32nd Fighter Squadron the Wolfhounds

Canal Zone – Soesterberg / Camp New Amsterdam – Ramstein

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AFN Europe


AFN Europe Mission Statement

The American Forces Network Europe (AFN Europe) develops Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Civilian professionals and leaders who provide relevant, targeted force protection and command information, news and entertainment to DoD personnel and their families throughout the United States European Command (USEUCOM) in order to support all Commanders in maintaining readiness and morale by giving their messages the widest possible reach.

About AFN Europe

Since 1943, the American Forces Network Europe has been providing American service members, families and Defense Department civilian employees stationed in Europe with the best of American radio and television services.

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AFN Soesterberg
Credit: Mark


AFN Europe is committed to bringing you the latest uncensored news, information and entertainment from home and around the world. The American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) is the Defense Department agency that provides radio and television services to the U.S. military around the world. They work with the entertainment industry and bring you services ranging from “The Simpsons” to National Public Radio and all points in between. The latest music, news and information services are sent to AFN Europe and are available on a number of AM and FM stations broadcasting throughout the U.S. European Command, on-base cable systems, and via satellite decoders.

A Historical Timeline of AFN Europe



July 4 - The American Forces Network Europe (AFNE) provides its first broadcast to U.S. troops from BBC Studios in London. The broadcast includes five hours of recorded shows and BBC News and sportscasts. The signal is sent via telephone lines to five regional transmitters to the troops in the United Kingdom.

October 25 - 5th Army Mobile Expeditionary Radio Service began broadcasting in Naples, Italy.


November – AFN administrative Headquarters remains in London but operations move to newly liberated Paris. As Allied forces continue to push German Soldiers back into Germany, AFN moves east as well. Following the liberation of Belgium, Luxembourg, France and the Netherlands, more than 60 AFN stations spring up along the Allied front.


June 10 - AFN Munich signs on the air. AFN Bremen and AFN Berlin sign on the air later that year.

August - 5,000 troops in Austria served by the Blue Danube Network (BDN) from a mobile radio station on the back of two, two-and-a-half ton trucks.

August 15 – AFN Frankfurt signs on the air from a mobile radio studio on the back of a truck parked outside General Dwight Eisenhower's Frankfurt Headquarters.

December 31- AFN London signs off the air.


AFN Europe Network Headquarters was in the Hoechst Castle on the Main River near Frankfurt.


March 17- AFN Stuttgart signs on the air. AFN closes all stations in France.


AFN Bremen moves north and becomes AFN Bremerhaven. During the late 40s, AFN reporters cover world events such as the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials, the Soviet Blockade of Berlin and the Berlin Airlift.


July - AFN Nuremburg signs on the air at the Grand Hotel in Downtown Nuremberg.


December 14 – AFN Kaiserslautern provides radio service from a mobile van to serve those West of the Rhein.


October 21 - AFN Kaiserslautern signs on the air at Vogelweh, Air Base.

October - AFN Lajes goes on the air Oct 17, 1954. For many years, it was called "TV Channel 8."


October – U.S. Forces relocate from Austria to Italy and the Blue Danube Network also moves south of the Alps and changes its name to the Southern European Network (SEN).


Southern European Network Headquarters moves from Livorno to Verona.


May 23 - AFN returns to France with a station in Orleans


July 15 – After being one of the 11 original transmitter sites in Europe, AFN Heidelberg becomes its own station and signs on the air.


March 20 – AFN Berlin becomes the first station to provide 24 hour operations.


AFN Europe Network Headquarters moves from the castle to downtown Frankfurt in a building provided by German Hessen state radio, Hessischer Rundfunk.


AFN Orleans shuts down as France withdraws from NATO and asks U.S. troops to leave. The station moves to Belgium and sets up at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) as AFN SHAPE.

Southern European Network Headquarters moves from Verona, to Vicenza, Italy.


Air Force Television at Ramstein provides TV to the troops in Central Europe until the early 70's when AFN Europe assumes the mission.


February 5 - AFN SHAPE becomes a full service station and begins broadcasting on FM radio.


October 28 – AFN broadcasts the first color television signal from the Frankfurt studio.

Southern European Network changes its name to Southern European Broadcasting (SEB) when Italy approves the request to broadcast a television services.

AFN Soesterberg, the Netherlands signs on the air.


May 01 - AFN Wuerzburg signs on the air.


December - AFN Benelux adds satellite reception service, and adds AFN television service to Brussels audience. Service was later expanded to five transmitter sites in Belgium and the Netherlands.


November 11 – AFN Europe reports live on the collapse of the Berlin Wall.


April 26 - AFN Nuremberg moves from the Bavarian American Hotel to William O'Darby Kaserne in Fuerth, Germany and offers local TV command information to its audience.


January – AFN Europe sends troops to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in support of Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield.

February 14 - AFN Munich signs off the air.

Following the Gulf War as the U.S. military begins its drawdown in Europe, a leading German politician says, "The U.S. Military can leave Europe, but AFN must stay.”


AFN Munich closes.


March 31 - AFN Bremerhaven signs off the air.

April 16 – AFN Heidelberg signs on the air after moving from Stuttgart.

May 1-2 AFN Berlin broadcasts live from a former Eastern Bloc nation with a radio remote from the city square of Neu Brandenburg.

June 20 - AFN Somalia signs on the air.

October - Southern European Broadcasting (SEB) becomes AFN South. (AFNS)


March 8 – AFN Somalia signs off the air.

June 6 - AFN Eifel signs on the air for Spangdahlem AB, Germany broadcasting from the Bitburg Annex, reaching about 15,000 listeners in the Eifel region around Spangdahlem AB, Germany.

July 15 - AFN Berlin signs off the air.

August 15 – AFN Soesterberg signs off the air.


September 4 – The station formerly known as AFN Nuremberg signs signs on the air with a 24-hour radio marathon party from its new location on Rose Barracks, Vilseck.

December – AFN mobile radio station deploys to support troops serving in the Balkans on a NATO peacekeeping mission.


August 7 – AFRTS BC launches two new TV Channels; AFN News and AFN Sports.

September 11 – AFN provides around the clock TV and Radio coverage of the terrorist attacks and round-the-clock coverage of closures, delays and European-theater force protection messages.


AFN Europe starts to send military journalists and engineers to combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

May 28 - AFN Frankfurt changes its name from to AFN Hessen.


AFN-BC begins satellite feed of the Pentagon Channel worldwide.

May 24 – AFN Hessen begins broadcasting from the studios at Wiesbaden Army Air Field.

October 29 - AFN Europe Network Headquarters broadcasts its first live radio broadcast from the network's new Headquarters building on Coleman Barracks, Mannheim, Germany.

September 03 - AFRTS-BC launches two new TV channels, AFN Family and AFN Movie, and expands AFN Spectrum from an 8-hour to a 24-hour schedule.


October - AFN Hessen broadcasts live on radio and TV as Rhein-Main Air Base in Frankfurt closes.


February 27 - AFN BC launches a new TV channel; AFN|xtra, a unique channel targeted at 18-24 year olds

March – AFN Europe debuts AFN The Eagle, a researched, pre-approved family-friendly mix of adult contemporary and oldies music. Commissaries and other public places start playing AFN radio again.

AFN Europe's Eagle Radio goes on the air in the former Warsaw Pact nation of Bulgaria.

December 1 – AFN SHAPE becomes AFN Benelux at the request of the garrison commander, who wants the station name to be more inclusive (the station broadcasts to Chievres Air Base, as well as locations in the Netherlands and Germany, not just SHAPE Headquarters).


AFN Wuerzburg changes its name to AFN Franconia at the request of local commanders who want the station's name to be more inclusive of communities served (the station serves Wuerzburg, Schweinfurt, Bamberg and Ansbach).


February 1 - The last DJ show from AFN Franconia. The station formerly known as AFN Wuerzburg closes. AFN Bavaria picks up the mission for providing command information and entertainment in the region.

Giessen, Hanau and Darmstadt military communities close.  AFN Hessen changed from serving multiple military communities to just one:  Wiesbaden, Germany.

AFN Europe changes its AFN Eagle radio service positioning statement from "Music Worth Fighting For" to "Serving America's Best."


November 7 - AFN Europe simulcasts live the 2009 DoDDS Super Six Football Championships over TV and the Internet. The streaming Internet broadcast was viewed over 3400 times in 10 different countries.


February 27 - AFN Europe simulcasts live the 2010 DoDDS European High School Basketball Championships over TV and the Internet. The streaming Internet broadcast was viewed by over 5000 people in 19 different countries.

April 7 - AFN Europe streams the AFN OpenLine call-in show live over the Internet.

April AFN Hessen becomes AFN Wiesbaden.

June AFN Lajes moves from a building it occupied since 1954, to a brand new building and location.

October AFN Europe becomes a DoD organization instead of an Army tenant unit.  One of the changes is stations formerly managed by Air Force broadcasting at Spangdahlem, United Kingdom, Aviano, Lajes and Incirlik and the Air Force Regional Production Center at Ramstein join the AFN Europe team.


March - AFN United Kingdom begins broadcasting TV command information messages for joined AFN Europe Lakenheath, Mildenhall and Feltwell Air Bases.

August - AFN Eifel is renamed AFN Spangdahlem and begins broadcasting from their new facilities.


April - AFN Europe produces a TV show highlighting the United States Army Europe’s annual award program for Army plays.  The 2012 IMCOM-E Toppers program airs in Europe and DoD-wide on the Pentagon Channel. It’s also streamed on the Internet and viewed by more than 4,500 people.

June 1 - AFN Europe launches pilot program of "AFN 360 Internet Radio", the network's first foray into online broadcasting.

June - The United States Army Europe officially opens its new headquarters building, the General John Shalikashvili Mission Command Center. AFN Europe broadcasts the event live, Europe-wide on AFN Radio and TV.

August - AFN Heidelberg is re-flagged as AFN Stuttgart. AFN Stuttgart establishes a temporary location in the Garrison HQ's while simultaneously operating its radio studios from a former Army band building on Coleman Barracks, Mannheim.


January - Two stations formerly managed by the Defense Media Activity, are moved under AFN Europe:  AFN Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and AFN Honduras.

March - AFN Livorno, the station serving Camp Darby and its beautiful Italian beach, closes.

May - AFN Europe turns off its largest AM transmitter in Weisskirchen, Germany.

August- AFN Europe Network Headquarters departs Coleman Barracks and temporarily relocates to Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

December - AFN 360 Internet Radio launches with 31 stations world-wide now being streamed online.


May - AFN Europe Headquarters moves into its permanent facility on Sembach Kaserne, Germany.









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