ANG band rocks 2018 U.S. National Day in UAE
By Staff Sgt. Colton Elliott, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing
/ Published March 09, 2018
AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates --
The Air National Guard Band of the South, currently deployed as the United States Air Forces Central Command Band, rocked as Americans and Emiratis joined together in the United Arab Emirates to celebrate the birth of the United States a few months early.
July 4 marks one of the most important days in the U.S. calendar, however, Independence Day is celebrated in the early months of the year for citizens to take advantage of cooler weather.
The AFCENT band provided live music during this year’s United States National Day event, which was hosted March 7 by the U.S. Embassy at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Resort, Dubai.
Paul R. Malik, U.S. Consul General in Dubai was the guest speaker for the ceremony and reflected on the enduring partnership the U.S. shares with the UAE.
“The United States has always viewed the UAE as a stronger more capable partner in addressing the security economic and social challenges of the region and of our times,” said Malik. “We enjoy mutually beneficial cooperation which also has allowed us to shape and advance the vision of a better world for mankind.”
The band, composed of Guardsmen deployed from McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee, used music to bridge language, cultural, societal and socio-economic differences.
“Whether we’re playing a concert, social event or in this case a different country, music acts as universal language,” said Tech. Sgt. Spencer Herron, the band’s musical director. “Music has always been a powerful tool in breaking barriers and promoting cross-cultural appreciation.”
The AFCENT Band is the only permanently-assigned U.S. Air Force band to the Central Command area of responsibility, and is based in Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
“We owe our gratitude to the United States Air Force Central Command Band which provided us with tonight's all-American entertainment,” said Malik.