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Always on their ‘guard’

Barksdale Air Force Base’s Honor Guard is always ready and waiting

Story by Staff Sgt. Sean Martin, 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE — Covering a 53,000 square mile area for ceremonies between Texas and Louisiana, the Barksdale Honor Guardsmen must remain ready and proficient at all times.

The primary mission of the Honor Guard is to provide military funeral honors for active duty, veteran and retired Air Force personnel. They also perform various ceremonies for base organizations.

“Other ceremonial performances include presenting the colors, sabre cordons for award ceremonies and prisoner-of-war/ missing-in-action remembrance tables,” said Tech. Sgt. Aaron Porter, Barksdale Honor Guard NCO in-charge.

Barksdale Honor Guardsmen must maintain a high level of professionalism at all times.

“They must stand out because they are the faces of Barksdale,” said Porter. “They represent us. This is why we drill into them the importance of dress and appearance and customs and courtesies, both on and off duty.”

No matter what the event is or who the individual is, Barksdale Honor Guardsmen are expected to perform the same at each ceremony.

“From an airman basic to a general, they’re still part of the Air Force and they deserve nothing less from us,” said Porter. “I expect each Honor Guard member to give 110% no matter what.”

Barksdale Honor Guardsmen train hard on a daily basis to ensure every movement they make is precise.

“If we are not on a detail, then we are training,” said Porter. “We stay ready so we don’t have to get ready.”

The base Honor Guard performed 720 ceremonies last year; 425 of those were funerals.

Being a part of the Honor Guard is something Senior Airman Kent Pendleton, Honor Guard Flight Trainer, takes great pride in.

“Funerals are an amazing experience to be a part of because that is the last thing the family will remember of their loved ones,” said Pendleton. “Presenting the flag to the next of kin is a way for us to thank the family for what their loved one did for our country. It’s a very humbling experience.”

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