CMT Hot 20 Countdown and Big & Rich Visit Naval Support Activity Bahrain

Every day around the world, thousands of U.S. military members perform the noblest thing you can possibly do with your life — protect our nation and make the world a safer place for our children and our children’s children.

These brave men and women can’t be thanked enough.

For the first-time ever, CMT Hot 20 Countdown and Big & Rich partnered with Armed Forces Entertainment for Hot 20’s inaugural military entertainment trip overseas to Naval Support Activity Bahrain to honor those who serve this holiday season. NSA Bahrain is home to the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and U.S. 5th Fleet.

For those who failed geography in school, Bahrain is a Middle Eastern island nation in the Persian Gulf that is sandwiched between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, thousands of miles away from home on U.S. soil.

While there, CMT taped two specials — the Hot 20 Video of the Year Countdown, airing Saturday (Dec. 17) at 9 a.m. ET/PT, and Hot 20 Holiday Salute, airing Dec. 24 at 9 a.m. ET/PT. This weekend’s special will feature the performance premiere of Big & Rich’s new song “For the Party” in front of a small group of sailors at guard mount, where they prepare for a 12-hour shift protecting the base.

Later, the duo delivers a full concert to thousands of service members on base including a performance of their hit “Comin’ to Your City,” and one lucky individual has the opportunity to join the guys onstage.

Cody Alan will test his physical strength and endurance when he joins four branches of the armed forces for their early morning training, including pushing a fire truck, flipping tires and more. Alan also will also sit down with an NSA Bahrain Commanding Officer to discuss the importance of the base in that region, as well as what has surprised him about living in Bahrain.

“It is sure an inspiring experience to get an up-close look at our U.S. Naval base in Bahrain, which is host and home to a very large multi-national coalition force working to support operations and providing stability and peace in the region,” Big & Rich’s Big Kenny said. “The focus, discipline, knowledge and integrity that we witnessed of the security forces and command there is superb. I can say with great pride and assurance that our nation is represented well on the front lines of freedom by the men and women of the US military. It was an absolute honor and a blast to play some country music for all the folks there and say thank you on behalf of all of us back home in the USA. We are blessed beyond belief.”

Check out some of behind-the-scenes photos from episode one of the two-part special:

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Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.