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The parking area shown in the illustration is where the current AFN building stands. Japanese workers at Sasebo Naval Base conduct site preparation Thursday for the new American Forces Network station that will replace the current facility, behind the construction equipment.

The parking area shown in the illustration is where the current AFN building stands. Japanese workers at Sasebo Naval Base conduct site preparation Thursday for the new American Forces Network station that will replace the current facility, behind the construction equipment. (AFN Sasebo Detachment)

The parking area shown in the illustration is where the current AFN building stands. Japanese workers at Sasebo Naval Base conduct site preparation Thursday for the new American Forces Network station that will replace the current facility, behind the construction equipment.

The parking area shown in the illustration is where the current AFN building stands. Japanese workers at Sasebo Naval Base conduct site preparation Thursday for the new American Forces Network station that will replace the current facility, behind the construction equipment. (AFN Sasebo Detachment)

This illustration depicts the projected look of the new facility for the AFN Sasebo Detachment.

This illustration depicts the projected look of the new facility for the AFN Sasebo Detachment. (AFN Sasebo Detachment)

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — A new American Forces Network station being built next to the one it will replace will provide about four times the space available for the detachment’s gear, studios and offices.

Chief Petty Officer Roger Dutcher, station director of AFN at Sasebo, said Thursday the two-story building will house about 14,020 square feet, including the roof.

Japan’s Defense Facilities Administration Agency coordinates contracts and pays for construction projects at U.S. facilities in Japan.

A Fukuoka DFA Bureau spokesman said that even though site preparation began last week, the cost and completion date can’t be estimated yet because bidding on the project still continues.

“Our studios now are a little small and the new ones will be much larger, which should be a lot of help,” said Dutcher. “We’ll also be getting all new accessories and a new lighting system.”

The project will provide a significant workplace upgrade for the 17 servicemembers and Japanese employees at AFN, he said.

For instance, he said, staff members using video and other production editing equipment have had to work in one of a few shared spaces close to other busy sections of the station.

“The new facility will have production editing tools in separate offices,” Dutcher said, allowing for quiet, better concentration and ideal areas for training newly assigned sailors.

“Now, when we need to have a detachment meeting, we have to gather around the cubicles as best we can. And if we have a PowerPoint presentation to show, we have to put it on someone’s computer screen and gather around,” he explained.

In the new building AFN will gain a conference room, new production offices and television and radio studios.

Once the new facility is complete, the present AFN structure will be razed and the land used for parking, Dutcher said.

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