The American Forces Network can trace its origins to May 26, 1942, when the War Department established the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS). A television service was first introduced in 1954 with a pilot station at Limestone Air Force Base, Maine. In 1954, the television mission of AFRS was officially recognized and AFRS (Armed Forces Radio Service) became AFRTS (Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. All of the Armed Forces broadcasting affiliates worldwide merged under the AFN banner on January 1, 1998. On November 21, 2000, the American Forces Information Service directed a change of the AFRTS organizational title from Armed Forces Radio and Television Service back to American Forces Radio and Television Service.