Freedom Radio AFN Iraq, signing off

Armed Forces Radio Iraq
Armed Forces Radio Iraq

With US forces slowly withdrawing from Iraq, the country’s only English broadcast radio service signs off for the last time on Friday night (9/23).  At one point, AFN Iraq covered the entire country on several FM frequencies with transmitters of 250 to 1,000 watts.  Beginning in December of 2003, the station signed on with Paul McCartney’s “Freedom,” which morphed into the stations unofficial moniker “Freedom Radio.”

Similar to other AFRS/AFRTS broadcast operations that went before it, AFN Iraq radio was programmed with a combination of news, information, and music as a moral builder for the troops.  The local Iraqi population also appreciated the radio station, posting several items on the station’s Facebook page (disappears Monday 9/26, alternate here) asking them to stay, requesting songs, or expressing gratitude or sadness.

In the end, Freedom Radio signed off with Porky Pigs “Th, th, th, th, th, ethea, etha, that’s all folks.”

The average age of a member of the US armed forces in 19 years old.

When Radio is relevant and provides good programming, information and entertainment, it continues to reign king, even among the iPod generation.  To all those proponents of new media services like Pandora, Slacker, Last.fm, etc, your product is winning because the opponent has left the field.