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AFDW commander hosts Air Force Review

ARLINGTON, Va. -- First Lt. Brent Mundie, Air Force Honor Guard ceremonial guardsman, leads Maj. Gen. Robert Smolen, Air Force District of Washington commander, through the arrival cordon before beginning the Air Force Review ceremony held April 14 at the Air Force memorial.

First Lt. Brent Mundie, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard, leads Maj. Gen. Robert Smolen, Air Force District of Washington commander, through the arrival cordon before beginning the Air Force Review ceremony April 14 at the Air Force Memorial. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Madelyn Waychoff)

ARLINGTON, Va. --A color team from the Air Force Honor Guard presents the colors as part of the Air Force Review ceremony April 14 at the Air Force Memorial.  Maj. Gen. Robert Smolen, Air Force District of Washington commander, was the event host as well as the reviewing official.

A color team from the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard presents the colors as part of the Air Force Review ceremony April 14 at the Air Force Memorial. Maj. Gen. Robert Smolen, Air Force District of Washington commander, was the event host as well as the reviewing official. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Madelyn Waychoff)

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Air Force Honor Guard presents the colors during the Air Force Review ceremony April 14 at the Air Force Memorial.  Maj. Gen. Robert Smolen, Air Force District of Washington commander, was the host of the event, as well as the reviewing official.

The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard presents the colors during the Air Force Review ceremony April 14 at the Air Force Memorial. Maj. Gen. Robert Smolen, Air Force District of Washington commander, was the host of the event, as well as the reviewing official. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Madelyn Waychoff)

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Air Force Honor Band performed numerous musical numbers for the Air Force Review ceremony April 14 at the Air Force Memorial.  Maj. Gen. Robert Smolen, Air Force District of Washington commander, was the host and reviewing official for the event.

The U.S. Air Force Honor Band performed numerous musical numbers for the Air Force Review ceremony April 14 at the Air Force Memorial. Maj. Gen. Robert Smolen, Air Force District of Washington commander, was the host and reviewing official for the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Madelyn Waychoff)

The Air Force Honor Guard performs a pass and review ceremony for the reviewing official, Maj. Gen. L. Robert Smolen, April 14 at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va. General Smolen is the Air Force District of Washington commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Madelyn Waychoff)

The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard performs a pass and review ceremony for the reviewing official, Maj. Gen. L. Robert Smolen, April 14 at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va. General Smolen is the Air Force District of Washington commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Madelyn Waychoff)

BOLLING AFB, D.C. -- In true "Heritage to Horizons" style, the Air Force held an event that took a more than 300-year-old military-review ceremony and presented it to a modern audience. 

Air Force District of Washington Commander Maj. Gen. Robert Smolen hosted the Air Force Review April 14 at the Air Force Memorial, featuring the U.S. Air Force Band and U.S. Air Force Honor Guard. 

The ceremony was held to honor the traditions of the past. It showcased the military origins of the review ceremony, as well as the "excellence and readiness of military troops, exhibiting on the parade ground the precision and teamwork essential for mission success," according to the event announcer. 

The review began with a solo bugler sounding "assembly" to signal the troops to prepare for review. With the arrival of the official party, the bugler sounded the bugle call, signaling the Honor Guard flights to march on. The presentation of command to General Smolen came next, followed by the presentation of the colors. 

To honor military members past and present, a moment of silence was held after the playing of the National Anthem. Once the colors were presented, the Band played a musical selection, including a showcase drum performance. 

The final piece of the ceremony was the pass in review, in which General Smolen reviewed the troops as they passed and gave his approval for their readiness. 

The history of the Air Force Review ceremony stems from King William III of England. His troops, while serving in the Netherlands, were housed in the towns and villages around the battlefields. To signal it was time to return to the garrison, drummers marched through the streets.