AFCENT band boosts morale in Afghanistan

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Steven Przyzycki
  • Air Forces Central Command

Air Forces Central Command Band Touch 'N Go went on tour throughout September, performing at six forward operating bases in Afghanistan for more than 2,000 Airmen, joint and coalition forces.

This was the longest Afghanistan tour for the AFCENT Band on record.

"We played at hospitals, dining facilities, outdoor stages, USO installations, rooftops and next to bunkers," said audio engineer Senior Airman Ken Miller Jr. "We traveled by planes, helicopters, vehicles and foot to reach everyone, including those who seldom have live entertainment brought to them."

The band traveled extensively throughout Afghanistan in support of troop morale and enduring partnerships.

"Troop morale can be a make or break factor when it comes to a team's mission effectiveness," said the band's NCO in charge and keyboardist, Master Sgt. Andrew Benton. "We were able to see the positive impact we made on morale right from the stage. I especially enjoyed playing the joint concert with multi-platinum artist Ginuwine. The crowd went crazy for the show."

Another rewarding experience for the band was performing for Special Operations Forces on a rooftop at an undisclosed location.

"These guys are true American heroes and warriors," said the band's music director and bass guitarist Tech. Sgt. Sam Kennedy. "Rotations of units happen a lot out here, and that means some groups go a long stretch without live entertainment. It is great to play for these folks who deserve the recognition."

The overall length of the tour and the opportunity to perform in a variety of locations wasn’t just a rewarding experience for troops forward deployed, but added to the bands fulfilment during their time in country as well.

"All the guys here appreciate what you did tonight,” U.S. Army Spc. Aaron Beasley from Forward Operating Base Gamberi said after one of the performances by the band. “They boosted a lot of morale that we didn't have. They brought home to us, and we are all thankful for that."

Keep up with the AFCENT Band on their Facebook page or visit:  http://www.afcent.af.mil/units/afcentband/index.asp