Discovering the American Forces Network Europe
When I was 14 years old, I discovered an English language radio station on my radio dial, which later turned out to be AFN. When I was 16 years old, my English was good enough, so I started to listen to AFN. With PFC Robert Newman doing the Powerplay afternoon show, at AFN SHAPE. That was in 1981. I wrote PFC Robert A. Newman a letter, which he answered. Later, in 1983, I started to listen more and more to AFN. I started to appreciate Country Music, and my English got more and more fluent. I started to understand the news, and later the military news. I learned Armed Forces language, and after I returned from a vacation in Australia in 1984, I discovered Kim doing the Rise & Shine morning show. And I fell in love with her voice and radio personality. This homepage contains photos of AFN people, equipment, buildings, patches and F-15s, I added some comments. In 2015 I got an email from Robert Newman, he let me know he'd seen my AFN page and liked it that I mentioned his name! That's over 30 years!
Visiting AFN affiliates
After I dropped out of university in January of 1987, I had a lot of time on my hands, so I thought "I want to visit AFN!". In 1988 I first visited AFN SHAPE, just North of Mons Belgium. In 1988 I visted the AFN European Head Quarters at the Bertramstrasse 6 in Frankfurt am Main Germany, which was really interesting. In 1986 we got our own AFN Soesterberg affiliate (meaning there were radio shows locally produced) and in 1988 I got to visit Soesterberg AB too and made some pictures.
This is the front of the HQs AFN building at the Bertramstrasse 6 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. I was there in 1988, 1989 and 1990. Today the HQs AFN Europe are in Mannheim, Germany. The new broadcasting centre on a Mannheim kaserne cost $12mil and is all digital, I have seen pictures of it and it is as if you are on the bridge of some spaceship.
In 1988 I made this photo of the HQs AFN lobby, I got a tour of the AFN building by SGT Tom Skinner. It was amazing!
This is the same lobby in 1990.
AFN used to broadcast the American Top40 every Sunday, between 14:00 and 18:00. And the presenter was called Shadoe Stevens. I knew that this show was produced by ABC Watermark in Hollywood, California. So I asked for their phone number, and called them. I asked them if I could talk to Shadoe Stevens, and they said: "Yes you can." They told me Shadoe would be there on Monday morning at 11:00 am local time. So I called and was connected. And I said to the person who answered the phone: "I'd like to speak to Shadoe Stevens." And he said: "Speaking!" So we talked for 12 minutes. That was in 1988. All people who wrote AT40 for a long distance dedication got this card.
Years later I watched a sitcom called "What about Dave", where Shadoe played a role. Shadoe was the first radio personality to have 1 billion listeners World Wide each week! And I got a chance to talk to him! He is a really nice and charming guy! Sometimes we send each other emails.
This is from a poster of the movie Topgun. Kelly McGilles, looks like a girl I danced with, a fellow student at Utrecht University, called Marjolein. I think Tom Cruise plays my best friend here...
Over Southern Amersfoort
This was the view from our window. Sometimes an F-15's shadow would pass right over our window.
A sentimental picture.
Public Affairs Officer
This is Eric the 32nd's Public Affairs Officer. When I met him in the early 1990s he was a Captain. I used to visit him in his office to chat now and then. Eric became Public Affairs Officer of the year (of the entire Air Force) that is quite an accomplishment. After leaving Soesterberg AB he was a member of the Thunderbirds demonstration team. He retired from the Air Force after 27 years of service as a Colonel, by then he had visited over 175 different countries! We are friends on facebook. He is a fascinating person.