Air chiefs recognized at Air Force Memorial ceremony

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Madelyn Waychoff
  • Air Force Honor Guard Public Affairs
Under the soaring spires of the newly dedicated Air Force Memorial, several foreign dignitaries were honored at an arrival ceremony Oct. 25. 

The arrival ceremony, hosted by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley, welcomed nine Pacific air chiefs from Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand and the Philippines. The air chiefs' arrival in Washington D.C. signaled the start of a U.S tour for the group. 

The ceremony marked the first time an arrival ceremony has been combined with a wreath laying ceremony, usually held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.  Arrival ceremonies are usually held on the ceremonial lawn at Bolling Air Force Base, D.C. 

"That we performed our first arrival ceremony at the memorial in front of air chiefs from halfway around the world is rather symbolic about the vast and far reaching impact of the Air Force over the years, and certainly fitting," said Lt. Col. Gaylord Thomas, Air Force Honor Guard commander. "This was a historic occasion, and the performance by our Airmen certainly set the bar for all future ceremonies." 

In the newly combined ceremonies, the Cambodian Royal Air Force commander, Lt. Gen. Soeung Samnang, represented the Pacific air chiefs when he assisted General Moseley in the inspection of the Airmen and in placing the wreath under the memorial. 

The honor guard presented the Airmen for inspection and formed the arrival cordon for the distinguished guests. The Air Force Band also provided Airmen for inspection and the music for the ceremony.