HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force Band, Honor Guard support Ukrainian air chief counterpart visit

The Ukrainian Air Force commander and the Air Force District of Washington commander participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force Gen. Col. Sergii Drozdov, left, and U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James A. Jacobson, Air Force District of Washington commander, depart the Memorial Amphitheater after a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Nov. 8, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael B. Keller)

The Ukrainian Air Force commander and the Air Force District of Washington commander participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force Gen. Col. Sergii Drozdov lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Nov. 8, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael B. Keller)

The Ukrainian Air Force commander and the Air Force District of Washington commander participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force Gen. Col. Sergii Drozdov, left, and U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James A. Jacobson, Air Force District of Washington commander, salute during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Nov. 8, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael B. Keller)

The Ukrainian Air Force commander and the Air Force District of Washington commander participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard participates in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Nov. 8, 2018. Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force Gen. Col. Sergii Drozdov and U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James A. Jacobson, Air Force District of Washington commander, also participated. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael B. Keller)

The Ukrainian Air Force commander and the Air Force District of Washington commander participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James A. Jacobson, Air Force District of Washington commander, right, walk through the Memorial Amphitheater with the Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force Gen. Col. Sergii Drozdov at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Nov. 8, 2018. Drozdov and Jacobson took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael B. Keller)

ARLINGTON, Va. -- As part of an ongoing commitment to strengthening resilient partnerships and coalition ties, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein hosted his Ukrainian counterpart, Col.-Gen. Sergii Drozdov, during a four-day tour that showcased U.S. Air Force capabilities.

The visit took place with support from Air Force District of Washington, providing expertise in ceremonial honors and operational support.

The Air Force Band and Honor Guard accented the air chief’s visit, which underscored Ukraine’s central role in a range of international security matters, including Russian threats to Europe, and the country’s evolving relationship with the United States.

At the steely spires of the Air Force Memorial, AFDW Commander Maj. Gen. James A. Jacobson greeted Drozdov and his wife, Inna. Goldfein, as the presiding official, inspected the band and guard formations during a Full Honors Arrival Ceremony.

Military history indicates inspection of troops began centuries ago, with the restoration of Charles II to the throne of England. When regiments offered their allegiance, the king carefully scrutinized each soldier in the ranks looking to affirm their loyalty. Goldfein and Drosdov's inspection continued this time-honored tradition.

Following the inspection, Goldfein presented the colonel-general with the Legion of Merit Medal.

According to the citation, Drosdov proactively requested U.S. assistance to assess the capabilities of Ukraine’s overall air defense system, and expanded the understanding of how Ukrainian, U.S., and NATO air forces work together against shared threats.

Among stops at the White House and the Pentagon, the official party later made their way to Arlington National Ceremony for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns, where Jacobson joined Drozdov atop the plaza steps to honor the fallen as the Honor Guard marched and posted the colors.

The tour concluded today.