Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Honor Guard Drill Team visits Cannon

Cannon Connections photo: Liliana Castillo The drill team's routine is constructed in such a way that the airmen depend fully on each other's accuracy.

The thrill of watching 28 airmen spin, flip and toss 11-pound M-1 rifles with fixed bayonets in unison brought cheers from the audience several times through the group’s short performance.

The United States Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team performed for a crowd of about 50 at the base fitness center Aug. 4.

Airman 1st Class Derrick Palmer of the 27th Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron was among the crowd.

As a member of the Cannon Air Force Base honor guard, he said he came in support of the drill team, which is the traveling component of the Air Force Honor Guard.

“It was good. Entertaining,” he said.

Palmer said he’s considered moving into the drill side of the honor guard, especially after watching the precision performance.

Airman 1st class Stephanie Nevins of the 27th Special Operations Group said she enjoyed the performance.

“It was sensational,” she said. “I’ve kind of been into drill and wanted to check it out.”

Before she entered the Air Force two years ago, her father showed her a few drill tricks, she said, sparking her interest. The dangerous side of the performance, gashed and stitched up hands from a missed grab, has kept her at bay.

“I’m not into getting hurt. But it’s inspiring,” she said. “It takes courage to try knowing it’s a dangerous sport. It’s respectful of them.”

Nevins said she is always looking for ways to be involved in the community and the base, where she has been stationed for a year.

The performance was coordinated through Cannon’s honor guard, according to Cannon Force Support Squadron Deputy James Laquerre. He said the group is doing a nationwide tour with the intention to entertain and recruit.

“This is a good way for people to understand what the Air Force is all about,” he said of the highly disciplined performance.