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The American Forces Network (AFN) is a government television and radio broadcast service the U.S. military provides to those stationed or assigned overseas. Headquartered at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, AFN’s broadcast operations, which include global radio and television satellite feeds, emanate from the AFN Broadcast Center/Defense Media Center in Riverside, California. AFN was founded on 26 May 1942, in London as the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS).
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The American Forces Network can trace its origins to 26 May 1942, when the War Department established the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS). A television service was first introduced in 1954 with a pilot station at Limestone Air Force Base, Maine. In 1954, the television mission of AFRS was officially recognized and AFRS (Armed Forces Radio Service) became AFRTS (Armed Forces Radio and Television Service). All of the Armed Forces broadcasting affiliates worldwide merged under the AFN banner on 1 January 1998. On 21 November 2000, the American Forces Information Service directed a change of the AFRTS organizational title from Armed Forces Radio and Television Service back to American Forces Radio and Television Service. A timeline of the history of AFN is available online.