Three of the Marine Corps' most recognizable units will visit Beaufort this week for a pair of performances at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, base officials say.
The Drum and Bugle Corps, the Silent Drill Platoon and the Marine Corps Color Guard will be featured Monday during two free performances at the local bases. The MCAS performance is at 11 a.m. The Parris Island performance is at 4 p.m. Both events are open to the public.
The units -- formerly called the 8th & I Battle Colors Detachment --perform for audiences across the nation and all over the world, and are based at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., a 207-year-old compound in southeast Washington.
Both performances will be headlined by the Silent Drill Platoon, a unit of 24 Marines who execute, without verbal commands, intricately choreographed maneuvers with polished M-1 rifles with fixed bayonets.
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Lt. Sharon Hyland, air station spokeswoman, said her office fields calls throughout the year from local residents asking when the units will be visiting the Lowcountry, especially the Silent Drill Platoon.
"It's hard to have a large group remain quiet but during their performance, the only sound you hear is the crack of a Marine's hand against his rifle and the subtle click of the movements," Hyland said. "It's awe-inspiring and a reminder of the military precision, discipline and teamwork of the Marine Corps."
The performance at the air station also will be attended by U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. ,as part of his plan to visit each military community in the state, according to a release from his office.
DeMint will provide opening remarks for the event, the release said.
Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/OnBaseBeaufort.