This Is
The American Forces Thailand Network

AFTN Network Timeline 1964 thru l969

 original AFTN cloth logo

                                               20 October l964           MACTHAI J-6 requests permission for AFRTS outlet in Korat from Director of Joint  Communications, Thailand

4 December l964       Chief of JUSMAG informed that Thai government cannot approve operation of a foreign radio station in Thailand

16 November l965       Thai Air Chief Marshall Dawee Chullasapaya agrees  to closed-circuit broadcasting a U.S. military installations in Thailand


14 May l966                Seventy-nine military personnel spaces authorized for AFTN                           

26 September l966       Thirteenth Air Force requests television for Thailand

4 October l966             Thai Government complains, through American embassy, that radio signals from American military installations are radiating into nearby Thai communities.

Broadcast Specialist Class # 003, Fort Benjamin Harrison, October l966

DINFOS Class of Oct 1966

Standing:  GySgt Frank Alameida (USMC), PO/2 Chuck Combs (USN), PFC John Deering (USMC) behind GYSgt Frank Candelario (USMC), SSgt. Bill Treacy, A2C Mel thasnum behind TSgt Jack davis, A2C Bob Elyard (in shadow) in fron to PFC Mel Snodgrass(USA), A2C George Smith, A2C Gary York (in partial shadow), A2C A2C Bob Jarvis behind A2C Joe Ruggiero (now of H&G TV), A2C Jim Holmes, in front of Bob tuchel, A1C Don Aistrope and A3C David Mellish.

Kneeling from left:  SSgt Davis F. "Doc" Ball, A1C John Lynn, A2C Walter Solarz, A1C George Crawford, and A2C Bob Koslowsky

Photograph provided by Davis F. "Doc" Ball

Most of this graduating class was sent to Thailand to begin manning the stations that would comprise the new Armed Forces Thailand Network (AFTN). .

11 November l966      The AFTN key station begins operating at Korat RTAFB

6 December l966        General Hunter Harris, Commander-in-Chief, PACAF, endorses proposal for television  in Thailand

3 February l967          Broadcast station at Nakhon Phanom begins operating.

5 February l967          Headquarters, AFTN assumes operational control of affiliate stations.

8 February l967          First AFTN station manager’s conference held at Korat RTAFB.

10 February l967        Network begins feeding programs to outlets from Korat RTAFB

May l967                     AFNB teletype service begins at Korat RTAFB

                              AFTN Facilities


On Air Date

AFTN- Takhli

 3 May l966

AFTN- Korat

11 November l966

AFTN-Nakon Phanom

19 December l966


1 April l967


16 April l967


30 May l967


11 November l967


           AFTN    Unmanned Satellites

Satellite Stations On Air Date


June l967


June l967

Chieng Mai

June l967

Green Hill (Khao Khieo)

June l967

538th Eng Const Batt

8 November l967

561st Eng Const Batt (Sakhon  Nakhon)

15 November l967

Camp Cloudy (Phu Khieo)

10 December l967

Camp Vayama

6 February l968

Lopburi (Koke Kathein)

23 January 1968

Khon Kaen

11 February l968

809th Eng

12 March l968

Bang Pla

25 April l968


8 May l968

7th RRFS-Ramasun Army Station

17 February l968

Phu Mu

3 May l968

4 June l967                   New Network building for Headquarters AFTN becomes operational

3 July l967                    Major Thomas G. Martin assumes duties as Chief, AFTN, vice Lieutenant Colonel Jack R. Olsen

August l967                  Voice line from Armed Forces News Bureau in Washington, D.C. installed at Hqs. AFTN

22 October l967           First shipment of taped electrical transcriptions sent to outlets.

2-3 November l967      Second AFTN station Manager’s Conference held at Korat RTAFB

1 December l967          Contracts with Associated Press and United Press International signed for radio and .                                      journal wire services.

5 December l967          Second shipment of taped electrical transcriptions sent to outlets.

10 December l967        AFTN begins Audience Survey at all outlets.

Logo for AFTN audience survey

12 December l967        DCA SAM THAI initiates 1000 HZ tone to align all channels associated with the KVH-7 and B-030 circuits.

15 December l967        MACTHAI Public Affairs Office receives AFNB voice line and teletype circuits in their conference.


31 December l967      AFTN audience survey terminates

 April l968                     AFTNA receives verbal notification of 12 enlisted position losses- - effective FY 69.

April 1968                    COMUSMACTHAI J-6 assigns UHF Channel 74 to AFTN for TV tests

5 April  l968                AFTN-N initiates request for circuit priority on B-030

20 April l968                TV test facility at U-Tapao complete and operational

9 May l968                  First airlift of TV equipment arrives  U-Tapao

10 May l968                TV Van arrives U-Tapao

10 May 1968               SAAD and AFTN engineers begin preliminary field intensity measurements at U-Tapao

             lst Station Mgrs Conference - May 1968

           1st AFTN Station Manager's/ Program Directors Conference, May l968

Standing:  L to r: SMS Neal Schneider, TSgt Ed Bradbury, TSgt Ron Will, TSgt. Chuck Albrecht, SMS Pat Rutter, Major Thomas G. Martin, Commander, MSgt, ARt Sharpe, MSgt. Bob Eddy, TSgt, Jim Ewing, SSgt Al Owens, TSgt. Jack McAfee,

Kneeling:              SSgt. __??__, SSgt Don Cormiae, SSgt Chuck Hawsey (AFRTS Sign), SSgt Doc ball, SSgt Billy Helms,  (Official USAF Photo provided by Davis F. "Doc" Ball)

16-18 May l968         First AFTN Station Manager-Program Director Conference held at Korat RTAFB

AFTN newsletter


18 May l968              Test pattern aired at U-Tapao

1 June l968                Journal wire service cancelled for lack of usage

4 June l968                Major Thomas G. Martin reassigned to Andrews 

11 June l968               Automation feasibility study to SAF-OIID

15 June l968               Captain Michael J. Hall assumed duties as Chief, AFTN, vice Major Thomas G. Martin

25 June l968                Deputy Chief, AFTN, requests excusal of AFTN-Korat personnel from HSC work details

8 July l968                    A controlled pattern TV broadcast began at U-Tapao

July l968                       COMUSMACTHAI   J-6 assigns Channel 80 as additional TV test channel

3 July 1968                  Frequency proposal for TV Channels 74 & 80 is forwarded to 7/13AF

Inside Broadcast Van

8 July 1968                  AFTN-TV U-Tapao on the air

11 July 1968                Priorities are established for base-by-base construction of television facilities

15 July 1968                Interservice Support Agreement, providing for joint service manning, is sent to 13AF (DXI) for approval.


23 July 1968                Drawings of the U-Tapao TV facility provides 56 DES design reference for similar buildings to be constructed at Nakhon Phanom

July 1968                     The much-publicized penetration of the perimeter at Udorn RTAFB sets tighter security measures in motion throughout the network

5 August l968               Mr. George Lim, of the AFRT Special Missions Directorate’s engineering Division, completes his studies of facilities available for TV at all Thailand bases, and returns to SAAD to present his proposals

5-7 August l968            AFTN’s second station managers’ conference plans network “get out the vote: programs

15 August l968             Hq AFTN sends details of Korat RTAFB TV plans to Korat Base Civil Engineers

2 August l968               All network station personnel begin completing “work logs” to assist with November  l968’s upcoming manpower survey

27 August l968             AFTN Engineering queries SAAD to obtain information for local Civil engineers on TV towers programmed for Thailand

31 August l968             Network supply informs all bases that AFTN can obtain TV receivers

August l968                  “Early outs”, granted by Hq USAF, and the early advent of television without UMD TV personnel combine to create a network-wide austere manning situation

August l968                  Marathon broadcasts by AFTN affiliates in Ubon and Takhli net $ 21, 700 for charity

August l968                  Restricted Programs Materials/Music

27 September l968       AFTN Deputy Chief and Korat local station PD travel to Saigon’s 7AF (DXI) and a localized combat news service begins in cooperation with 7 AF’s Tape Center

30 September l968       Chief, AFTN, departs Korat for SAAD and AFRTS-LA to view TV vans and provide necessary coordination for TV installation

 5-7 December l968          Station Manager’s Conference at Korat

 11 December l968            Temporary TV antenna arrives at AFTN-Nakhon Phanom

 12 December l968            Corrected interservice support agreement, for TV manning, is submitted for approval.

 16 December l968            AFTN-Nakon Phanom TV installation crew arrives at NKP

 18 December l968            The C-!24 Globemaster carrying the NKP van arrives, and is unloaded at NKP

 19 December l968            FY70 budget estimate is forwarded for approval.  Because of increased TV          commitments, budget for fiscal year 70 will be $ 28,000.

  20 December l968            First full-duplex operation on teletype circuit R-510 is confirmed with the AFRTS   News Bureau in Arlington, Virginia.

 25 December l968            AFTN-TV Nakhon Phanom beings program tests with Christmas Day programming.

 31 December l968            VOCO approval is received for official sign-on from Royal Thai Government officials, on 3 January l969. 

Map of AFTN Radio network

1 Jan l969    The new AFTN manning documents cuts 12 slots, including an admin specialists as TV requirements grow.

 AFTN receives a request for extension of TV service to isolated Camp Ruam Chi Chai and Camp Change Pradit, which would require microwave relay from Nakon Phanom RTAFB.  AFTN requests study of the proposal by the Sacramento Army Depot.

 3 Jan l969     AFTN-TV Nakhon Phanom takes the air at 1430 hours.

 5 Jan l969   A serious video outage within a TK-22 camera signs the AFTN-NKP television station off at 2200 hours.

 6 Jan l969   Procurement begins for Project 96, as microwave systems are requested for Camp Vayama and Hill 272.

9 Jan l969  Replacements found in-country, and AFTN-TV Nakon Phanom resumes broadcasting. Hq AFTN orders an extra camera as “stand-by” to preclude a similar event in the future. 

23 Jan l969                 Sacramento Army Depot awards the contract for procurement of 616 television  receivers for use at all Thailand bases.

 31 Jan l969               Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group forwards a request for extension of radio service to its Nong Hahn site.

1 February l969            Sensitive Material Guidelines (declassified)

12 March l969             AFTN-TV Udorn signs on the air

AFTN-News initiates “Conference Calls” on the Network line to provide immediate command ability, while offering news and production material for television and radio.

 14 Mar 69                   7/13 AF Commander asks the U.S. Ambassador’s assistance in obtaining Thai government approval for FM radio service at Don Muang RTAFB.

 19 Mar 69                    First 69 television receivers received from Sacramento Army Depot.

 27 Mar 69                  AFTN-TV Korat signs on at 1500 hrs.

 31 Mar 69                  AFTN”s Manning Document provides for additional spaces to man TV in Thailand.

Chief, AFTN, asks for help from the U-Tapao Base Commander in assuring that local base support, critically behind schedule, will meet deadlines for TV Project 96 (Camp Vayama and Hill 272)

Mar 69                       ABC and Associates Press news film and slide services are contracted.

2 Apr 69                     AFTN-TV Takhli begins broadcasting at 1800 hours

7 Apr 69                      Installation and operations are “finalized” at AFTN-TV Ubon, preparatory to a first broadcast.  A demonstration for U.S. embassy and Thai officials is offered.

1 Jul 69                        Armed Forces Thailand Network changes to American Forces Thailand Network as per directive from AFRTS.

1 Jul 69                       Contracts let for AP, UPI wire services and AP Color Slide service for fiscal year l970.

15 July 69                   AFTN service is restored to Chiang Mai, using audio distribution system.

16-25 July 69              AFTN radio & TV cover Apollo XI flight with local live broadcasts as well as AFRTS-Washington direct feeds and INTELSTAT pictures direct from the moon.

July 69                        President Nixon visits, but AFTN reporters are denied permission to cover the event because of “insufficient space”.  USIS offers access to their coverage.

10-14 Aug 69              AFTN carries four important games network-wide during the 1969 Thailand Softball Tournament at Korat RTAFB.


13 Aug 69                   DCA/SAM/THAI locates the source of a month-long distortion problem noted on circuit KAR-1.  Circuit had been logged out for a total of 72 hours.

18 Aug 69                   AFTN loses voice circuit B-030 (AFRTS-W) to a higher priority user. Outage is termed “indefinite”.

27 Aug 69                   AFTN’s proposal for network conversion to FM is forwarded to Secretary of the Air Force by Pacific Air Command.

17 Sep 69                    AFTN-TV Korat, plays the first video-taped program to be aired in Thailand, “Insight.”

24 Sep 69                    Newly-created  Network Production Department sends Thailand Orientation Stories to all stations for TV production.

Sep 69                         Hq AFTN asks several to request a late port call to smooth the transition into a critical manning situation.


network voice map

23 Sept 69                   SAFOI-I turned down initial request for conversion of AFTN radio outlets to FM

13 Oct 69                    A full critique of AFRTS radio programming was sent to AFRTS-LA

15 Oct 69                    PCS orders were requested to transfer certain broadcasters around the network.

3 Nov 69                     AFTN requests reconsideration of the plan to convert AFTN radio transmission to FM.  All stations were again reminded of the sensitivity of a broadcast signal radiating off base.

6 Nov 69                     First thoughts of an extensive AFTN audience survey were put in memo form by the Network  Superintendent.

8 Nov 69                     PCS transfer for MSgt Skip Mahnke, AFTN Korat to AFTN Udorn.

12 Nov 69                   A list of suggested revisions in AFTN news broadcasting "sensitive" subjects was submitted to 7/13th (DXI) to be forwarded to the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.

17 Nov 69                   The new "Kaleidoscope" format was begun combining news analysis and commentary from AFRTS-Washington voice line with contemporary music on the hourly week-day network radio program.

18 Nov 69                   Temporary manning assistance was requested from 13 AF to alleviate a critical problem caused by a lack of an engineer at AFTN Udorn.

3 Dec 69                     Complete request and justification for an AFTN squadron designation was submitted to 7/13AF (DXI).

4 Dec 69                     Permission on to conduct a test on FM feasibility was received from 7/13AF.

8 Dec 69                     A complete study on upgrading the sound quality of AFTN's voice line to affiliate stations in order to achieve "full network status" was to 7/13AF (DXI)

9-11 Dec 69                AFTN Station Manager's Conference was held at AFTN-Korat.

23 Dec 69                    AFTN asks American Forces Vietnam Network for a loan of a "7800" Video Tape recorder to be used at AFTN-Udorn.

24 Dec 69                    Preliminary test of FM transmission were completed and forwarded to 7/13 AF (DXI).

29 Dec 69                    AFTN asks AFRTS-LA for an FM stereo program package for test purposes.

30 Dec 69                    Network supply asks all stations to identify the location of TV sets signed out on AF Form on 1297.


                        Back-Network History                     Timeline for l970-l973