BFBS Radio is live on air from Afghanistan, broadcasting from Camp Bastion to British Forces on Op Herrick and to their families and friends in the UK on DAB Digital Radio.
Click here to watch the footage of the launch day.
"Good Morning, Afghanistan!" rang out in the cookhouses, corrimecs, tents and ablution blocks as British Forces woke to face another day on Op Herrick. "Being on the ground with our Forces, living cheek by jowl with our audience, is what BFBS Radio is all about," said NICK POLLARD, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF SSVC, the charity behind BFBS Radio. "Today is particularly special as it is the first frontline operational station to open since we launched on DAB in the UK earlier this year - so for the first time in our 65 year history we are connecting the troops in theatre live and direct with their families at home."
GROUP CAPTAIN MARK HEFFRON, DACOS J1 at PJHQ, responsible for welfare provision on operations, said: "This is absolutely key to the welfare provision for our boys and girls. It's an essential part of what we call the morale component of our fighting force."
It's easy to send a dedication to a loved one on Ops.
Phone: 01494 372 786 and leave a message
Text: 07740 377 377 starting your message with OPS and a space
Website: Submit a message at www.bfbs.com/messages
Write to: BFBS Radio, BFPO 786
And now it's much easier for troops in Afghanistan to send a message back home. BFBS Radio has been on DAB digital radio in the UK since April 2009 so friends and families can listen from Lossiemouth to Plymouth. If you're on Ops, send a message by calling a local number from a military red phone, click www.bfbs.com/messages or, better still, pop in and see the BFBS Radio team at our studio in Bastion 2 (right next to the NAAFI). UK-based listeners can also tune in via their TV on Freesat Channel 786, or Sky Guide 0211.
Our Afghanistan shows are on DAB, Sky and Freesat from 0200-0700 UKT and 1200-1300 UKT Monday to Friday.
Anyone based at Bastion will have noticed that a new landmark appeared on the skyline in September. BFBS built and shipped a radio studio in 2007 but had nowhere to put it. Two years on, we finally got a site for the radio station and the first job was to get some comms up and running, which meant erecting a 4.5m VSAT dish - the biggest dish on camp!
BFBS engineers began the daunting task of reviving sensitive broadcast equipment that had been abandoned for so long in the heat and dust at the FRV. They were anxious to get some temporary power and find out if their studio-in-an-ISO-container would actually work, so powering up for the first time was an anxious moment.
Miraculously, it turned out to be in pretty good working order!
Want to get involved? Come and see us in Bastion 2, next door to the NAAFI!
The 4.5m VSAT dish is erected with the aid of a crane, forklifts, some very big spanners and lots of sweat!
‘It’s 0630 on Monday October 26th 2009 – Good Morning Afghanistan’
BFBS radio is the ONLY live service in Afghanistan. Our local service has been on air since October 2009, launching with The Boo Radley’s ‘Wake up Boo’….the song chosen by our listeners with 10 lucky people winning a Pure One Mini DAB digital radio each (see the video below). They were thrilled, especially as our programmes can be heard on DAB Digital Radio in the UK as well as through your Sky TV on radio guide 0211 and Freesat channel 786. Why not treat yourself to a new DAB digital radio and listen to exactly what your loved ones are listening to in Afghanistan.
The presentation team wakes up our troops in theatre with a live Breakfast Show followed by a live Morning Show…….tune in every weekday afternoon for the link up hour at 1200 UK time live from Afghanistan to the Forces world with Forces stories as well as your dedications, requests and news from home.
And don’t forget Access All Areas – our Sunday lunchtime programme, linking the Forces world for 4 hours – no other station has the ability or technology to connect the Forces and their families wherever they may be. Join us every Sunday from 10 o’clock UK time.
See the launch day video below...
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