By Cherish Washington, AMC Public AffairsMarch 11, 2013
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Materiel Command Band increased morale in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait by performing to deployed units assigned there, Feb. 23-28.
"Typically, the band performs state side in the local communities," 1st Sgt. James Cardo, the acting AMC band commander said. "The AMC band was the first Army band to perform in UAE by our records."
Service members kicked off their trip in Kuwait by performing for the command group of U.S. Army Central Command. Following, they traveled to nearby forward operating bases.
The members worked together in harmony fostering resiliency for service members with live music. Part of the band's mission is to uplift the morale of troops, so the band performed in theater in support of combat operations, Operation Enduring Freedom.
"The AMC band covered 11 performances in six days showcasing the Ceremonial Band, Rock Band, Dixieland Band and the Four-Star Jazz Orchestra," Cardo stated. "It was great to see the importance of music in healing, motivating, and bringing a sense of home to those deployed. Most of the audiences have only seen the Marching and Ceremonial Band, so they were very impressed with the Band's musical capabilities."
"Overall the AMC Band performances in Kuwait and UAE were outstanding. All logistical aspects and coordination went according to plan. We moved 6,000 pounds of equipment and 30 Soldiers from every location covering 15,000 miles without any loss of accountability. The perfect execution of all missions was extremely impressive and the Soldiers in the Area of Operations were very appreciative of the Army Materiel Command for providing a touch of home," Cardo said.
Cardo stated how impressive his team was on the trip and reflected on one performance which took place at Camp Redleg for the 2nd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery Regiment.
The service members at Camp Redleg have been deployed for nearly seven months without this type of morale booster, Cardo explained.
The AMC Band and UAE military Band delivered a combined performance on Camp Redleg. The combined event included the two bands displaying their marching band capabilities.
"The Dixieland band performed America Jazz music bringing smiles to the UAE military band members and U.S. Soldiers standing by," Cardo reflected. "They were very impressed with our level of musicianship. The event ended with the two bands combining as one large band and performing a march together signifying unity."
Even neighboring camps enjoyed the performances; at one point the AMC Band performed for troops from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Denmark.
"The AMC Band believes in doing their part in promoting regional stability by strengthening relationships and forging greater collaboration with key allies and host-nation partners," Cardo said.
"The band members are musical ambassadors, which is a tool of American power to build cohesion among countries to protect our citizens and our interest. As stated, America must engage -not retreat- in the world, but engage wisely," he concluded.