By 1st Lt. Luis Sánchez
First published in
SFOR Informer#124, October 17, 2001
Radio Andernach is the soldiers' radio operated
by soldiers from the German SFOR contingent in Rajlovac, Sarajevo.
They put on air a range of programmes, such as news, music, and
greetings from home to inform and to entertain. The broadcasting
frequencies are 97.7 and 104.8 MHz.
Rajlovac - Working in the media is an exciting job
that requires your best. The Radio Andernach team knows it well.
They deal with a demanding task: to entertain and to keep soldiers
informed. "We give them the chance to listen to a German
speaking radio station and in this way they could feel closer
to home," stated 1st Lt. Steffan Klinger, editor-in-chief.
A five-member team carries out this job, broadcasting from 6 a.m.
to 10:30 p.m. on a daily basis.
Andernach is the German Army radio for soldiers serving abroad.
It takes its name from the city of Andernach (considered the birthplace
of the modern German Army in 1956). The radio network is comprised
of several stations. The main station that produces programmes
nation-wide and manages the net is located in Mayen (a city near
Coblenz, Germany). The signal is sent by a combination of telephone
lines and satellite signals to its two regional studios in the
Balkans, one for SFOR and the other for KFOR.
The regional centre in Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in Rajlovac,
where the soldiers from the German Contingent (GECONSFOR L), the
audience, serve. It's the only German speaking radio on Sarajevo's
dial. The radio station is comprised of a centre, placed in one
container, and two antennas.
The container is affectionately called "the can," due
to its similarity with this item. A picture hanging on the wall
with the inscription " the show must go on" is a reminder
that a fire destroyed the previous radio centre. The can is a
fully equipped studio well provided with resources. For instance,
musically speaking, it has some 1,800 CDs and 300 MDs.
antennas transmit the signal. The first is a 25-metre high pole
set near the can (97.7 MHz), and the second is located on Mount
Trebevic (104.8 MHz) in southeastern Sarajevo. Under good weather
conditions the signal is spread out over some 50-60 kilometres.
The signal doesn't reach Filipovici's detachment (in the eastern
German Area of Responsibility), where the staff receives programmes
by means of tapes.
A five-soldier team, three moderators and two technicians, on
a six-month tour performs the task. They can be easily distinguished
from the others thanks to a uniform badge with the motto "Radio
Andernach, Soldaten senden für Soldaten" (Radio Andernach,
run by soldiers for soldiers). Klinger commented: "In Germany
you broadcast to the sky and you cannot see your listeners, here
after the programme you can meet them in the dining facility,
or anywhere in the camp and talk about an issue. We know firsthand
what our listeners want, and thus are able to improve our programmes."
The feedback process works. Rajlovac's soldiers speak, call by
phone and write notes in order to express musical preferences
and greetings. Furthermore, there is a suggestion box in the compound.
Lt. Michael Godel from Psychological operations also co-operates:
"I take part gathering information from Germany, correcting
and providing the appropriate format. We have no time to say everything;
it's necessary to summarise. The information we provide must be
interesting for the soldiers."
Cpl. Artjam Bitor, editor and moderator, Cpl. Thomas Rudolp and
Cpl. Jens Wolf, technicians, complete the team.
The transmission goes out from 6:00 a.m. till 10:30 p.m. and includes
a selection of programmes. Some come from the main station, in
Mayen, others are fully produced in Rajlovac. On weekends and
days off the complete programming is produced in the camp.
Pieces of news are selected and include international, German
and local news, sports events, humanitarian help and so on. They
also have news from their own barracks in Rajlovac. Soldiers want
to know what happens around them. There is also music (top parade,
international music) and greetings from and to the camp and Germany
for loved ones. Thus, they keep closer to their homes.
Tune in to Radio Andernach now and listen. "From morning
till night, close to people, always in a good mood." (Radio's
Nations of SFOR: Germany