AFCENT BAND

A US Air Force band have wowed troops on Operation Kipion in Bahrain by bringing out the big guns, a cover of an Oasis classic.

Top Flight is one of the many bands of the US Air Force Central Command (AFCENT) with their music stretching from pop, dance & country to rock classics.

"... they came back with an Oasis number and everybody was singing their hearts out at them and the band were totally blown away."

The band, which is made up of deployed airmen and airwomen from active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard bands, popped into the news Forces Radio BFBS studio in Bahrain to have a chat with presenter Chris Keen just before the big gig.

To join the band each member has to go through an audition process which can be done as an already serving member of the US Air Force or as a civilian who if successful will then become a serving member.

Technical Sergeant Troy Griffin is the NCO in charge and the drummer in Top Flight.

"We have an audition as civilians and then if we win that audition then we can go to the recruiter and actually enlist in the Air Force."

The band travel around the world with the aim of positively promoting troop morale, diplomacy and outreach to host nation communities.

TSgt Troy Griffin

During their busy schedule, Top Flight found the time to play for the men and women deployed on Op Kipion in the Middle East based at the UK Naval Support Facility (UKNSF).

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The Royal Navy's Lt Guy Wadge explains that the welfare centre at UKNSF has only been open for a few weeks so the team there are trying to establish which social events work best for the personnel.

"The AFCENT band were the first proper band that have ever played there so they totally christened it."

SrA Michael Wittrien and SMSgt Paula Goetz

Chris spoke to Top Flight after their performance which went down an absolute storm among the British audience.

"... we have a couple of guys who have played for British Forces specifically and it's just a really good night."

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