AFE HISTORY

During WWII, the USO started booking and providing live entertainment to military personnel as “Camp Shows.” The Armed Forces Professional Entertainment Office (AFPEO) was created to host these shows. By the end of the Vietnam War era, thousands of entertainers were sent to entertain U.S. military personnel.

The U.S. Air Force was assigned as Executive Agent for providing entertainment to troops serving overseas, creating the jointly-manned office: Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE). Between 2002 and 2010, AFE sent over one thousand tours and continues to create festivals such as Heat Wave, Pro Blitz, and more.

September 13, 1951
OUR MARCHING ORDERS

In 1951, Armed Forces Entertainment was established with the mission to provide entertainment to military personnel at military bases around the world – to bring them fun and relaxation through comedy, music, theater, magic, dance and sporting events.

CREDIT: DoD
1951 - MEMO ESTABLISHING AFE
1950s - 1970s
OFF TO A FLYING START

The 50s through the 70s saw the Korean Conflict, the Cold War and the Vietnam War. Our armed forces were engaged in defending the nation around the globe, and we were there to provide them with entertainment in a time without Internet or available radio. Where USO sent celebrities or performers, we were ready on the ground to field all shows.

1954 - MARILYN MONROE
1980s - 1990s
THE HITS KEPT COMING

By the close of the Vietnam War, the AFPEO had sent thousands of performers, celebrities and dignitaries to entertain U.S. military, DOD and DSC personnel living overseas. The mission to mount military shows for deployed troops marched forward.

1991 - BOB HOPE & ANN JILLIAN
2000s - 2020s
A RENEWED EFFORT TAKES SHAPE

The U.S. Air Force was tapped as Executive Agent overseeing celebrity and non-celebrity programs to troops overseas. Armed Forces Entertainment was formed as a jointly manned office. Entertainers who support the military flocked to AFE to perform.

2018 - HALESTORM
2021
WE'RE HERE FOR YOU

The COVID pandemic lead to our first virtual performances. We also launched our first major tours with our summer Heat Wave shows. Our 70th anniversary featured a virtual alumni tour.

2021 - BRIAN MCKNIGHT
TODAY
BY POPULAR DEMAND

Today we are focused on bringing the current entertainment that today’s personel want to see. Including musicians, singers, comics, celebrity chefs, athletes and magic shows.

2022 - CHASE RICE
MOMENTS IN AFE HISTORY
BOB HOPE
1951

AFE began with 'camp shows' for troops deployed overseas in major conflicts, like Korea and Vietnam. Bob Hope is one of the most notable performers of the era.

BIG & RICH
2016

AFE was featured on CMT's Hot 20 Countdown with a special holiday performance from country duo Big & Rich at NSA Bahrain

HEAT WAVE
2018

AFE kicked off the first annual Heat Wave Summer Concert Series with incredible music events around the world, including RIMPAC

GNASH PLAYING DURING HOMEGROWN
2020

AFE launched a virtual concert series called Home Grown to help bring entertainment to the troops during the pandemic

CHRIS KROEZE
2021

AFE celebrated our 70th Anniversary in 2021 with a virtual concert series featuring alumni performers, like Chris Kroeze, Danika Portz, Pop Rocks and more.

HOW DO WE HAVE SO MUCH FUN?

AFE doesn’t just follow DOD directives to bring a touch of home to our troops around the globe, we love our task. We‘re excited to share how we accomplish this year round challenge.

OUR MISSION