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USO Holiday Tour - December 2008
DoD photography by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley
Grammy award-winning musician Kid Rock and Zac Brown entertain Marines and sailors stationed at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Dec, 19, 2008. U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,  along with his wife Deborah, welcomed musician Zac Brown; comedians John Bowman, Kathleen Madigan and Lewis Black; actress Tichina Arnold; American Idol contestant and country musician Kellie Pickler on the tour. The group brought music and entertainment to servicemembers and their families stationed overseas. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

Grammy award-winning musician Kid Rock and Zac Brown entertain Marines and sailors stationed at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Dec, 19, 2008. U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, along with his wife Deborah, welcomed musician Zac Brown; comedians John Bowman, Kathleen Madigan and Lewis Black; actress Tichina Arnold; American Idol contestant and country musician Kellie Pickler on the tour. The group brought music and entertainment to servicemembers and their families stationed overseas.

U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visits with Seabees from the 7th Naval Construction Battalion assigned to Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Dec. 21, 2008. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visits with Seabees from the 7th Naval Construction Battalion assigned to Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Dec. 21, 2008.

Grammy award-winning musician Kid Rock entertains Marines and sailors stationed at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Dec. 19, 2008. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

Grammy award-winning musician Kid Rock entertains Marines and sailors stationed at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Dec. 19, 2008.

U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Deborah, introduce the 2008 USO Holiday Tour on Camp Victory, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2008. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Deborah, introduce the 2008 USO Holiday Tour on Camp Victory, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2008.

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Chantel Saville (left) and Sgt. Jonathan Oaks cheer at the introduction of Grammy award-winning musician Kid Rock and Zac Brown during the 2008 USO Holiday Tour stop at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Dec, 19, 2008. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Chantel Saville (left) and Sgt. Jonathan Oaks cheer at the introduction of Grammy award-winning musician Kid Rock and Zac Brown during the 2008 USO Holiday Tour stop at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Dec, 19, 2008.

American Idol contestant and country musician Kellie Pickler grants a Christmas wish for a kiss to U.S. Marine Sgt. Christopher Lambert at the 2008 USO Holiday Tour stop at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Dec. 19, 2008. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

American Idol contestant and country musician Kellie Pickler grants a Christmas wish for a kiss to U.S. Marine Sgt. Christopher Lambert at the 2008 USO Holiday Tour stop at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Dec. 19, 2008.

Photo Essays

Top Stories

Mullen Cites Importance of
U.S.-Pakistan Relationship

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT, Dec. 23, 2008 - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff emphasized the importance of U.S.-Pakistan relations in the fight against terrorism after meeting with top military and intelligence officials in Islamabad. Story»

Mullen Discusses Anti-terror
Efforts With Pakistani Leaders

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec. 22, 2008 - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff thanked Pakistani military and intelligence officials for their continued efforts to fight terrorism. Story»

Mullen Views Life on Sharp
End of Spear in Afghanistan

U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, listens to a question during an all-hands call with forward deployed servicemembers assigned to Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah Province, Afghanistan, Dec. 21, 2008. DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeleyCAMP BASTION, Afghanistan, Dec. 21, 2008 - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff got a close look at conditions on the ground in western Afghanistan during visits with a provincial reconstruction team and the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines. Story»

Security Will Enable Afghanistan
To Move Forward

CAMP EGGERS, Afghanistan, Dec. 20, 2008 – While security is important in Afghanistan, “no amount of troops in any amount of time is going to make this successful in the long run,” said Navy Adm. Mike Mullen after arriving in Afghanistan. Story»

Mullen Stresses Need for Regional Strategy in Central Asia

CAMP EGGERS, Afghanistan, Dec. 20, 2008 - The overarching strategy for success in Afghanistan must be regional in focus and include not just Afghanistan, but also Pakistan and India, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Story»

Mullen Discusses Northern Iraq as January Elections Approach

Maj. Gen. Robert Caslen, commanding general, Multinational Division North, escorts U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on a tour of Patrol Base Olsen, Samarra, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2008. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT, Dec. 19, 2008 - The situation in northern Iraq is complex and dangerous, and the upcoming Iraqi elections add further complications, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Story»

Chairman Dubs USO Tour
‘Smiles Around the World’

American Idol contestant and country musician Kellie Pickler grants a Christmas wish for a kiss to Marine Corps Sgt. Christopher Lambert at the 2008 USO Holiday Tour stop at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Dec. 19, 2008. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo, Dec. 19, 2008 - The overarching strategy for success in Afghanistan must be regional in focus and include not just Afghanistan, but also Pakistan and India, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Story»

Mullen Sees Golden Mosque in Samarra Being Rebuilt

With the reconstruction of the Golden Dome Mosque in the background, U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks with CBS correspondent David Martin about his tour of Samarra, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2008. DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeleySAMARRA, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2008 - The bombs that severely damaged the Golden Mosque in this city on the Tigris River almost destroyed the foundations of the nation, but the Golden Mosque is rising again, just like Iraq. Story»

No Fancy Venues, But USO Stars Rock

American Idol contestant and country musician Kellie Pickler and band mates Joshua Henson and Ryan Ochsner perform for servicemembers, Dec. 16, during the 2008 USO Holiday Tour at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Dec. 17, 2008 - This year's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff USO Holiday Tour has played at an aircraft hangar in Germany, in a maintenance facility and in an in-processing facility here in Afghanistan. The tour's stars - Kid Rock, Kellie Pickler, Lewis Black, Tichina Arnold, Zac Brown, Kathleen Madigan and John Bowman - have played far more prestigious venues, but probably none as appreciative. Story»

Mullen Takes Pulse of U.S., NATO Commands in Afghanistan

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT, Dec. 17, 2008 - Fighting in Afghanistan probably will increase in the coming year, but it will be on U.S. and NATO terms, not on the enemy's, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Story»

New USO President Wants to Deliver More Resources to Troops

Sloan D. Gibson, president and CEO of the United Service Organization, talks with a reporter, Dec. 17, during the 2008 USO Holiday Tour in Kandahar, Afghanistan. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeleyRAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany, Dec. 17, 2008 - The USO's new president and chief executive officer told troops here that the organization is doing its best to bring a touch of home to them. Sloan D. Gibson traveled here with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to kick off a Holiday USO Tour featuring entertainers Kid Rock, Lewis Black and Kellie Pickler. Story»