WIESBADEN, Germany - Upgrades to local affiliates throughout American Forces Network-Europe should greatly improve the technical capabilities in AFN studios.

"Our technology is 10-12 years old," said Station Manager Gary Bautell, explaining that AFN-Wiesbaden is benefiting from the effort to upgrade all of the studios in U.S. Army Europe.

As floor paneling was being removed and equipment dismantled to make way for the more up-to-date mixers, monitors, microphones and other gear, Bautell explained that the new set-up would allow for more space and more efficiently designed layout including three radio studios -- one for live broadcasts, a second dedicated to on-air interviews and the third for production work.

"There's a great deal of functionality with this new equipment," Bautell said. "It's a more elaborate system."

He added that the AFN-Wiesbaden's television studio would remain "pretty much the same," explaining that the civilian and service members who work on the staff do most of their video productions with mobile equipment and on desktop equipment. "Each work station has the capability to share," he said, allowing for joint productions.

The upgrade allows for the turn-in of outdated gear which occupies much more room than the new equipment. "All of this equipment was installed for radio and television which we don't use anymore -- so we're taking the opportunity to turn it in," he said.

"I don't see any great challenges with the new equipment -- everything should be in place within a week and a half," Bautell said, adding that there will be a short window of time as the staff grows familiar with the new equipment and set-up.

"We'll have the old studio online for a couple of months," added Sgt. 1st Class Corey Ray, station noncommissioned-officer-in-charge, as a back-up system during the transition.

In any event, the staff members of AFN-Wiesbaden are ready to serve wherever they can.

"As always, the station stands ready to get your message out. Just fill out a publicity request form on the website (http://wiesbaden.afneurope.net/PublicityRequest/tabid/314/Default.aspx) and submit it to us," said Bautell. "We hope to serve you better and faster than ever before."