relations with them, so, perfect fit," said Master Sgt. Jason Evans, superintendent of the honor guard for 2017.
The elite group of 26 airmen go through a rigorous interview and training process before becoming a part of the branch's only squadron with a full-time ceremonial mission. The drills are actually rehearsed and performed using an operational M1 Garand rifle with a bayonet.
"The weapon is 12 pounds and it beats the heck out of their bodies when they drill," said Evans. "The first half of training is just physical training."
The performance came after only five weeks of intense planning, but the hours put in practicing make the routine work like a well-oiled machine.
"You just know their cadence, you know their stride-length, you know everything about them," said Evans.
The group's debut performance of its new routine, it's a tradition that serves to show the incredible control and skills of the military that keeps citizens safe.
"You have your commander who's leading his or her troops, and it's very important that they react to whatever they need to react to instantly," said Evans.
The Honor Guard Drill Team will now launch into a season of tours both domestically and abroad promoting the Air Force with its performances.