Fairchild Honor Guard drills with Spokane Civil Air Patrol
By Senior Airman Ryan Lackey, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 12, 2018
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- The Team Fairchild Honor Guard is the local face of the Air Force, standing as a proud display of military precision and professionalism. There are several honor guard units within the Pacific Northwest region, made up of active duty, reserve, Air and Army National Guard and even retired veteran guardsmen. However, there is different official group that performs these duties.
Civil Air Patrol of Spokane cadets can also be called to provide honors and recently have been asked to do so for a colonel’s military retirement ceremony. Such an opportunity should be given only the best effort, so the CAP cadets visited Fairchild’s Honor Guard to help refine their drill maneuvers.
“Our cadet program also involves a color guard,” said CAP 1st Lt. Donna Payne, CAP Spokane Composite Squadron leader. “A senior member of our troop is retiring from active duty and wants the CAP Color Guard to perform, so this training was a great way to improve them while working with currently serving Airmen.”
The CAP is a congressionally chartered and supported civilian auxiliary unit of the U.S. Air Force that provides aerial and ground support for emergency services, state-agency support and assistance to federal missions via volunteers of all ages.
“This was awesome,” said Airman 1st Class Nathan Walker, 92nd Air Refueling Wing honor guardsman. “It was special for me because I started out as a CAP cadet and look at me now … I’ve come full-circle as an Airman that got the chance to train cadets just like I was. This was special.”
Several Team Fairchild Honor Guardsmen spent an afternoon paying it forward by taking months of training and practice and giving it to aspiring youths who may one day report for military duty themselves.
“This was my project, but all my fellow guardsmen immediately supported it,” Walker said. “Those available jumped in and applied their specialty as guardsmen without question. The camaraderie and esprit-de-corps really showed how we’re a big family that loves to help these kids improve.”
Fairchild’s guardsmen compared styles and provided training on drill forms and movements, how to properly render colors and flag folding. They also provided insight into the symbolism of all the subtle actions that honor guardsmen display during a performance, giving meaning and background behind why honor guardsmen do what they do.
“Some of the CAP cadets will go on to serve in the Air Force one day,” Payne said. “What a great connection this is, to give the future generation of Airmen a chance to train with currently serving ones.”
Working and serving alongside community partners is a high priority to Team Fairchild and its Airmen. The ability to complete the respective missions for both the base and the local CAP is strengthened by working together, training together and sharing ideas.