Reaching out to the community via radio
Name: MC2 (SW) Dean M. Cates
Station: AFN Misawa
Time here: 8 months
Job (title and then describe what you do): AFN Misawa Radio DJ and Radio Section Leading Petty Officer (Non-commissioned officer in-charge).
I’m responsible for making sure that during my live show hours, I give the listeners relevant information and events going on around the base. We also interview the base CO and Navy CO’s on a monthly basis to make sure the most accurate and timely information is made known to the base residents. As the section lead, I make sure my subordinates are prepared for their live radio shows by having topics to talk about. I also make sure the radio playlists are updated weekly, so our listeners have the newest top 40 hits that are being listened to back in the states. Also on a monthly basis, I plan and schedule special remote radio broadcasts, putting our DJ’s out in the public, so our listeners can interact with us and place a face with our voices.
Q: What do you enjoy about your job and why?
A: What I enjoy about my job is that fact that I am a facet for the people at Misawa to get the latest updates on what’s going on in their community; from charity drives, to even weekend getaways put on by the base’s FSS and ITT programs. If they’re not into social media, or watching TV, I hope they at least listen to the radio, to listen to music and enjoy the conversations I have with myself aimed at the people listening.
Q: What’s the importance of AFN?
A: Coming from a sea-based command before AFN, my only dealings with them were when we would step into their satellite foot print and be able to receive a limited few television channels. In such an isolated environment with limited internet access, AFN was great, giving us information while we were out at sea, and gave a steel ship a little feeling of home, with sports and tv shows.
Q: What tip do you have for the military community in terms of getting off base and exploring this beautiful country?
A: Best tip I have to just get out there and explore. Everyone’s interests are different, but you’re never going to find anything just sitting in your dorm or house playing video games. In my experience, I like food. And there are a lot of little hole in the wall restaurants that I never would have found if I just looked everything up on the Internet.
Q: What are you most proud of during your career?
A: The most proud moment I have during my career was advancing from E-1 to E-5 all while at my first command. I feel like this one thing opened up so many more opportunities to me career wise than if I had left my command as an E3 or E4.
Q: What should AFN listeners tune in to in upcoming weeks?
A: We’ll be doing a radio remote live from American Day on Sunday, June 5th, which is one of the largest events that happens between Misawa Air Base and the local community. Tens of thousands of our Japanese neighbors come to Misawa for a taste of America, and AFN is there covering live on the radio!