This section focuses on the radio and television services provided by Armed Forces Radio and Television Service at the unified command level and the coordination necessary by Army component commanders to ensure operational area support. It identifies and explains the AFRTS mission and its capabilities. It also discusses planning considerations and theater broadcast information requirements.
AFRTS CONTINGENCY BROADCAST OPERATIONS
The scope of the ABS mission of providing AFRTS radio and television news, information and entertainment programming to DoD personnel stationed overseas greatly expands during wartime to include support of global contingency requirements. As new contingency plans are developed based on emerging joint and Army doctrine, ABS must consider how the additional broadcasting personnel and equipment resources needed to support a rapid deployment broadcasting mission can be obtained while simultaneously meeting increased requirements in existing unified command theaters. The immediate response necessary to meet contingency requires the development of AFRTS appendices to Unified Command Operations Plans (OPLAN).
Army Broadcasting Service (ABS) is the Unified Command AFRTS Planner (UCAP) for the U.S. Southern Command and the U.S. European Command. ABS also has Geographic Area Planner (GAP) responsibilities for U.S. Forces Korea (USFK). ABS and AFRTS networks within these unified commands are responsible for updating and maintaining appendix content under provisions of the American Forces Information Service (AFIS) Concept Plan for Peacetime and Wartime Operations for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS CONPLAN 98-1) and DoD Directive 5120.20-R
Contingency and/or Wartime Plans define the Mobilization/Contingency mission. Force structure to support these plans may be packaged as blocks, deployable units or detachments for ease of planning.
According to CONPLAN 98-1 and DoD Directive 5120.20-R, Unified Commanders and Subordinate Commanders, with the advice of ABS, determine the type of AFRTS Flexible Response Option (FRO) necessary. Unified and Subordinate Command support is required for the current levels of support contract and for any mission changes which affect AFRTS service in the CINC's area of operation.
Provide live news, information and entertainment programming, free of censorship, to all DoD elements in place or deployed worldwide.
Provide U.S. military theater commanders with sufficient electronic media resources to effectively communicate DoD, Army, theater and AO command information.
Concept of Operations
Existing facilities and services will be the first AFRTS assets used to respond to AFRTS taskings.
Upon implementation of a Contingency Plan or OPLAN, AFRTS assets in the AO come under the direct operational control of the Unified Command for the period of the operation. When the operation is terminated, normal command relationships will be resumed.
The AFRTS Commander reports directly to the Unified Commander responsible for the theater of operations.
The AFRTS Commander retains direct command authority over AFRTS personnel and equipment.
The AFRTS Commander is responsible for all AFRTS matters concerning the operation, accomplishing direct coordination for the Unified Command with AFIS/AFRTS for all AFRTS issues requiring AFIS/AFRTS action, and managing all AFRTS assets involved in the operation in accordance with the AFRTS CONPLAN 98-1.
The AFRTS Commander will be a designated member of all public affairs meetings as a member of the staff.
The AFRTS Commander is authorized direct coordination with other members of the unified command's staff to work specific AFRTS support requirements.
All requests for command internal information or emergency announcements from AO organizations or personnel will be forwarded to the director of public affairs for approval.
All public information released by public affairs officials will be available for AFRTS use.
AFRTS radio and television electronic news gathering (ENG) will be dedicated for the AFRTS "on-air" mission and in direct support of the Unified Commander's internal information program.
AFRTS will provide full, factual and timely internal information and news to military audiences in the AO, consistent with national and operational security, and host country sensitivities.
AFRTS will follow Operations security (OPSEC) and communications security (COMSEC) rules.
AFRTS OPERATING PARAMETERS
AFIS is responsible for all AFRTS satellite programming services and overall policy and guidance for their use.
The AFRTS Broadcast Center (AFRTS-BC) is responsible for providing non-local and non-theater radio and television programming material to AFRTS facilities in the AO, except as outlined in Flexible Response Options (FROs).
The Television-Audio Support Activity (T-ASA) in Sacramento, California, is responsible for providing technical and logistical support to AFRTS.
The AFRTS facility in the AO will provide service based upon initial Flexible Response Options (FROs) and continue operations until directed to modify its services by AFRTS, the Unified Command or as the mission requirement dictates.
AFRTS will provide AO-wide announcements as required on both radio and television in order to facilitate unified command needs.
At unmanned repeaters and cable distribution systems, local officials may have AFRTS personnel make local announcements, if possible, in coordination with the AFRTS commander or on-site command representative, if approved by the director of public affairs for the operation.
AFRTS NETWORK COMMANDER OR DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE IN THE AREA OF OPERATIONS
The AFRTS network commander or designated representative will be co-located with the unified command director of public affairs.
The AFRTS network commander or designated representative will have a command function with direct operational command authority over all resources assigned to support the AFRTS mission in the AO.
The AFRTS commander or designated representative will ensure a logistics and engineering function responsible for providing advice and assistance to maintenance personnel assigned to AFRTS outlets, and maintaining unmanned equipment. This function will assist the AFRTS chief engineer in developing new equipment support requirements as changes occur in the AO.
The AFRTS network commander or designated representative will ensure internal information ENG coverage of unified command activities of interest to the members assigned in the AO. In joint service situations, Army AFRTS representatives may also be responsible for the production and duplication of radio and television internal information products for use at AFRTS outlets and television programming for DoD, or satellite cabled sites in the AO.
UNIFIED COMMAND RESPONSIBILITIES
The unified command provides logistic support for AFRTS. This includes vehicles, POL, and supply requirements in the AO as noted in the OPLAN. Also included is vehicle maintenance and POL for all AFRTS contingency vehicles. If additional forces are deployed to support AFRTS, the unified command assigns additional vehicles to support the expanded maintenance and production requirements.
If security and/or intelligence forces determine that AFRTS facilities have been identified as a potential target by hostile forces, the unified command will notify the AFRTS facility and provide security to targeted facilities.
If contract communications support is terminated during the implementation of the OPLAN, the unified command provides communications support for AFRTS use in the AO.
This includes existing long-wire or microwave systems for distributing the AFRTS signal and support for telephones, facsimile transmission and computer equipment for AFRTS.
If support cannot be obtained from existing assets, the unified command should be prepared to augment the AFRTS mission as outlined in the OPLAN.
The unified command provides personnel, administrative, vehicle and other logistic support for all AFRTS personnel assigned in the AO and those deployed to supplement that force. This includes unit line numbers and entry clearances required for all deployed personnel supporting the AFRTS mission.
The unified command obtains country clearance for construction of any temporary transmitter towers required due to expanded AFRTS service, which may occur as the operation unfolds.
The unified command provides electrical backup power for AFRTS facilities if contract services are terminated during the implementation of the OPLAN.
The unified command is responsible for obtaining necessary broadcast frequencies in consultation with the host-nation government to meet AFRTS broadcast requirements.
Flexible Response Options
Although each operation will differ, the following are general concepts of AFRTS Flexible Response Options (FROs) available for peacetime engagements, wartime operations and stability and support operations in an area where little or no AFRTS service exists or where crisis situations require a modification to existing AFRTS services. The unified command AFRTS planner (UCAP) is responsible for developing specific equipment, support and manning requirements to implement the AFRTS FROs that best support the specific operation.
The Unified Commander for the area of operations must request AFRTS radio and/or television services or for a change in present level of service before deployment. The Unified Commander requests AFRTS assistance through the unified command AFRTS planner responsible for the area of operations. The request will then be forwarded to ABS and AFIS for final approval.
FRO One: Direct to Ship (DTS) Service Support System. DTS is an U.S. Navy peacetime capability that provides news, sports, information and entertainment to audiences on ships at sea. A wartime adaptation of the service can provide immediate access to three radio and two television channels for land-based audiences including geographically separated units down to the lowest level. A deployable AFRTS kit containing an individual receiver decoder (IRD) provides service. This service provides a single-source 24-hour capability of receiving all services, but only one channel can be accessed at a time and no local or theater command information would be available.
FRO Two: Satellite Direct Radio and Television (SDRTV). SDRTV is an unmanned AFRTS satellite service that can be provided to virtually any land based audience on the globe with up to 10 stereo radio channels and six television news, sports, information and entertainment channels. In the European theater it will include a regionally generated signal. Service is provided at a single location using a deployable AFRTS kit containing a simultaneous receiver decoder (SRD) that provides a capability of receiving all services and accessing up to six radio and television programming sources at a time. As a public affairs option, SDRTV provides an internal information data stream that can be accessed with the addition of a computer, printer and proprietary software to the SDRTV equipment package for use by public affairs activities in providing support to deployed populations. Unified command public affairs offices and the UCAP should consider coordinating the use of the additional capability whenever a manned public affairs activity is deployed.
FRO Three: Manned Radio Systems. Signal Distribution Systems. These deployable systems include audio and video transmission and cable systems that provide a capability to distribute, DTS, SDRTV or manned radio service to an expanded autonomous geographic area such as a base camp or Air Force base in an AO.
FRO Four: Manned Radio Systems. These deployable systems provide a capability for local, live internal information and radio news. Various types and sizes of local radio systems exist that can be used to establish a range of services from simple local break away "radio-in-a-box" to a full service facility with local production capability. Some of these systems will include radio transmitter that can provide limited signal distribution without deployment of FRO Three. This system can provide a limited single-source radio service to outlying populations that are not served by FRO One or Two, are not available or would not be appropriate programming sources.
FRO Five: MOOTW Management, Local TV and Network Live Radio. These deployable personnel and systems support the development of an AFRTS management function to oversee dispersed AFRTS operations and will add local television and network-wide live radio capability using organic distribution systems. The capability will establish a network to support operations in an AO comprising a large peacetime engagement of medium to long duration encompassing a large geographic area where the operations commander requires near real-time internal information capability. The system provides network administrative, computer, maintenance, engineering and operations support functions. These functions provide the unified command director of public affairs with AFRTS management expertise not normally available on the public affairs staff. The television service system is designed to produce AO information that can also be fed to the AFRTS Broadcast Center for rebroadcast to DTS/STRTV audiences worldwide.
FRO Six: Theater Satellite Radio and Television Operations (TSRTO). In a major regional conflict where large force deployments are planned the AFRTS Broadcast Center will dedicate one channel of radio and one television channel for use by the UCAP to broadcast directly to the theater of operations. Programming will include time shifting "prime time" so that each 12-hour shift receives prime time programming in the first four and-one-half hours of off time. In conjunction with FRO One or Two, this will provide a virtual network capability to the AO commander and the PAO. It will appear to the audience as if the broadcast was occurring in the AO when in fact it is originating from the Broadcast Center. Initial spots can be unsophisticated radio readers and character-generated (CG) messages on television. If there is a manned radio facility providing theater and operation-specific internal information in place, they will forward copies of all AO specific spots via computer to the Broadcast Center for use initially as television CG messages within the dedicated TV channel. As with all internal information, they will be developed in coordination with the PAO in the AO. If there is insufficient AFRTS manning in place which would be the case if there were numerous geographically-separated operating locations, the internal information will be supplied, via computer, by the AO public affairs office. Base and component command PAOs will be advised of the scheduling of theater programming and encouraged to provide service-unique spots for use in theater. Service will continue until a significant drawdown occurs, the operation stabilizes to the point where local TV spots are not needed and the presumption of pre-conflict programming will serve the majority of the deployed population or an AO based network begins serving the operation.
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