The mission of the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) is to provide radio and television information and entertainment programming to Department of Defense (DoD) personnel and their family members stationed overseas or serving at sea where English language broadcast service is unavailable or inadequate.
Utilizing a comprehensive network of satellites and compression technology, Intelsat General’s DTS-TV Service provides an important “touch of home” providing news, sports, information, and entertainment to approximately 100,000 Sailors and Marines aboard 140 U.S. Navy ships at sea around the world.
In some areas of the world the troops and families rely exclusively on DTS for their connection to the U.S. Although DTS provides fewer channels, it gets current U.S. programming to troops and families who would otherwise only be able to see and hear radio and television from the host country or from the regional satellite service, often in non-English format.
DTS also provides a critical service to the overseas AFRTS manned stations. These stations use AFRTS-DTH as their primary satellite downlink, but rely on DTS as the back-up service in case the AFRTS-DTH service is interrupted. Since these services are on different satellites and DTS is visible to all the stations, this back up service sustains their link to the U.S. even during AFRTS-DTH outages.