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Elite drill team premieres new routine at Keesler AFB

BILOXI (AP) — The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team premiered its 2017 routine at Keesler Air Force Base on Friday. The Honor Guard is an elite ceremonial Air Force unit and the Drill Team is a special element within it.

“There’s only one qualification — can you drill or can’t you drill,” said Master Sgt. Jason Evans, the superintendent of the drill team. “The weapon weighs 12 pounds and it beats the heck out of their bodies when they drill.”

The team uses functioning M-1 rifles and moves in intricate, constantly changing formations.

Each year, the team spends five weeks at Keesler perfecting a new routine, which it premieres in Biloxi and showcases around the country and the world.

Friday also featured a quarterly Drill Down competition, with local teams. The 334th Training Squadron took first place, with the 335th coming in second and the 336th third.