Thursday, March 28, 2002

GUTEN TAG and Happy Easter


It's been a long while since I've had the time and patience to circulate one of these Kanestergrams, but it's long overdue and I've got lots to talk about... hope this message finds you all in good health and good spirits.


I should start of by letting you all know that I'm in Frankfurt Germany. I've been here a month now, and I'm working as a civilian employee of the U.S. Government. I'm working at the headquarters of the American Forces Network in Europe. I'm just getting settled into a new apartment and still waiting for my car to get here (it's coming on the slow boat from the U.S.)

Today was the launch of AFN's new half-hour newsmagazine show Destinations... of which I am the host. It's exciting to be on the ground running here in Europe working with some fascinating people here at AFN.

I left West Virginia and WOWK to take this position the end of January... right after President Bush visited the mountain state. That was my last report with the station.


Last fall I had a great oppurtunity to report from the sidelines in the war on Terrorism... Pakistan. I left for Pakistan just a little over a month after the September 11th attacks, and only two weeks after the start of bombing in Afghanistan.This trip was well before the name Daniel Pearl became famous, and at the time, I had little or no worry about my personal safety. But that was then... if I was asked to go now, I would think twice about it. Many people who knew I went to Paksitan asked me what I thought about Daniel Pearl. It shocked me, because he was in a large city in Pakistan... I was in Peshawar, a hotbed of anti-American sentiment and a known terrorist hideout, and I was travelling alone in this foreign land with little or no safety net, aside from the people whom I trusted to help me accomplish my task.I made it out, and only had some brief encounters that made me think twice about being there. And overall, the trip was a fantastic experience. I met some great people both in Charleston (who helped me get to Paksitan) and while I was in Islamabad and Peshawar.I produced an eight part news series that aired during sweeps on WOWK in November, and a documetnary called "Inside Pakistan: America at War" that aired in early December. I recently learned the documentary won an RTNDA Edward R. Murrow award and is up for two Emmy Awards including Best News Documentary and Best Promotion Campaign. Craig Davis, Travis Williams and Nicole Stropoli at WOWK helped me put everything together, and Nicole's promotion campaign was top notch. I hope that we all walk away with something to be proud of from the whole experience. I plan to fly back for the Emmy Awards show April 27th in Cincinnatti.


I took a month off before I settled down here in Germany to travel around the U.S. and visit some friends I haven't seen in a while.It started out in Illinois, went to Wisconsin, and was supposed to end in California, but on a brief visit to Ottawa (my hometown in Illinois), I came down with a bad cast of pnuemonia, and wound up bed ridden at the home of Dick and Martha Marincic for about five days. They nursed me back to health just in time to make it back to Pennsylvania to get ready to ship out. I had to cancel my trip to Los Angeles and it really upset me. For all of you Superchargers out there in LA... SORRY! I hope to make it up some time later this year.


Germany is... so far so good. I feel bad that I don't know much of the language yet, and here I'm more immersed and dependent on the local culture since there is no base or installation near the AFN building. And I think that is a good thing. I've been living out of a suitcase for the last month, between hotels near the station, until I could find an apartment and get settled down. Now I live in a part of Frankfurt known as Sachsenhousen, and just moved in today. The area has many bars and shops that tourists and foreigners frequent.


That's the motto of our new show here at AFN - Destinations. I was brought on board to start the show up and get it going, and so far I'm pleased with the progress. We just launched the show a few hours ago, and I write this message to you all as I get ready to close some thoughts and work on the show for the day.The show isn't bad for a freshman effort, and with the material and reporters we have to put the show on each week, it's going to be a fun ride and rewarding experience.Some of the pieces that aired in the first show included a special look at Euro Disney.. the German Country Music Awards... Snowboarding competition in Garmish Germany, anda couple more pieces on winter sports competitions. It's a feature style newsmagazine.


The above phrase is the code word the Secret Service communicates when President Bush finally goes to sleep for the night. And this is where I close the latest installment of the Kanestergram.I would like to hear from you all, and hope that you would drop me a line or seven.

Take it easy,


Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Destinations Debuts on AFN-TV


Destinations, a new program on AFN Europe Television, made its debut Thursday March 28th at 6:30 PM Central European Time. The weekly, 23-minute program covers a wide range of subjects, from host nation activities to lifestyle segments. AFN Europe News Director Gary Bautell says "on any given week, Destinations will explore anything from a German wine fest to laundry services available in Afghanistan."

Destinations is designed to reach the majority of the AFN audience, men and women in their late-20's and early-30's, with stories and features that run the entire spectrum. "From interesting places to visit, service members involved in their local host nation or military communities, to people with unusual hobbies, free-time diversions or European food specialties and traditions, it's all possible on Destinations." Bautell emphasizes that audience feedback is essential. "Tell us what you think about the program, the stories, and let us know your ideas for future reports."

AFN Europe Commander Army Lieutenant Colonel Michael Edrington feels Destinations is a "program that's long been needed by the audience in Europe. Americans stationed across the theater have interesting stories to tell, exciting hobbies, and unusual stories to share." Edrington points out that "recent audience surveys indicate service members and families want to know about places to visit and things to see, not just in military communities, but across the continent. Destinations will hopefully fill this information gap" on AFN Television.

Taking you to new destinations. Destinations. Coming to AFN Europe Television Thursday March 28th at 6:30 PM CET.

Thursday, March 7, 2002

OTTAWA DAILY TIMES: Supporting Operation Anaconda

Earlier in the week, the bodies of seven U.S. soldiers killed in heavy fighting in Eastern Afghanistan landed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. It’s the last stop before they reached U.S. soil

Now, the second wave of casualties is here in Germany. This time, the wounded. Nine coalition soldiers injured in Operation Anaconda landed on the Ramstein flight-line just after 10 p-m Wednesday night.

Shielding their faces from both the media and the cold and rainy weather, medical specialists quickly loaded the wounded on to waiting ambulances. Since most of the wounded soldiers belong to special operations forces, the last thing they want is publicity, so blankets were placed over their faces.

Among the ten patients on board the medical relief flight is a civilian journliast, Toronto Star reporter Kathleen Kenna. She was attacked by Al-Queda and Taliban forces over the weekend while covering Operation Anaconda.

This special medevac mission is a joint effort with the 75th Airlift Squadron and the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, both based at Ramstein. Their mercy mission takes flight on board a transformed Air Force C-9 aircraft, dubbed the Nightingale.

Routine flights on board the C-9 include transporting patients with long-term or serious illnesses. Bringing troops back from the front lines of war is a job that all the specialists, right up to the pilots of the aircraft, train for, but don’t often get to carry out. That’s why this mission takes on a special sense of duty in America’s War on Terrorism.

“This is why I’m in uniform,” says Air Force Captain Chuck Wheeler, a flight nurse on board the Nightingale.

“I played the game on the civilian side, I’ve played the game on the military side, and I’m back again so I can do things like this right here… to take care of people that wear the uniform and go out there and protect you and me and they make sure that I’m safe at night.”

It’s that sort of personal connection that makes the job hit home to the crew on the Nightingale.

“When they get hurt, I wanna have the education, ability, and opportunity to go get these guys,” says Captain Wheeler, fighting back fatigue after just completing the flight.

“I want to show them that I can take care of these guys.”

The crew on board the Nightingale brought the wounded to Germany from a staging area at Injirlick Air Base in Turkey. They’re brought to Turkey to be stabilized, and prepared for transport.

The next stop after the flight-line at Ramstein is the Landstuhl Regional Medical Facility not far from the air base. There, they’ll receive advanced medical attention and spend time recovering from wounds sustained in combat.

With the fighting still underway in Eastern in Afghanistan, these medevac crews remain on alert, in the event there’s more casualties in a battle the Defense Department says “will continue as long as the Taliban don’t surrender, or until they’re all dead.”

Kane Farabaugh is a 1995 graduate of Ottawa Township High School. He is currently working as a television news anchor and reporter for the American Forces Network Europe in Frankfurt Germany. He’s covered the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11th, reported from Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan during Allied attacks last fall, and has filed reports from all over the world during different assignments with several local ABC and CBS affiliates as well as the United States Air Force.