MORON AIR BASE, Spain —
The Chairman’s annual USO Holiday Tour kicked off here today with a performance for troops and families with the 496th Air Base Squadron and the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, his senior enlisted advisor Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Troxell, USO CEO and President Dr. J.D. Crouch II, and their spouses are leading the tour, which includes stops in the U.S. European and U.S. Central Command areas of responsibility over the next seven days.
Morón Air Base, home to the 496th Air Base Squadron, serves as a forward operating base to support transient/bed-down of aircraft operations as well as the staging of aircraft and personnel in support of U.S. and NATO plans, exercises and contingency operations. It is also home to the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa, a rotational force of Marines and Sailors capable of decisive action across a range of military operations.
The USO holiday tour started in 2003 by then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers to express thanks and appreciation to deployed service members away from home for the holidays.
This is Dunford’s fourth USO tour since becoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
“While we can’t bring our troops home for the holidays, we can bring a bit of home to them – that’s what the USO holiday tour is all about,” Dunford said.
This year’s holiday tour includes professional wrestlers The Miz and Alicia Fox; actor Adam Devine; comedian Iliza Shlesinger; country music star Jerrod Niemann; celebrity chef Robert Irvine and his wife, Gail Kim, a professional wrestler.
“Being able to shake the hands of those who serve our country is an incredible experience, especially this time of year when they are away from home and working so hard to protect our freedom,” said Alicia Fox who is on her second USO holiday tour. “We want to put smiles on their faces and let them know that they are the true Superstars,” she added.
All USO performers volunteered to travel over the holidays to participate in variety-style shows and troop engagements to show service members that America remembers them and values their service.
The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. For more than 76 years, the USO, a private, non-profit organization, has served the men and women of the U.S. military and their families throughout their service-from the moment they join, through their deployments and as they transition back to their communities. To learn more, visit: www.uso.org/force.
Follow the tour on the Joint Staff’s social media accounts: