Cartwright's USO Tour Hits Greenland, Alaska, Korea
By Air Force Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump
Special to American Forces Press Service
OSAN AIR BASE, Korea, Nov. 12, 2008 Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright is halfway through a six-country, eight-day USO tour to bring entertainment to troops Nov. 9-16.
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright poses for a photo with an airman during a visit to Osan Air Base, Korea, Nov. 12, 2008. Cartwright took a USO show to visit Osan, Kunsan Air Base and Camp Casey. DoD photo by Air Force Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Cartwright started out the tour in Thule Air Base, Greenland, and has since made stops at four bases in Alaska and four bases in Korea.
Along with Cartwright on the tour are comedians Gabriel Iglesias and Edwin San Juan, model Mayra Veronica and the rap duo The Ying Yang Twins.
While at Thule, Cartwright told airmen and contractors there that despite the few visitors who come through the base, their mission of tracking satellites and early warning for ballistic missiles is vital to national security.
"One of the key reasons we're up here is to make sure you understand that we understand how important your mission is," Cartwright said. "It's a critical activity. It's one of those deals where nobody notices unless it goes bad. The good news is it's never gone bad."
Cartwright said the focus of this tour is to visit remote installations that may not get as many visitors, bringing a "slice of home" with the USO entertainers.
"It is probably an unusual event to see the entertainers and the USO come here, but when we get the chance, it's worth the while to do it," he said.
During his visit to Alaska, Cartwright traveled via Army UH-60s to Fort Greeley to see missile defense operations at the post. He then traveled to Clear Air Force Station with Veronica to do a meet and greet with the troops there.
The rest of the USO entertainers flew to Fort Wainwright on a CH-47 Chinook to visit with troops there. The entire group met back at Eielson Air Force Base to perform a show at the base theater for approximately 500 airmen and family members.
Following two extreme cold weather stops, the group flew here aboard C-17s. The groups helicoptered in to Kunsan Air Base, where they had a chance to see airpower up close with a static display of two F-16s and equipment from the 8th Security Forces Squadron.
After a show at Kunsan, the USO entertainers flew a CH-47 to the northern part of the country to visit troops at Camp Casey. Following that stop, it was back here for an evening performance that packed the base theater.
(Air Force Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump is assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Public Affairs Office.)