News>Feature - Cable Dawgs run in packs to get job done
Airman 1st Class Creston Jenkins, top, and Senior Airman David Montroy both members of the 2nd Communications Squadron, scale an antenna tower on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 18. The Cable Dawgs Airmen climbed the tower to inspect the tower's antennas. Every six months the antennas are inspected to ensure the wires connected to the antennas do not have any corrosion or damage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Micaiah Anthony)(RELEASED)
Cable Dawgs from the 2nd Communications Squadron check each other's safety harnesses on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 18. The Airmen donned the harnesses so they could climb a tower to inspect antennas. In addition to safety harnesses, Cable Dawgs wear helmets, gloves and special boots to assist them in climbing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Micaiah Anthony)(RELEASED)
Helmets and safety harnesses line the wall of the 2nd Communications Squadron's Cable Dawgs office on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 18. Airmen from 2 CS use harnesses to prevent them from falling when climbing antenna towers. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Micaiah Anthony)(RELEASED)
Airman 1st Class Major Powell watches as Airman 1st Class Creston Jenkins, both members of the 2nd Communications Squadron, climbs down from an antenna tower on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 18. Powell acted as the safety observer during Jenkins' descent. Safety observers alert climbers of any dangers or hazards, assist climbers with tools and provide medical assistance in the event of a mishap. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Micaiah Anthony)(RELEASED)
by Senior Airman Micaiah Anthony
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
9/20/2012 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- 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."