By Sgt. David Turner, 214th Mobile Public Affairs DetachmentApril 14, 2013
FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- American Forces Network radio station "The Eagle" is now on the air, providing news and entertainment for soldiers participating in Combat Support Training Exercise in April at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.
Soldiers supporting the exercise across Fort Hunter Liggett can now turn on the radio for music and daily community updates. The Eagle is broadcasting at 88.1 FM, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, and can be heard during mealtimes in dining facilities throughout the training area.
Soldiers of the 356th Broadcast Operations Detachment, Fort Meade, Md., are running the station, with support from other public affairs units involved in the exercise.
The Eagle's varied format is intended to appeal to its diverse audience. Morning show co-host Sgt. Jessica Hart, half of "Lovely-Hart in the Morning," plays a mix of musical styles, ranging from rhythm and blues, rock and gospel to country and western. She also injects her lively sense of humor into the mix.
"I love to play everything," said Hart, a broadcast specialist with the 372nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment in Nashville, Tenn. "I just want everybody to be happy, because not everyone's a morning person. I just want to spread a little laughter, have a little fun, make everybody feel happy."
Like any morning show, there's also information soldiers can use during their day.
"We want the soldiers to know what's happening on post," said Hart. "They need to know what the shower hours are, for instance, and if they're down, and they need to know what alternative facilities they have to use."
In addition to providing a diverse mix of music and information, The Eagle features news that reflects training scenarios in the exercise, said station manager Sgt. 1st Class John Fries, of the 356th BOD.
"When soldiers go out on a patrol and something happens, when they come back and eat chow, they may hear a news story related to what they did that day," said Fries.
AFN The Eagle also provides a unique and valuable training opportunity for the public affairs soldiers involved, said Fries.
In the past, he said, events like the annual Boy Scout Jamboree were the only times where they could conduct broadcast operations in the field as they would in a deployed environment.
"What's cool about it is that this has never been done by any Reserve unit in the history of the Army Reserve," said Fries. "This is now, hopefully, the premiere broadcast event, and we're the first ones to do it."
Fort Hunter Liggett is the largest installation in the Army Reserve, with more than 160,000 acres of mountains, valleys, rivers, plains and forests. It provides ideal maneuver areas and state of the art training facilities.
The 91st Training Division, headquartered at Fort Hunter Liggett, trains and assesses Army Reserve units, and supports training for joint, combined and active Army forces. Thousands of Soldiers and dozens of units from around the country are participating in the April Combat Support Training Exercise, which provides realistic training for military maneuvers and tactics such as base security, convoy operations and battle reaction drills during simulated enemy attacks. The exercise provides realistic training to units to successfully meet the challenges of an extended and integrated battlefield.