Never too cold to rock and roll
By 1st Lt. Ellen Harr, U.S. Air Force Band of Flight Public Affairs
/ Published November 23, 2005
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFMCNS) -- Five members of the U.S. Air Force Band of Flight's "Systems Go" rock band performed Nov. 17 during Wright-Patterson Air Force Base's quarterly readiness exercise, Freezing River 05-4.
The ensemble's performance helped boost the morale of troops participating in the exercise, who were treated to classics originally performed by rock legends Pink Floyd and Santana.
The performance also served as preparation for the band's wartime mission, supporting troops in worldwide contingencies.
"We deploy to support the Air Force mission and the troops," said Chief Master Sgt. Douglas Harry, chief enlisted manager for the band and deployment functional manager for all Air Force Materiel Command bandsmen. "We bring a little American-style music to them."
"There are places we can go (as active-duty Airmen) that civilian entertainers just can't go."
Master Sgt. Shawn Stanley, NCO in charge of Systems Go, said deployments offer a unique opportunity for bandsmen to reach out to deployed troops by entertaining.
"My last deployment was the most rewarding thing I've done in my career. It felt good to bring something to those who were out there working hard," he said.
Systems Go last deployed in August 2004 and performed in Qatar, Iraq, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kurdistan and Djibouti. During their month-long mission, the group and their pallets of equipment were airlifted from one performance site to the next by C-130 Hercules aircraft.
According to the Air and Space Expeditionary Force Center, the bands participate in the AEF by using music as a tool to create impressions and inspire emotions. Bands also enhance esprit de corps through ceremonial functions or provide a "touch of home" to deployed Airmen.
Whether performing for troops in desert heat or much colder conditions here at Wright-Patterson, Systems Go is always prepared to bring a little bit of rock and roll to the field.