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Cable Dawgs run in packs to get job done

By Senior Airman Micaiah Anthony 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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From scaling 150-foot towers, to exploring dark utility holes, Cable Dawgs work hard to keep Team Barksdale's $116 million cable and fiber infrastructure wrapped up.

Airmen from the 2nd Communications Squadron repair or install cables, antennas, phone and fiber optic lines to ensure Team Barksdale can communicate effectively and securely.

"Our job is important because we maintain communications around base," said Airman 1st Class Major Powell, 2 CS cable and antenna systems. "Our towers and cables are the communication focal point for getting information to leadership around base so they can make important decisions."

According to Powell, the most important part about being a Cable Dawg is keeping the lines of communication flowing so Team Barksdale can stay in contact with other bases, aircraft and ultimately the rest of the world.

With communication being vital to the mission, Cable Dawgs locate and mark where buried or hidden lines are with cable locators to prevent loss of communication during digging projects or construction.

"If we don't go out and locate our cables they could get cut, causing a whole building or even an entire side of base to lose communication," said Staff Sgt. Thomas Converse, 2 CS cable and antenna systems assistant NCOIC.

Barksdale's Cable Dawgs spend most of their day running local area network lines or installing antennas.

"Here at Barksdale it's a lot of LAN work," said Senior Airman Christopher Baer, 2 CS cable and antenna systems. "On average, we run 5,000 to 10,000 feet of LAN a week; however, this year we've been receiving more tasks to install and repair antennas."

Though the job may sound simple, being a Cable Dawg can be quite challenging, said Converse. He and his co-workers move heavy equipment and endure extreme temperatures, daunting heights and tight spaces.

"Not all utility holes are clean, plus the covers can weigh up to 100 pounds," he said. "In addition to lugging all of our equipment, climbing towers and bending in awkward positions, it can all be physically demanding."

To combat some of the challenges of being a Cable Dawg, the Airmen from 2 CS work as a team.

"If it's 4:30 p.m. and someone is still at a job we will ask if they need help," said Baer. "Even if they say no we will still go out and help them get the job done. We aren't going to leave anyone behind. we are a tight-knit group."

Though the job is tough and dirty, Cable Dawgs take pride in what they do.
"Most of the time when we get back to the shop we are covered from head to toe in dirt," said Converse. "We take pride in the fact that we get dirty and do what we do."