Cable dogs keep MacDill connected Published July 11, 2016 By Alannah Don 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 6th Communications Squadron (CS) recently completed the final laying of 35 total miles of cable throughout MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. The project was the culmination of many smaller cable-laying jobs completed throughout the year. Ultimately aiding in the function and mission of MacDill and the 6th Air Mobility Wing (AMW). Throughout the project 6th CS personnel outfitted various locations, such as MacDill residential areas and critical communication hubs, with new cables and circuits. Of the cables used, Tech Sgt. Daniel White, 6th CS Plans and Projects Manager, who oversaw and coordinated many of the projects explains most were fiber optic. Unlike traditional copper cables, fiber optic cables, which use ultra-thin glass strands to transmit data, create a faster and more secure network. These cables were used in the bulk of the projects and help MacDill keep up with current networks and technologies. “We make sure that the 6th CS can provide secure, reliable and efficient network usability for all users,” explains Airman First Class Norman Sharpe, 6th CS Cable and Antenna Maintenance technician, who provided technical support for the projects. In addition to creating a faster and more secure network, Sharpe explains that, among other things, the newly installed cables and circuits support emergency communications, air traffic control and general officer housing. The large undertaking was made possible through various civilian and government collaborations. In addition to the 6th CS, base contractors, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), U.S Central Command (USCENTCOM), the 38th Engineering Squadron, and commercial companies all played a role as well. While the location and purpose of each cable laying task may differ, be it the new lodging facility or a communications tower, Tech Sgt. White explains, “It’s hard to delineate who benefits from it,” as the recent cable laying “expands and bolsters base infrastructure” overall. The 6th CS plans to continue efforts to grow and support base infrastructure and communications with additional cable laying projects in the future. “Our responsibilities are to not only support the Air Force network users, but maintain our existing infrastructure in support of our mission partners,” said Sharpe.