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KOREA RELATED> [ A Broadcast Engineer in Korea - 1950s ] AFKN Memories ][ AFKN Bill Lambing ] AFKN William E. Feeney ]

OTHER AFRS/AFRTS/VOA Star Spangled Radio ] Voice of America ] Start of AFRS ] Somewhere in the Pacific ] Post - WW2 AFRS-AFRTS ] Happy Birthday Bob Hope! ] 








About American Forces Network Korea -- Recent data from their website
American Forces Network Korea broadcasts news, information and entertainment on radio and television to more than 60,000 Department of Defense servicemembers, civilians and their families serving in the Republic of Korea .

AFN Korea is a multiservice organization made up of Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Department of the Army and Korean civilian employees. The network is organized with its headquarters in Seoul and five broadcast detachments throughout the South Korean peninsula.

- AFN Yongsan – Serves Seoul , Camp Market , K-16 and all of Area II

- AFN Casey – Serves Camp Red Cloud, Camp Casey, Camp Stanley, Camp Long, Camp Eagle and Area I

- AFN Osan – Serves Osan Air Base, Camp Humphreys and Area III

- AFN Kunsan – Serves Kunsan and Kwang Ju Air Base

- AFN Daegu – Serves Camp Walker , Camp Henry , Camp Carroll , Chinhae Naval Base and Area IV


Our television and radio programming is derived largely from two sources: satellite services provided by the American Forces Radio and Television Service’s Broadcast Center in Riverside, California, and locally produced programs.

On television, programs received from the Broadcast Center include some of the most popular shows back in the United States--as well as live breaking news and sporting events. Local programs include AFN Korea news stories, “Fronline In Review” and a host of one-and two-minute information spots on a variety of topics important to U.S. Forces Korea.

On the radio, AFN The Eagle broadcasts live twelve hours a day, Monday through Friday with military disc jockeys providing the best in contemporary hits, news and information. The remainder of the programming is provided by satellite services. Thunder AM delivers a variety of satellite programming and is totally automated. Programming consists of country music, oldies, classic rock, talk radio, news and news talk.







We provide a range of services designed to keep listeners and viewers informed on important issues and events concerning U.S. Forces Korea, as well as helping make local events more meaningful and entertaining. These services include: providing news coverage of significant command or community activities; conducting interviews with subject matter experts and many of the distinguished visitors to the Republic of Korea ; producing promotional spots and announcements on topics of interest or concern; hosting contests and giveaways on our FM service; and conducting live radio remotes at community events.




The American Forces Network Korea (AFN-K) was first organized in 1945 as part of the Armed Forces Radio Service’s (AFRS) Far East Network (FEN). Radio stations were established at Seoul, Pusan, Chonju and Kwangju. FEN transferred radio operations to the Korean Military Assistance Group (KMAG) in 1948. The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 and the first AFRS correspondent arrived at Pusan in July 1950. On September 24, 1950, the Japan Logistical Command General Order #84 officially created the 8214th Army Unit.

Lead elements of the network came ashore during the Inchon landing and set up broadcasting facilities in the partially destroyed American Embassy in Seoul. This station signed on October 3, 1950 at 12:41 a.m., with a newscast that led with General Douglas MacArthur’s demand for the surrender of Kim Il-Sung, Commander-in-Chief of North Korean forces.

During the war, the unit operated from mobile radio vans that followed the shifting battle lines. Because of the fluid battle conditions, the first radio stations identified themselves with names such as Radio Kilroy, Radio Vagabond, Radio Gypsy, Radio Homesteader, Radio Rambler, Radio Mercury and Radio Troubadour. In August 1951, General Order #58 redesignated the 8214th Army Unit as American Forces Korea Network, the predecessor to today’s AFN Korea. After the signing of the Cease Fire Agreement, AFKN settled into fixed locations, five of which are still active today. In April 1954 AFKN opened studios at its present location in Seoul and in July 1954 Radio Comet opened at Osan Air Base, while Radio Meteor, Radio Nomad, Radio Rambler and Radio Troubadour were inactivated.

The network added black and white television on September 15, 1957 and broadcast its first live telecast on January 4, 1959. As peace on the Korean Peninsula prevailed, the network continued to develop its radio capabilities. Radio Bayonet opened at Camp Casey on May 7, 1958 and the following year, Radio Cavalier opened at Munsan on May 2, 1959. In October 1963, the only broadcast facility north of the 38th parallel was inactivated as Radio Gypsy ceased broadcast operations.

AFKN continued the upgrade of its broadcast capabilities in the 1960s. By Christmas of 1963, “mini-TV” stations were established at Kunsan Air Base, Taegu and Pusan. In 1965, limited FM radio service was established to supplement the full-time AM radio service. In 1966, Radio Cavalier changed its name to Radio Tomahawk in honor of the newly-arrived 2nd Infantry Division. By autumn of that year, Seoul was established as the network’s flagship station and the affiliate stations throughout the peninsula had limited break-away capability for local shows.

In 1971, the network increased the number of TV rebroadcast transmitter sites to 13 and the following year it provided live sports coverage with an occasional-use satellite. In 1973, AFKN received the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for its performance and coverage during the floods of 1972. In 1977, AFKN was granted approval to broadcast some TV programs in color and in 1979 the network received approval to broadcast all TV programs in color.

By 1981, AFKN expanded its sports broadcast capability from occasional-use satellite feeds that increased live events per year from seven to 61. In October 1982, operational control of the American Forces Korea Network was transferred from the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) to the Army Broadcasting Service (ABS). The AFRTS Satellite Network (SATNET) began service on October 4th, 1983, and provided AFKN with the ability to bring time-sensitive news and sports directly to the audience. The following year, AFKN handed over all transmitter operation and maintenance to the 1st Signal Brigade, an agreement which exists to this day. AFKN added a new affiliate station in 1986 when the Camp Humphreys station began broadcasting. That same year the network also provided coverage of the Asian Games, a dry-run for the Seoul Olympics. In 1988 AFKN became the first military network to work with a major U.S. network to cover an Olympiad – the 24th Summer Olympic Games in Seoul. The following year, AFKN was awarded the Army Broadcasting Service “Pioneer Award” and the U.S. Army Superior Unit Award for its work during the Olympic Games.

When President George H.W. Bush visited Korea in 1992, AFKN provided live coverage of the President’s address to the USFK audience from Collier Field House on Yongsan Garrison. In 1993, the network provided a tape-delayed telecast of President Bill Clinton’s address to 2nd Infantry Division Soldiers from Camp Casey. The network also participated in the last Team Spirit military training exercise in 1993.

During the 1994 Ulchi Focus Lens exercise AFKN conducted the first live telecast originating from outside Seoul with live “news teases” from Camp Walker. The first live newscast originated from outside of the television studio in mid-1996. An effort to upgrade equipment and streamline facilities began in 1996 with the deactivation of four affiliate stations and standing up one new station. Deactivated were the Munsan affiliate in December 1996; the Camp Casey affiliate in May 1997; the Camp Humphreys affiliate in August 1998 and the Pusan affiliate in September 1998. The Camp Falling Water affiliate in Uijongbu was activated in February 1997, providing service to the 2nd Infantry Division and all of Area I. AFKN produced a live radio broadcast during President Bill Clinton’s 1998 visit to Korea when he addressed USFK members from Osan Air Base.

In 2000, the network stepped into the digital age with the acquisition of non-linear video server technology and digital news and post-production systems. On April 2nd, 2001, the name of the network was changed from AFKN to AFN-Korea, to fall in line with the worldwide AFRTS branding and naming convention.

In April 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney made an appearance at Yongsan where he addressed the USFK audience during a live AFN Korea radio broadcast. Later that year, AFN partnered with the Training Support Activity Korea (TSAK) to televise live the United Nations Command ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement marking the cessation of hostilities with North Korea. The keynote speaker for that event was Doctor Henry Kissinger. The following year AFN Korea deactivated the detachment at Camp Falling Water, which was then relocated to Camp Casey. This moved the AFN station closer to where most of the 2ID Soldiers live and work. The first on-air broadcast from the new facility took place on September 20th, 2004. Also in 2004, ABS entered into a partnership with First Media Works to host a Korea-specific Web Site. This site has effectively evolved into the Third Medium, to complement the radio and television media.

In August 2005 the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, visited Osan Air Base and Camp Casey during his “Farewell Tour,” in advance of his retirement in September. AFN news teams at both locations produced several news features that were broadcast on the nightly newscast and were also seen around the world on The Pentagon Channel. In October 2005, the network provided a live peninsula-wide broadcast of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s Town Hall Meeting from Yongsan’s Collier Field House. The following month the network carried President George W. Bush’s remarks to the USFK audience in a live telecast from Osan Air Base on November 19th , 2005.

In the summer of 2006 the AFN detachment at Kunsan Air Base moved into a newly renovated building with a 500K broadcast equipment upgrade. Of importance, this move was jointly funded by the 8th Fighter Wing and AFN Korea. The first live radio broadcast from the new Studio A took place on Monday, May 15th.

That same summer, the network returned to its live TV broadcasting roots with the first live TV newscast in more than 5 years. Shortly thereafter, the AFN Daegu detachment confirmed its wartime mission as the network’s alternate HQ by broadcasting its first ever live TV newscast.

n 2007 AFN-K launched “AFN The Eagle”, its FM radio service, mirroring the success of AFN-Europe in music and format. Improving the sound and standardizing training for DJs network-wide, this was the first time multiple regional radio networks had coordinated to give listeners a consistent and much-improved sound between both the European and Korean theaters.

AFN-K personnel continue to make the most of new technology: launching the AFN Korea YouTube site, which had more than 2,000 hits in its first five days. The Traffic Management System now allows the network to place command information products on six AFN channels instead of the previous one, including AFN Sports and AFN Extra. AFN Korea is also moving forward by integrating Social Media with Radio.

AFN Korea fell under the Defense Media Activity in 2008. DMA to modernize and streamline media operations by consolidating military service and DoD media components into a single, joint, integrated multimedia communications organization.

See  historical   information on the  SMECC website : 

KOREA RELATED> [ A Broadcast Engineer in Korea - 1950s ] AFKN Memories ][ AFKN Bill Lambing ] AFKN William E. Feeney ]

OTHER AFRS/AFRTS/VOA Star Spangled Radio ] Voice of America ] Start of AFRS ] Somewhere in the Pacific ] Post - WW2 AFRS-AFRTS ] Happy Birthday Bob Hope! ] 





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