AFN Kaiserslautern completes digital upgrade

Christine June
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

KMC audiences will be getting local news “when it happens” and more often with the completion of the Digital Video Upgrade Monday at American Forces Network Kaiserslautern on Vogelweh.

“We are going to be able to serve the audience better,” said Jerry Cormier, AFN Kaiserslautern broadcast operations director. “We can get more timely information out to the community, and eventually, you will see some of the volume of what we do go up because of the efficiency of the whole system.”
One of the services that immediately returned after the upgrade Monday was the station’s local radio show from 2 to 6 p.m. Other services, such as KMC Update, the local newscast, will be returned slowly, said Mr. Cormier.
“We are looking at first producing a daily two-minute news update, and then, hopefully, a daily seven-minute newscast by the end of October,” he said.
This is because the almost five-week upgrade replaced most of this station’s audio and video equipment.

The upgrade gives this Army-owned station technology identical to what civilian broadcasters are using, said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Newman, Army Broadcasting Service operations NCO, who was here from Crystal City, Va., assisting with the upgrade.

“Actually, the whole operation has changed, and everyone in the building has to learn everything from scratch because we do things totally different now than from what we did a month ago,” said Margit Lesmeister, who as the station’s traffic manager finds out customers’ needs and schedules announcements for “live” radio shows, and TV and radio spots or commercials.

The new technology also allows military broadcasters to edit video and audio products from their desks instead of waiting for one of three editing cells to be open.

“They (broadcast journalists) are just flabbergasted when we (ABS) tell them, ‘You are going to have an editor on your desktop’ – they are just shocked – ‘you mean, I’m going to do all this on my desk!’ They are amazed,” said Sergeant First Class Newman, who has assisted with ABS upgrades at five Army-owned stations in Europe and Korea.

One of those amazed broadcast journalists is Staff Sgt. Stephanie Csornok, who described the upgrade as, “It’s been like going to the toy section of a department store at Christmas time when all the good stuff is out and our parents saying to us, ‘See all this stuff in here, it’s all for you.’”

The upgrade also benefits decoder viewers, who can now watch local news and information on AFN Atlantic Prime Channel 19. For publicity requests as well as the latest in local news, audiences can visit AFN Kaiserslautern’s Web site at

Kaiserslautern postal Soldiers return

Three Soldiers from the 1st Platoon, 147th Postal Company, returned to the KMC Sept. 24 after a yearlong deployment to Iraq.
The Soldiers augmented the 2nd Platoon 147th Postal Company out of Baumholder.

They processed more than three million pounds of mail in support of more than 100 units and when they were moved to the Postal Finance Platoon, they serviced more than 46,000 customers, doing more than $343,000 in sales.

They also were selected to conduct the first airmail mission to test airmail capabilities and were the first platoon to conduct more than 80 airmail missions.