By David Vergun

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.

Hyten and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramón “CZ” Colón-López are hosting the Chairman’s 2020 USO New Year’s Tour on behalf of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark A. Milley. Traveling with Hyten and Colon-Lopez is the USO President J.D. Crouch II, who also met hundreds of U.S., Canadian and Romanian troops on the tour stop.

While in Romania, Hyten also met with country’s 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.

Photo credit DoD/Army Sgt. James K. McCann

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.

During the USO show, troops cheered and laughed as the 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 (of HBO’s VEEP) and Brad Morris, plus comedian Scot Armstrong.

They cracked some jokes and told some whoppers that had service members in stitches.

DJ J. Dayz and country music duo LoCash.

They hit it big with their music, including LoCash’s hit “I Love This Life,” which service members sang along to.

Bellator women’s flyweight world champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and Bellator hype-girl Natalie Ficarra, plus and Ultimate Fighting Championship top contender Felice Herrig vs Felicity.

They were knockout sensations, challenging service members to some interesting matches.

Photo credit DoD/Army Sgt. James K. McCann

Washington Nationals players Aaron Barrett and Adam Eaton pose for a photo as they board a C-32 aircraft at Joint Base Andrews, Md.

The USO performers volunteered to participate in variety-style shows and troop engagements to show service members that Americans value their service. They will visit other locations in Europe over the next few days.

“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.

Photo credit DoD/Army Sgt. James K. McCann

Service members at Mihail Kognalniceanu Air Base, Romania, greet USO ralent as they arrive as part of the Chairman’s USO New Year’s Tour on Jan. 6, 2020.

“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.”

-This story originally appeared on It has been edited for