Local

April 20, 2012

Honor Guard size reduced to relieve units

By 1st Lt. Ken Lustig
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Air Force Courtesy Photo
Nellis Honor Guard provides tradition, ceremony and dignity to military funerals, public events and formal occasions.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — For decades, the Nellis Honor Guard has imparted tradition, ceremony and dignity to military funerals, public events and formal occasions. The team’s precision, military discipline and attention to detail exemplify the standards expected of professional Airmen, and help represent the Air Force to the wider community.

For many people, seeing an Air Force honor guard detail can be the only personal encounter they have with the Air Force.

However, as economic realities cause reductions in military personnel and funding, the honor guard is unavoidably affected. Like the Air Force, the team will have fewer personnel and greater concentration on its core responsibilities.

The team’s size will be reduced by a third, from over 30 personnel to just 20 active team members. Though the team will still perform its primary, congressionally-mandated mission – military funeral details – it will not be available for as many other events.

Capt. Melissa Keough, 99th Force Support Squadron operations officer, said the goal driving this change is giving time back to Airmen and affected organizations..

“Though it is very important to the commander, the honor guard is not a funded organization,” Keough said. “Its manpower is taken ‘out of hide’ from units across the base.”

This means that since support to the honor guard doesn’t reduce unit responsibility, unit members must shoulder the workload left behind while their personnel are assigned to the team.

Tech. Sgt. Phillip Ridenour, the honor guard’s Noncommissioned Officer In Charge, said that the Nellis Honor Guard is second only to Joint Base Langley-Eustis as the busiest honor guard in the Air Force. In 2011, the team supported as many as 90 military funerals per month and more than 1,200 total ceremonial details.

The Air Force Honor Guard’s primary, congressionally-mandated mission, is to avail themselves as a military funeral detail.

Becoming an honor guard member requires continual training and practice between participation in ceremonial events. It takes weeks for a new member to become fully proficient.

To efficiently use this training effort, the team’s 20 members will have a four-month primary, full-time commitment. This will be followed by a four-month standby commitment during which they can be temporarily called out in the event of an increase in military funeral requests.

Keough said making the team smaller was a hard choice that means many worthy military and private events might not be supported – even some that were regularly supported in past years.

Besides supporting military funerals and dignified arrivals of military remains, the honor guard will provide services to on-base events including group- or higher-level change of command and wing- or higher-level awards and promotion ceremonies. The team will support off-base events as approved by 99th Air Base Wing leadership, as Honor Guard missions and manning allow.

To offset its reduced availability, the honor guard can provide training to other unit members on how to post colors when needed for other ceremonies.

Ridenour said that despite its smaller size, the team will remain true to its legacy of honor. As a grandson and son of military veterans, Ridenour said he truly understands the life-long impact the honor guard can make.

“I remember at my grandfather’s funeral seeing taps and the amount of pride and professionalism they put into folding his flag,” Ridenour said. “I put that into every single one of the details that I did, and I put it in the minds of every single one of these Airmen over here doing those details now.”

More information on requesting the honor guard can be found online at www.nellis.af.mil under the “requests” tab.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DT-140826-F-IF502-009

Radiology: Finding mysteries within

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler Airman 1st Class Cassandra Caballero, 99th Medical Surgical Operations Squadron diagnostic imaging phase two student, demonstrates correct form for receiving a chest X-ra...
 
 
DT-2

Always vigilant: Command post provides oversight, assistance

Tech. Sgt. Laura Langley (left) and Senior Airman Sarah Myers, 99th Air Base Wing Command Post senior and junior controllers, field phone calls at their workstations at Nellis Air Force Base, Aug. 21. Command post controllers a...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

CDOS 2014 comes to a close

U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Many people view the Labor Day weekend as the end of summer and a last chance to travel, hit Lake Mead, fire up the grill or indulge in their favorite outdoor ...
 

 

Lomie G. Heard Elementary School faculty looking forward to new school year

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Dominga Romero (left), special programs teacher assistant, and Terri Gravnitz (right), early childhood special education teacher, prepare their classroom for the start of the new school year at Lomie G. Heard Elementary School on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 21. The new school year...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay

Get your caffeine at Coolbeans café

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay The Coolbeans Café, a coffee shop serving Starbucks is now open in Hangar 1003 to serve the Airmen of Creech Air Force Base. Airmen interested in getting out of their work cent...
 
 

Nellis Chaplain Corps’ diversity offers different point of view

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Approximately 14.6 percent of today’s U.S. military members are women. For decades, women have held high-ranking positions leading Airmen in times of war and peace, and for approximately 40 years, women have also led Airmen spiritually as military chaplains. Two female chaplains and a female chaplain candidate serve at...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin