Feature   Know Your Military

Hyten Visits Troops in Romania During USO Tour

Jan. 8, 2020 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten joined other top officials and USO entertainers as they visited Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania.

Service members in uniform greet USO Tour participants as they file off their airplane.
USO Greeting
Service members at Mihail Kognalniceanu Air Base, Romania, greet USO Talent as they arrive as part of the Chairman's USO New Year's Tour 2020, Jan. 6, 2020. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Ramon "CZ" Colon-Lopez are hosting the Chairman's USO Tour on behalf of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark A. Milley.
Photo By: Army Sgt. James K. McCann, DOD
VIRIN: 200106-D-SW162-1083A

Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Ramon "CZ" Colon-Lopez and USO President J.D. Crouch II also met hundreds of U.S., Canadian and Romanian troops yesterday at what's commonly called "Camp MK."

It is important to bring a piece of home to our deployed service members to show America's commitment while they serve in defense of our nation."
Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, vice chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

Hyten also met with Romania Chief of Defense Lt. Gen. Daniel Petrescu. The two military leaders discussed a range of issues, including the shared challenges faced in Europe and ways to increase coordination in areas of mutual interest. Hyten also thanked Petrescu for Romania's contributions to Operation Inherent Resolve and the NATO Resolute Support mission.

Romania is a NATO ally and shares a strong partnership with the United States around the globe.

A group of military officers sit around a table.
Romania Meeting
Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meets with Romanian Chief of Defense Lt. Gen. Daniel Petrescu during his visit to Romania, as part of the Chairman's USO New Year's Tour 2020, Jan. 7, 2020.
Photo By: Army Sgt. James K. McCann, DOD
VIRIN: 200107-D-SW162-2073A

Troops cheered and laughed as the USO entertainers cracked jokes, sang and even had a baseball pitching contest. The entertainers included:

  • Washington Nationals baseball pitcher Aaron Barrett and right fielder Adam Eaton. They showed off the World Series trophy the Nats won this season, and service members posed for photos with the trophy.
  • Actors Matt Walsh and Brad Morris and comedian Scot Armstrong cracked some jokes and told some whoppers that had service members in stitches.
  • DJ J.Dayz and country group LoCash hit it big with their music, including LoCash's hit "I Love This Life," which service members sang along to.
  • Mixed Martial Arts fighters Felice Herrig and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane were knockout sensations, challenging service members to some interesting matches.

The USO Tour will visit other locations in Europe over the next few days.

Service members pose with USO Tour participants on a flightline.
Romania Greeting
Service members greet celebrities as they arrive at Mihail Kognalniceanu Air Base, Romania, as part of the Chairman's USO New Year's Tour 2020, Jan. 6, 2020. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Ramon "CZ" Colon-Lopez are hosting the Chairman's USO Tour on behalf of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark A. Milley.
Photo By: Army Sgt. James K. McCann, DOD
VIRIN: 200106-D-SW162-1104C
Two bearded men take a selfie at the door or a military aircraft that bears the seal of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on its door.
Boarding Selfie
Washington Nationals players Aaron Barrett and Adam Eaton pose for a photo as they board a C-32 aircraft at Joint Base Andrews, Md., to depart on the Chairman's USO New Year's Tour 2020, Jan. 5, 2020. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Ramon "CZ" Colon-Lopez are hosting the Chairman's USO Tour on behalf of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark A. Milley.
Photo By: Army Sgt. James K. McCann, DOD
VIRIN: 200105-D-SW162-0143

"It is important to bring a piece of home to our deployed service members to show America's commitment while they serve in defense of our nation," Hyten said.

Then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers started the annual tours in 2003 to express thanks and appreciation to deployed service members away from home for the holidays.

General officers from Romania and the United States shake hands.
Hyten Arrival
Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrives at Mihail Kognalniceanu Air Base, Romania, to kick off the Chairman's USO New Year's Tour 2020, Jan. 6, 2020. Hyten and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Ramon "CZ" Colon-Lopez are hosting the tour on behalf of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark A. Milley. Washington Nationals players Aaron Barrett and Adam Eaton, comedians Scot Armstrong and Matt Walsh, actor Brad Morris, country music band LoCash, Mixed Martial Arts fighters Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and Felice Herrig, and DJ J Dayz are participating in the tour to show U.S. service members in Europe that America remembers them and values their service.
Photo By: Army Sgt. James K. McCann, DOD
VIRIN: 200106-D-SW162-1021C

"Over the course of my military career, I have witnessed firsthand how the USO serves as a force behind the forces, supporting our people and their families wherever they are stationed around the globe," Colon-Lopez said. "I am excited to join the vice chairman on our first USO Tour and to have the opportunity to meet and thank forward-deployed members of our joint force team."

A military officer stands and speaks to a group of seated service members.
Greeting Troops
Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, greets service members during his visit to Romania, as part of the Chairman's USO New Year's Tour 2020, Jan. 7, 2020.
Photo By: Army Sgt. James K. McCann, DOD
VIRIN: 200107-D-SW162-5236A

The USO performers volunteered to participate in variety-style shows and troop engagements to show service members that Americans value their service.