AFN Korea: The frontline network
July 29, 2008
The official birth of the American Forces Network - Korea occurred in 1945, but the event that cemented the unit\'s place in history took place on Oct. 4, 1950, at the height of the Korean War that had begun some four months earlier.
At 12:41 p.m. that day, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur used the network's radio to demand that North Korean Gen. Kim Il Sung lay down his arms and surrender his armies. The communists were in full retreat to the north at that time.
After the signing of the cease-fire agreement in 1953, the American Forces Korea Network - as it was then designated - settled into fixed locations in 1954, five of which are still active today in Seoul, Osan, Kunsan, Daegu and Camp Casey.
Although its use as a tool to assist in the cease-fire agreement is a source of pride for the unit, another source of pride is the fact that AFN-Korea has been active on the peninsula seven years longer than has the official U.S. Forces Korea command.
Known as the "Frontline Network," AFN-K is now made up of more than 120 Army, Air Force and Navy servicemembers and civilians, all of whom are dedicated to bringing the latest in quality radio and television programming, news, entertainment and command information to the thousands of military personnel, family members and civilians serving in the Republic of Korea.
Today, AFN-K continues its excellent record through a series of sweeping changes to its programming, from live 12-hour radio shows to live broadcasts of its nightly news and format changes. It has also expanded its reach to a worldwide audience via the popular Internet site YouTube.
"At AFN-Korea we are doing a much better job providing command information in ways people want - downloadable video, shorter news segments, videos on YouTube, etc. With our 'AFN the Eagle' FM service, we have also really improved the sound and professional feel of our radio," said Lt. Col. Michael T. Lawhorn, the 26th commander of AFN-K.
In addition to providing entertainment, AFN-K helps its audience advertise their organizations, people, events or important messages. Through AFN-K, messages are broadcast not only within the Republic of Korea, but to the entire world.
AFN-K can be found on radio and TV as well as the Web. Radio listeners can tune in to "Eagle FM" and "Thunder AM" in different areas for chart-topping hits, news and command information. AFN-K is also on the Internet at www.afnkorea.net.
AFN-K is scheduled to move south to Camp Humphreys some time around 2012. However, the network is, and always will be, dedicated to providing quality command information and entertainment to the outstanding men and women of U.S. Forces Korea.