Tuesday, December 8, 2009


From the USS Canopus newspaper comes the story of AFRTS Rota

A look inside that strange looking building Upon entering the building, you see the thousands of electrical transcriptions available for programming use.
Off to the right is the main control room, with the auxiliary control room being off to the left and straight ahead. Past the auxiliary control room is the administration room, where the paperwork that is needed to keep the
complex running 24 hours per day is done. No, you are not in the secret control center of a mad
scientist who is planning to take over the world. You are in that familiar and interesting place known as AFRS. American Forces Radio Service, Rota, is a detachment of the Navy Broadcasting Service, number 13 to be exact. The station operates 24 hours per day, seven day per
week, to keep the community informed on pertinent issues, as well as to provide entertainment to suit nearly every individual taste.

STEREO 96Out of a total 168 hours per week, nearly 90 hours are filled with what is known as "canned" programming. These shows are recorded either on tape or record and shipped to the station on a weekly basis. Such favorites as Charlie Tuna, Gene Price, Roland Bynum, Tom Campbell and Johnny Darin, as well as some information and drama programs are included in these shipments. The majority of the DJ's on these programs are from the Los Angeles area and are contracted because of their proximity to AFRTS Los Angeles and their high ratings in their respective field of music. They are all civilian, and those among us who are from California have probably
heard some of them before. LT Deborah Burnette, NAVSTA Public Affairs Officer, says the station receives many calls requesting, for example, that Gene Price play a certain song or if they can talk to Charlie Tuna over the phone. The programs are recorded and sent to the station, so Charlie Tuna, Gene Price and Wolfman Jack are not at the station. Sorry about that!
The station receives news every hour from Torrejon Air Base. Torrejon receives the news from the major news wires, as well as AFRTS Washington. AFRTS Washington provides the station with live and taped sports and news conferences.

The remainder of the on the air time is filled with local programming. The electrical transcriptions mentioned earlier are simply records. There are approximately 15, 000 to 18, 000 records at the station, dating from the late 40's up to the hottest music off the charts today.
New records are shipped to the station on a regular basis to keep up on the latest music. These records are supplied by AFRTS Los Angeles. The station records the top 20 songs from the Hot 100, Country and Western, Soul and Easy Listening charts on carts, a tape that resembles an
8 track. These are on hand for the station personnel for easier programming. Certain types of music are programmed for certain times of the day, but for the most part, the station personnel program their own shows. Certain people have request line shows, but that involves a bit more work.

To provide information to the area, the station gets news from various organizations and commands here in the area. This information is written in the form of spot announcements, or spots, to be read over the air. Each person must read 12 spots per hour.

Here's Marty Prater from AFRS Rota 1976

Saturday, October 24, 2009

AFTN update

Captain Madrack sent in some nice sounding memories of the Thailand network.
AFTN April 1973

Or listen here:

I really appreciate it and I'm sure that a lot of others do when you share your airchecks with us all. I threw mine away and greatly regretted it later. Please let me know what you have.

Today the good Captain (Ralph Gebes) is still involved with the troops:

Thom I am very involved in support our deployed troops. Operation Support Our Troops Illinois www.osotil.org. We have a concert every year with Gary Sinise and the Lt Dan Band. I will send you a copy of last year’s concert. I have taken up video production I am not making a living at it but produce videos for the VFW, OSOTIL, and the local cable access channel. I enjoy the creative side of things and often wish I could be on the air again.

Friday, October 23, 2009

AFN today

AFN Openline: AFN Programming
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Do you have a question about AFN programming? Now your can ask the experts from the AFN Broadcast Center in California on AFN Europe’s PowerNet OpenLine show at 10 a.m. October 21th. Call the experts with any question you have about AFN radio or television scheduling or programs.
You can call in your questions to the experts on the AFN PowerNet's OpenLine show at 10 a.m. on October 21. You can also send us your questions in advance via e-mail.

Here you can hear the full two hours:

Hour 1

Hour 2

Thursday, August 6, 2009