American Forces Network: Wikis


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The American Forces Network (AFN) is the brand name used by the United States Armed Forces American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS)[1] for its entertainment and command internal information networks worldwide. The AFN worldwide radio and television broadcast network serves American service men and women, Department of Defense and other US government civilians and their families stationed at bases overseas, as well as U.S. Navy ships at sea. AFN broadcasts popular American radio and television programs from the major U.S. networks. It is sometimes referred to as the Armed Forces Network. AFRTS, American Forces Network and AFN are registered trademarks of the U.S. Department of Defense.



The American Forces Network (AFN) is the operational arm of the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS), an office of the[2] Defense Media Activity (DMA). AFN falls under the operational control of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs (OASD-PA). Editorial control is by the Department of Defense, whereas the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) for example, is independent of the Ministry of Defence and the British armed forces.

AFN employs military broadcasters as well as DoD civilians and contractors. Service personnel hold broadcasting occupational specialties for their military branch.

Since 1997, all of AFN's military personnel receive primary training at the Defense Information School (DINFOS) at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland. Prior to 1997, DINFOS was located at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1997, Fort Benjamin Harrison was largely closed as a function of the 1991 Base Closure and Realignment Commission. Additional/Advanced training is also available at Fort George G. Meade.

Some of AFN's broadcasters have previous commercial broadcasting experience prior to enlisting in the military, but it is not a prerequisite for enlistment in the military as a broadcaster. During their training, the broadcasters are taught to use state-of-the-art audio and visual editing equipment similar to their civilian counterparts.

AFN management is located in Alexandria, VA, but will move to the new DMA headquarters, soon to be built, at Fort George G. Meade by September, 2011. Day-to-day AFN broadcast operations are conducted at the AFN Broadcast Center/Defense Media Center in Riverside, CA, from where all global radio and television satellite feeds emanate.

History of American Forces Network

The American Forces Network can trace its origins back to May 26, 1942, when the War Department established the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS).[3] A television service was first introduced in 1954 with a "pilot" station at Limestone AFB, Maine and AFRS became the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). In 1954, the television mission of AFRS was officially recognized and AFRS (Armed Forces Radio Service) became AFRTS (Armed Forces Radio and Television Service.[3] All of the Armed Forces broadcasting affiliates worldwide merged under the AFN banner on 1 January 1998. On November 21, 2000, The American Forces Information Service directed a change of the AFRTS organizational title from Armed Forces Radio and Television Service back to American Forces Radio and Television Service. A timeline of the history of AFN is available online.[4]

The Origins of AFN

In the years just preceding World War II there were several radio stations based in American military bases, but none were officially recognized until 1942. The success of these individual radio stations helped pave the way for the AFN. As such, there was no single station that could be called the "first" to sign on as an AFN station. About two months before formal establishment of AFN, however, a station called "PCAN" began regular broadcast information service in the Panama Canal Zone, primarily for troops on jungle bivouac. The station, located at Fort Clayton, was later to become part of AFRS, first simply as "Armed Forces Network" located at Albrook Field.

World War II

The U.S. Army began broadcasting from London during World War II, using equipment and studio facilities borrowed from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

The first transmission to U.S. troops began at 5:45 p.m. on July 4, 1943 and included less than five hours of recorded shows, a BBC news and sports broadcast. That day, Corporal Syl Binkin became the first U.S. Military broadcaster heard over the air. The signal was sent from London via telephone lines to five regional transmitters to reach U.S. troops in the United Kingdom as they made preparations for the inevitable invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe.

Fearing competition for civilian audiences the BBC initially tried to impose restrictions on AFN broadcasts within Britain (transmissions were only allowed from American Bases outside London and were limited to 50 watts of transmission power) and a minimum quota of British produced programming had to be carried. Nevertheless AFN programmes were widely enjoyed by the British civilian listeners who could receive them and once AFN operations transferred to continental Europe (shortly after D-day) AFN were able to broadcast with little restriction with programmes available to civilian audiences across most of Europe (including Britain) after dark.

As D-Day approached, the network joined with the BBC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to develop programs especially for the Allied Expeditionary Forces. Mobile stations, complete with personnel, broadcasting equipment, and a record library were deployed to broadcast music and news to troops in the field. The mobile stations reported on front line activities and fed the news reports back to studio locations in London.

Although the network's administrative headquarters remained in London, its operational headquarters soon moved to AFN Paris.

As Allied forces continued to push German soldiers back into their homeland, AFN moved east as well. The liberation of most of Western Europe saw AFN stations serving the forces liberating Biarritz, Cannes, Le Havre, Marseille, Nice, Paris, and Reims.

Post war contraction and expansion

On December 31, 1945, AFN London signed off the air, and in 1948 AFN closed all its stations in France. This started the cycle of AFN stations where they would be built up during wartime then torn down or moved after the war was over. Of the 300 stations in operation worldwide in 1945, only 60 remained in 1949.

After World War II

AFN continued its mission of connecting troops with home and boosting morale in both the Vietnam and Korean conflicts.


A large number of AFN stations continued broadcasting from American bases in Europe (particularly Germany) after World War II. (Eight remain on-air today. See German Wikipedia). During the 1950s and 60's civilian audiences in Europe widely listened to AFN, as American music was very popular but rarely played on most European broadcasting stations (which at the time were largely state operated). This was particularly the case in Communist bloc countries, where (despite the language barrier) it was seen as an alternative way of maintaining contact with the west, and had the added bonus of not being subjected to radio jamming unlike such stations as Radio Free Europe which carried News in Eastern European languages. In France, about a dozen AFN stations operated, with AFN Orleans, equipped with studios, as the control station. The network broadcasted music, shows, news relayed from AFN Frankfurt, locally produced shows and other features aimed at the American soldiers and their families stationed in France. In particular, a whole team of reporters and technicians was sent to Le Mans to report the 24 hours race, at a time when Ford was doing its best to beat the Ferraris, and finally succeeded. AFN France consisted in 100 watts, frequency modulated transmitters purchased from a French manufacturer (TRT). The network employed a technical director, a program director, several American broadcast professionals on military duty, and some French studio operators, record librarians, secretaries and maintenance technicians. The program was fed from AFN Orleans studios to the slave transmitters via modulation lines rented from the French postmaster. AFN France was dismantled in 1967, when the US Forces left France, due to the French government's decision, under General DeGaulle, to withdraw its forces from the NATO's military command. The French employees were dismissed. They were granted a severance pay (in French Francs and taxable) of one month per year of service, paid by the US Army to the French government, in dollars(all the french employees were managed by a specially created service: le Bureau d'Aide aux Armées Alliées AAA.

Korean War

When war broke out in Korea, Army broadcasters set up in Seoul, in the Banto Hotel (the old American Embassy Hotel). When the Chinese entered Seoul in December, 1950, the crew moved to a mobile unit that was just completed and retreated to Daegu, South Korea. Due to the large number of American troops in Korea, a number of stations were also started. Mobile units followed combat units to provide news and entertainment on the radio. By the time the 1953 armistice was signed, these mobile units became buildings with transmitters, and a network, American Forces Korea Network, was born.

Canadian and American television personality Jim Perry began his broadcasting career fresh out of high school with the Armed Forces Korea Network, under his birthname of Jim Dooley, spending one year in Korea before moving on to the University of Pennsylvania to advance his education.


An AFRTS radio station, and later a television station, became operational in Tehran in the late 1950s. The office and the equipment were stationed in Saltanat-abad area of Tehran. Its listeners (and viewers) were American military personnel stationed in Iran as part of ARMISH and MAAG programs, as well as non-military Iranians and foreigners residing in Iran. The AFRTS ceased to operate on the 25th October 1976 the day prior to the Shah's 57th birthday. Radio 1555 closed with presenter: Air Force Staff Sergeant Barry Cantor playing as the last record: Roger Whittaker's 'Durham Town' (The Leaving). This was followed by a closing announcement by Chief Master Sergeant and Station Manager: Bob Woodruff ("After 22 years of audio broadcasting and 17 years of telecasting in Tehran, AFRTS Radio 1555 and TV Channel 7 cease all operations in this country at this time"). The station closed with the American National Anthem. On 26 October 1976 a new government owned International Service of National Iranian Radio & Television (NIRT) began. A new TV service began on Channel 5 and the new English language radio service with two English and one American presenter, together with English and international news staff provided popular music and news (in Persian, French, German, Russian and English) for listeners of all nationalities in Tehran and throughout Iran.

Vietnam War

As the American military presence in Vietnam increased, AFRTS opened radio and later television stations there. During the Vietnam War, the first American Forces Vietnam Network (AFVN)[5] broadcasts were beamed to the ground from fully equipped flying studios operated by the United States Navy.

AFRTS stations in Vietnam were initially known by the name "AFRS" (Armed Forces Radio Saigon), but as the number of stations quickly expanded throughout South Vietnam became known as "AFVN" (American Forces Vietnam Network)[5] and had several stations including [Qui Nhon], [Nha Trang], Pleiku, Da Nang, with the headquarters station in Saigon.

In Vietnam, AFVN had a number of war related casualties. The AFVN station staff at Hue had been captured [6] and spent time as prisoners of war. At the height of American involvement in the war, Armed Forces Vietnam Network served over 500,000 fighting men and women at one time. AFVN developed a program along the lines of "G.I. Jive" from World War II. A number of local disc jockeys helped make hour-long music programs for broadcast. Perhaps the best known program became the morning "Dawn Buster" program, (the brainchild of Chief Petty Officer Bryant Arbuckle in 1962) thanks to the popularity of the sign-on slogan "Gooooood Morning, Vietnam" (which was initiated by Adrian Cronauer and later became the basis for the film Good Morning Vietnam starring Robin Williams). Among the notable people who were AFVN disc jockeys were Lee Hansen, Cronauer and Pat Sajak. Beginning in 1971 AFVN began to close some stations in Vietnam. The last station to close was in Saigon in 1973.

In Thailand, the Department of Defense began the planning for the Armed Forces Thailand Network in 1964 with Project Lamplighter. By late 1966, implementation of the network began by the US Air Force with stations on the air at Korat, U-Tapao, Ubon, Udon, Tahkli, and Nahkon Phanom (NKP). In addition, there were more than 20 satellite stations that rebroadcast one or more of the primary stations and that included one or more clandestine locations in Laos.

In April, 1970, a battle-damaged F-4 fighter-bomber, returning from a reconnaissance mission to survey a road being built by the Chinese toward Burma in northwest Laos, crashed into the AFTN station, killing nine of the Air Force broadcasters. This incident was the single worst catastrophe in the history of military broadcasting.

AFTN became the American Forces Thailand Network in the summer of 1969, and continued operations until the spring of 1976 when the remaining US troops in Thailand were withdrawn at the request of the Thai government. More than 600 broadcasters from the Air Force, Navy, and Army had served during the ten years that AFTN operated.

The history of AFTN can be found at the web site along with a memorial to the nine broadcasters who gave their lives in the service of their country.


American Forces Radio and Television broadcast radio and television programming on Puerto Rico from Ramey Air Force Base and primarily from studios at U.S. Naval Station Roosevelt Roads (now decommissioned) as the American Forces Caribbean Network from the 1960s through the 1970s. Programming was also transmitted over a repeater transmitter located at San Juan.

Central America

Radio, and later television, to U.S. troops stationed in the Panama Canal Zone was provided initially by Armed Forces Radio (AFN) at Albrook Field and later as the Caribbean Forces Network at Fort Clayton with translators located on the Atlantic side of the Canal Zone. In the early 1960s with reorganization of the command located in the Canal Zone, CFN became the Southern Command Network (SCN). SCN also broadcasted to U.S. troops stationed in Honduras starting in 1987. SCN discontinued broadcasting in 1999 just before the turnover of the Canal Zone to the Republic of Panama when U.S. troops were removed from that country pursuant to the Torrijos-Carter Treaties.

Shortwave Radio

With the advent of satellite broadcasting, AFRTS has shifted its emphasis away from shortwave. Currently, the U.S. Navy provides the only shortwave single sideband shortwave AFN radio broadcasts via relay sites around the world to provide service to ships, including Diego Garcia, Guam, Sigonella in Italy, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and others.

AFN Television Services

European operations

Until the early 1970s, U.S. military television service was provided in Central Europe by Air Force Television at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. In the early 1970s, AFN assumed this responsibility for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). On October 28, 1976, AFN television moved from AFTV's old black and white studios at Ramstein to the network's new color television studios in Frankfurt. In the 1980s the network added affiliates with studio capabilities in Würzburg, Germany, and Soesterberg, the Netherlands. In 2004, AFN Europe headquarters relocated to Coleman Barracks in Mannheim, Germany.

Pacific operations

Over-the-air TV for U.S. Forces in the Pacific is currently provided by AFN-Korea, AFN-Japan and AFN-Kwajalein. All local operations merged under the AFN banner effective January 1, 1998.


AFN-Korea, formerly American Forces Korea Network (AFKN), is the largest of AFN's Pacific TV operations. AFKN began TV operations on September 15, 1957, and consists of an originating studio at Yongsan Garrison, Seoul and six relay transmitters throughout the peninsula. AFKN's first live television newscast aired on January 4, 1959. Until December 2007, the channel was widely available to non-military audiences on cable television, but following complaints from US companies trying to sell programs in South Korea, USFK requested that the Korean Broadcasting Commission direct the removal of Pacific Prime from the Korean cable lineups.[7]


AFN-Japan, formerly the Far East Network (FEN), has one full-power VHF terrestrial TV outlet. Located on Okinawa atop the Rycom Plaza Housing area in the central part of the island, AFN-Okinawa's (U.S. channel 8) TV signal serves Marines, Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, and their families stationed on-island. AFN-Japan also operates three low-power UHF terrestrial transmitters at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Commander U.S Fleet Activities Sasebo, and Misawa Air Base. TV viewers on military bases in the Tokyo and Kanto Plain area of Japan can view AFN via contractor-operated base cable TV services, or through AFN Direct-To-Home (DTH) dishes if they reside off-base.

AFN-Japan's radio services consist of AM and FM stereo operations at Yokota Air Base (810 AM & cable FM), MCAS Iwakuni (1575 AM), FLTACTS Sasebo (1575 AM), Okinawa (89.1 FM & 648 AM) and Misawa Air Base (1575 AM).

Kwajalein Atoll

AFN-Kwajalein at the Reagan Missile Test Range on Kwajalein Atoll is the only civilian-run affiliate in AFN, broadcasting on U.S. channel 13 for military personnel and civilian contractor employees and their families. AFN-Kwajalein's signal is beamed by microwave to the nearby atoll of Roi Namur and rebroadcast on channel 8.

With the availability of AFN's DTH service, terrestrial over-the-air TV broadcasts at all AFN outlets are slated for deactivation in the near future.

Gulf War

In January 1991, the network dispatched news teams and technicians to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. These broadcasters reported to families of soldiers deployed from Europe, and staffed a number of the U.S. radio stations making up the Armed Forces Desert Network. The first song on the air after the start of the ground offensive was Rock the Casbah by The Clash.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

AFN Iraq on-air radio studio. Baghdad, Iraq (April 2004).

Broadcasting "from a secret location" in Iraq, radio's "most heavily armed staff" continues the AFN tradition of going where the troops go with AFN-Iraq, Freedom Radio. AFN-Iraq began broadcasting in December 2003 on the FM band shortly after the fall of Saddam. The first song on the air was Freedom by Paul McCartney. Within a short period of time, Freedom Radio was broadcasting on multiple FM channels from as far south as Basra to as far north as Mosul.

AFN-Iraq, Freedom Radio began as a joint effort between the Air Force, the Marines, and the Army. The very first unit to operate the station was the 222nd Broadcast Operations Detachment, an Army Reserve unit out of Southern California. "Always There and On The Air" was the phrase that started it all, even though there were only 8 hours of live radio to kick things off.

After an introduction from Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the Commander of Coalition Ground Forces in Iraq, Air Force Master Sergeant Erik Brazones was the first DJ on the air. When the 222nd BOD took the reins of the radio operations, the first two regular radio shows were "Niki Cage in the morning" and "Abbey in the Afternoon".

Operation Enduring Freedom

AFN Afghanistan operates out of a building on Bagram Air Base. Its radio frequency throughout Afghanistan is 94.1 and 91.5 in Manas and produces live local shows. Its first radio transmission was at 0630 on Friday, 21 July 2006. Beyond radio AFN Afghanistan also does television news. It produces a daily 5 minute newscast which is called Freedom Watch Afghanistan and airs on the Pentagon Channel. All of its products can be seen on its website which launched on June 4 2008 (currently this site is returning a page not found error).

The station is typically staffed with Air Force broadcasters but also slots Army, Navy and Marine broadcasters as well. For support there is usually a 4 man team of engineers to handle all transmission, decoder, and satellite issues.

Operations in Western Europe

AFN in Germany and SEB (Southern European Broadcasting) in Italy provided broadcasting to U.S. troops in Western Europe throughout the Cold War. The U.S. defense drawdown began in earnest after the Gulf War, and impacted AFN stations across Europe, as many stations were consolidated or deactivated with the closing of bases. In Europe, AFN is still on the air from Tuzla, Bosnia and Taszár, Hungary to inform and entertain U.S. forces.

AFN went on the air May 29 with service at the Tirana airport in Albania with satellite decoders and large screen televisions placed in high traffic areas. At the same time, the AFN also advanced into the Yugoslav province of Kosovo along with NATO.

AFN viewers abroad witnessed live television coverage of the terrorist attacks on The Pentagon and World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

During military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq AFN provided non-stop coverage of the campaigns. AFN broadcast personnel from Europe deployed with the troops to cover events. Today AFN has a staffed affiliate in Iraq, AFN-Baghdad (launched 2003).

Wherever large numbers of US troops are deployed, the AFN sets up operation, providing news and entertainment from home. Today AFN has several satellites and uses advanced digital compression technology to broadcast TV and radio to 177 countries and territories, as well as on board U.S. Navy vessels.

Media Services

AFN's television service is broadcast in standard North American NTSC format of 525 lines. All programming delivered by satellite is PowerVu encrypted DVB. While programming is provided to AFN by major American TV networks and program syndicators at little to no-cost, for copyright and licensing reasons it is intended solely for U.S. Forces personnel, authorized Department of Defense civilian employees, State Department diplomatic personnel, and their families overseas.

AFN-TV is available to authorized viewers by "Direct-To-Home" (DTH) service with set-top decoders purchased or leased through military exchanges (similar to a membership store), licensed/contracted commercial cable operators, purchased used from other military members (the cheapest option) or terrestrial signal. The advent of DTH service coincides with the phasing-out of AFN terrestrial TV broadcasts due to reclamation of frequencies by host nations.

AFN programming

While the audience tunes into AFN to watch their favorite shows or listen to the latest Stateside hits, entertainment is the "candy coating" used to attract the military viewer/listener. AFN's primary mission is to provide access for worldwide, regional and local command information (CI) spots, which cover stateside commercials. These CI spots run the gamut from reminding servicemembers to register to vote, promoting local command-sponsored recreation events & off-duty educational programs, providing health and wellness tips, and listing what's playing at local base movie theaters.

AFN also inserts public service announcements from the Ad Council. Some of the 35 overseas AFN affiliates have the capability to cover the "worldwide" CI spots placed by the AFN Broadcast Center in California with regional or locally produced CI spots (such as localized messages from senior leadership).

Many service members welcome this approach, while others find it troublesome, especially during the airing of the Super Bowl.

The network is allowed to broadcast commercial movie promotion trailers provided by the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) and the Navy Motion Picture Service (NMPS) to promote the latest film releases in base theaters worldwide. They are the only true "commercials" authorized for broadcast.

AFN Radio and TV schedules are available at


AFN also offers a variety of radio programming over its various frequencies throughout the world. Not only is there local programming (with sailors and soldiers as disc jockeys), but there is satellite programming, as well. Music programming spans Classic Rock, Rhythmic R&B, Jack FM, Techno/Trance and country music. Ryan Seacrest's AT 40 and the American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks are broadcast weekly over AFN Radio. In addition to music, AFN broadcasts syndicated talk radio programs such as Car Talk, Kim Komando, The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Motley Fool Radio Show, A Prairie Home Companion, Dr. Laura, Sports Overnight America, and other programs from National Public Radio and other sources. Letters From War by Mark Schultz was the #1 song on AFN in 2004. Weekly religious ecumenical programming on Sunday's includes First Radio Parish Church of America with Rev. Peter Panagore.

On December 5, 2005, liberal/progressive Ed Schultz from Jones Radio Network and conservative talk show host Sean Hannity were added to the radio programs provided by the AFN Broadcast Center to its affiliate stations. The addition of Al Franken's show soon followed but was replaced by the Alan Colmes show when Franken started his Senatorial campaign.

On April 24, 2006, AFN Europe launched AFN The Eagle, a virtually 24-hour-a-day radio service format initially modeled after "Jack FM" but most recently a "Hot AC" format. This replaced ZFM, which had more of a CHR flavor. When the Eagle was launched AFN Europe took control of what local DJs could play.

Altogether, AFN produces 10 general-use streams for AFN stations to use. Of these, seven are music-based, two are sports-based, and one is a general news/talk channel, which also features live play-by-play of american sports. (it's also the one heard on shortwave, if the shortwave radio has Single sideband (also known as SSB) installed). How these stations use these formats is up to them. These formats are:

  • Hot AC (young adult alternative/80's and 90's)
  • Z Rock (new rock)
  • DriveFX (trance/techno)
  • Country (country/western)
  • Gravity (urban rhythmic)
  • Classic Rock
  • Jack FM (80, 90's)
  • Voice Channel (mainly NPR programming and sports programming from FOX, ESPN, and the Sporting News; this channel also broadcasts many talk shows, such as Rush Limbaugh and Ed Schultz.
  • ESPN Plus (sports programming from ESPN and Sporting News Radio)
  • FOX Sports Plus (sports programming from FOX)


Like its radio counterpart, AFN TV tries to air programming from a variety of sources to replicate programming on a typical U.S. TV channel; sourcing from U.S. commercial networks (including PBS), and program syndicators at little to no-cost since AFN does not air commercials and in that regards cannot profit from airing shows like stations in the U.S. can. In their place, AFN inserts public service announcements on various subjects; these can be civilian "agency spots" created by The Ad Council, nationally-recognized religious and public health charities, AFN's own "command information" spots produced by the AFRTS Radio-Television Production Office (RTPO), or announcements by a regional/local AFN affiliate. The most common PSAs shown deal with sexual harassment, public health and safety, force protection/anti-terrorism, pride in service, and messages to the troops.

AFN produces and broadcasts eight core satellite television channels in NTSC color. They are accessible to both military and foreign service personnel abroad. All 8 feeds are accessible in core areas, including but not limited to European, Korean, and Japanese posts. Much of the rest of the world is limited to a smaller but more widespread naval broadcast.


Unless specified, the first telecast of each channel targets the Japan/Korea region, then replayed several hours later for the Central European time zone.

  • AFN Prime. Formerly AFN Atlantic and AFN Pacific. The standard AFN feed airs current sitcoms, dramas, syndicated "judge" shows, talk shows, game shows, and reality shows popular in the United States, with a time delay from 24 hours to a 6 months or more behind the United States airdates. In addition, popular US soap operas such as General Hospital are aired by AFN on a one-week tape delay. This stream is divided into three feeds (AFN Prime Atlantic, AFN Prime Freedom (Middle East), and AFN Prime Pacific); the difference between the three is that they are time-shifted so that programs air at the same local time in each of the major regions served: Japan/Korea, Central Europe and Iraq. Many regional feeds (such as AFN-Europe and AFN-Korea) are based on AFN Prime and add local programming to it; thus, in a way, AFN Prime mimics the regular network TV concept. AFN Prime Pacific footage of the Late Show with David Letterman and of The Oprah Winfrey Show are used by Brazilian cable channel GNT for rebroadcasting of the programs in the country, usually with a one-week delay behind the original U.S. air date.
  • AFN Spectrum. AFN Spectrum started out as more of a conservative culture-oriented channel with programming from cable networks and classic TV series. In a way, it mimicked the "superstation" concept from cablecasters TBS and WGN America. However the Spectrum lineup currently contains more conventional programming, like American Idol and Ugly Betty, as some of the public television and classic fare that made up Spectrum is being reduced but remain the primary constant on the channel.
  • AFN Xtra. Launched in February 2006, AFN Xtra is young adult oriented channel with shows from Comedy Central, VH1, MTV, and more. It is AFN's exclusive home for UFC and WWE programming, including all Pay-Per-View events, as well as motor sports including NASCAR, NHRA, Motocross and other auto and motorcycle racing series. AFN Xtra also airs sports programming on the weekends and for eight hours a day on the weekdays.
  • AFN News. AFN News is a rolling-news channel providing news from all major news outlets. Newscasts, such as the NBC Nightly News, Fox News, ABC World News Tonight, and CBS Evening News, were all scheduled to air in the mornings so viewers could watch the headlines live, but now they air on a tape delay in the regular early evening slot, back to back.
  • AFN Family. AFN Family is a general entertainment channel providing programming for children 2–17 years old. Although the name of the channel suggests programming appropriate for all family members at any time, the channel more closely resembles ABC Family or Nickelodeon, with programming targeted at specific age groups during the course of the day. Programming during the day targets pre-schoolers but "ages" as older children become available to watch in the afternoon after school. By 8:00 p.m. local time, programming is targeted at older teens.
  • AFN Movie. AFN Movie is a channel showcasing movies as well as film-oriented programming. It is targeted primarily at adults and contains programs with a parental rating from TV-G to TV-14.
  • AFN Sports. AFN Sports is a rolling-sports channel, providing sports news and events, including ESPN's SportsCenter and live and delayed broadcasts of the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, MLB, NHL, NCAA College Football, men and women's NCAA College Basketball, and PGA Tour, as well as other highly rated team competitions.
  • Pentagon Channel. This is the only AFN channel that is available in the USA to the general public. It airs Department of Defense military news and information programming 24 hours a day.

Frequencies and transmitters

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Table of AFN-transmitters in Germany. Table may be incorrect and incomplete. Please correct and expand if necessary.

Frequency Power Location Description of transmitter site Geographical location Remarks
873 kHz 150 kW Weisskirchen 3 guyed lattice steel masts insulated against ground, height: 86 m, Directional Antenna Mode 50°10'59"N 8°36'45"E
1107 kHz 10 kW Grafenwöhr 66 m tall guyed tubular steel mast insulated against ground 11°54'42"E 49°42'47"N
1107 kHz 10 kW Berlin-Dahlem 126 m tall guyed lattice steel mast insulated against ground 52°27'47"N 13°17'26"E demolished on December 14, 1996
1107 kHz 10 kW Nürnberg 122 m tall guyed lattice steel mast insulated against ground shut down
1107 kHz 10 kW Otterbach 136 m tall guyed lattice steel mast insulated against ground 49°29'27"N 7°43'3"E
1107 kHz 40 kW Ismaning 2 guyed lattice steel masts insulated against ground, height: 94 m 48°14'40"N 11°44'42"E
1143 kHz 1 kW Bitburg 54 m tall guyed mast radiator 49°56'35"N 6°32'29"E
1143 kHz 5 kW Bremerhaven 65 m tall guyed mast radiator shut down
1143 kHz 10 kW Hirschlanden 40 m guyed lattice steel mast insulated against ground 48°49'43"N 9°2'11"E Telekom transmitter
1143 kHz 1 kW Heidelberg 65 m guyed tubular steel mast insulated against ground 49°25'58"N 8°38'42"E
1143 kHz 1 kW Hof 45 m tall guyed mast radiator shut down
1143 kHz 1 kW Karlsruhe 61 m tall guyed mast radiator shut down
1143 kHz 1 kW Mönchengladbach guyed lattice steel mast insulated against ground 51°10'2"N 6°23'56"E
1143 kHz 300 W Göppingen 37 m tall guyed mast radiator shut down
1143 kHz 300 W Würzburg 40 m tall guyed lattice steel mast insulated against ground 49°47'26"N 9°58'54"E
1143 kHz 300 W Bamberg 40 m tall guyed lattice steel mast insulated against ground 49°53'17"N 10°55'24"E
1143 kHz 300 W Schweinfurt 40 m tall guyed mast radiator?
1143 kHz 300 W Bad Kissingen 48 m tall guyed mast radiator shut down
1143 kHz 300 W Wildflecken 45 m tall guyed mast radiator shut down
1143 kHz 300 W Fulda 54 m tall guyed mast radiator shut down
1143 kHz 300 W Bad Hersfeld 25 m tall free-standing tower insulated against ground shut down
1143 kHz 300 W Giessen 61 m tall guyed lattice steel mast insulated against ground 50°35'27"N 8°43'6"E shut down
1485 kHz 1 kW Augsburg 56 m tall guyed lattice steel mast insulated against ground 48°21'8"N 10°51'19"E shut down, mast was demolished in 2008
1485 kHz 300 W Crailsheim 65 m tall guyed mast radiator shut down
1485 kHz 300 W Hohenfels 40 m tall guyed lattice steel mast insulated against ground 49°13'14"N 11°51'12"E
1485 kHz 300 W Ansbach 67 m tall guyed tubular steel mast insulated against ground 49°19'17"N 10°35'44"E
1485 kHz 300 W Regensburg Long wire antenna on wooden 20 m tower shut down
1485 kHz 300 W Garmisch-Partenkirchen 30 m tall guyed mast radiator shut down
1485 kHz 300 W Berchtesgarden 34 m tall guyed mast radiator shut down
Frequency Power Location Description of transmitter site geographical location Remarks
87.9 MHz 1 kW Berlin now used by Star FM Maximum Rock
89.4 MHz Hohenfels
90 MHz 0.245 kW Amberg
90.3 MHz Garmisch-Partenkirchen
90.3 MHz 0.02 kW Prien
93.5 MHz 1 kW Sögel
97.7 MHz 0.1 kW Bad Aibling
98.7 MHz 60 kW Grosser Feldberg
100 MHz 15 kW Augsburg
100.2 MHz 5 kW Kaiserslautern-Vogelweh
102.3 MHz 100 kW Stuttgart 193 m tall concrete tower 48°45'49"N 9°12'20"E Telekom transmitter
103.0 MHz 0.500 kW Pirmasens
104.1 MHz Grafenwöhr
104.6 MHz 0.375 kW Heidelberg Aerial on AM broadcasting mast 49°25'58"N 8°38'42"E
104.9 MHz Illesheim
104.9 MHz 0.16 kW Würzburg Aerial on AM broadcasting mast 49°47'26"N 9°58'54"E
105.1 MHz Spangdahlem Aerial on AM broadcasting mast 49°56'35"N 6°32'29"E
106.1 MHz Kalkar
107.3 MHz 0.05 kW Heidelberg
107.3 MHz 1 kW Ansbach
107.3 MHz Mannheim-Käfertal
107.4 MHz 0.3 kW Fürth
107.6 MHz Vilseck
107.6 MHz Bad Godesberg
107.9 MHz Bremerhaven

The AFN transmitters in Germany are operated by different authorities but most are operated directly by the U.S. military. Some are the property of Deutsche Telekom, while others are controlled by German public broadcasting corporations.

Iraq - "Freedom Radio"


Radio: AFN Rota Radio - The Eagle

SHAPE (Belgium)

Television: AFN Prime Atlantic/AFN Benelux (NTSC)

Radio: AFN Benelux

  • 101.7 FM: Everberg, Kortenberg (900 W)
  • 106.2 FM: Kleine Brogel, Peer (200 W)
  • 104.2 FM: SHAPE, Casteau (4 kW)
  • 107.7 FM: Florennes (100 W)

AFN Benelux - The Eagle

  • 101.7 FM: Brussels (Evere)
  • 107.9 FM: Chièvres (100 W)
  • 106.5 FM: SHAPE, Casteau (200 W)

South Korea


FM Radio (AFN Eagle)

AM Radio (Thunder AM)

resource: [8]





Short Wave (USB)

See also


  • Patrick Morley: 'This Is the American Forces Network': The Anglo-American Battle of the Air Waves in World War II. Praeger Publishing (2001).
  • Trent Christman: Brass Button Broadcasters: A Lighthearted Look at Fifty Years of Military Broadcasting. Turner Publishing (1992).
  • History of AFRTS: The first 50 years. U.S. Government Printing Office (1993).


  1. ^ "AFRTS Home Page". Retrieved 2009-12-31.  
  2. ^ Phillip E. Copeland (2005-06-07). "Defense Media Activity - U.S. Department of Defense Website". Retrieved 2009-12-31.  
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ "AFRTS". Retrieved 2009-12-31.  
  5. ^ a b "AFVN - American Forces Vietnam Network". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25.  
  6. ^ "AFVN - Prisoners of War". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25.  
  7. ^ "Korean cable firms to stop AFN broadcasts | Stars and Stripes". 2007-11-07. Retrieved 2009-12-31.  
  8. ^ "AFN Viewer's Lounge for Koreans". Retrieved 2009-12-31.  
  9. ^ (Italian)
  10. ^ Broadcasting Stations in Japan. AFN. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (Japanese ed.) 2008-02-15 browsed on 2008-02-23. [1]

External links

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