The Cable Guys

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Vernon L. Fowler Jr.
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
The cable and antenna systems maintainers of the 6th Communications Squadron, or cable dogs as they like to refer to themselves, play a crucial role in keeping MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. running and maintaining its overall readiness to complete the mission.

They are the Airmen who answer the call when the installation experiences problems with the internet, among other things, and ultimately are the ones to thank when the issue is quickly resolved.

"We keep the lights blinking," said Senior Airman Andrew Fairchild, 6th CS cable and antenna systems maintainer. "We work to make sure that things don't happen in the first place."

On July 11, particularly, the cable dogs were dispatched out near the Marina to install an emergency beach phone. They dug a 350-foot-long trench, some parts by hand for safety, so that they could lay down the wiring.

"When there is a need for something dirty to get done, we go out and dig it up," said Fairchild. "Beforehand, we have to acquire permits from water, gas, and bio-environmental so we don't damage any of the utilities."

It will take them approximately 2-3 days to lay the wiring, terminate (connect) the phone, and patch it in to the switch to have it up and running.

"We also have to put tape on the wiring to waterproof it and prevent any potential damage," said Senior Airman Joe Tartaglia, 6th CS cable and antenna systems maintainer.

Overall, the cable dogs possess a great responsibility in helping MacDill run its day-to-day operations, maintain the safety and readiness of its personnel, and ultimately carry out the mission as efficiently and effectively as well as simply providing the ability to turn the lights on.