ommunications and community involvement have always been the trademark of CFNS/RFCS. From the announcement and remote broadcasting of the Merchants' Fairs and community events, to the CFB hockey game of the week, CFNS/KFCS was an integral part of the community.
The core of announcers and operators at the station was always volunteer personnel. These BADEN voices spoke about BADEN activities. They knew, respected and understood their community.
The radio station traces its roots back to the very beginning of the base. In 1954 the ancestor of the modern base radio station, CRBS or more properly Canadian Radio Broadcasting Service, was established on very short notice. On two weeks warning of an impending visit by the Chief of Air Staff, it was decided that there would be a radio service when he arrived. Frantic acquisitions of equipment and construction of facilities resulted in the deadline being met, but barely. When the CAS gave his opening address over the airwaves, the carpenters had just left the building a scant seven hours previous and the paint on the wall was still wet.
CRBS was to suffer however, and in 1956 the station folded. The airwaves of the Soellingen region were not to hear another Canadian voice until 1960 when, through the determination of Flight Sergeant Bill Robbins, CFNS was to make its debut. In the beginning, local broadcasting was limited to two or three nights a week, while network programs, originating from 1 Wing, were carried the remainder of the time. Reception from 1 Wing was at times unbearable and the microwave hook-up left much to be desired. At the best of times Frank Sinatra sounded like Louis Armstrong, Eartha Kitt sounded like Harry James and Elvis Presley sounded like Elvis Presley.
In 1961 the RCAF in co-operation with CBC hired nine employees to run the faltering network. Tim Kotcheff arrived in 4 Wing to take up his new position as station manager and things began to look up. New equipment was purchased, the library was expanded and soon Canadians at Soellingen were listening to a first rate station largely manned by volunteers. The station has never looked back. It has kept Canadians in the Soellingen area informed of the latest news back home, entertained them with music and coverage of local sports, and been the source of local information from the first sounding of a Star fighter to the advertising of a flea market. All members of the Soellingen community will look back at how much they came to rely on and appreciate the work of the hundreds of volunteers who manned the consoles at the station.