BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Members from the 455th Expeditionary Communications Squadron installed communications equipment for Jordanians service members on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan Sept. 7.
With a short notice request from the Army, Airmen with different specialties were tasked to install communication capabilities in four days, starting from scratch.
“The Army needed our help, as their communications manpower had been exhausted on other projects,” Said Senior Master Sgt. Victor Cordero, 455th ECS, Operations flight chief deployed from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. “We gathered 15 Airmen with different specialties to complete the task.”
According to Cordero, normally this would be a Combat Communications Squadron tasking, because they maintain a team equipped with different specialties and build bare bases. But since it was a last minute request, the 455th ECS had to develop their own team with Airmen from different specialties such as communications focal point, cable maintenance, radio frequency transmissions systems, cyber operations, and engineering and installation.
“The first day of the project, September 6, we dug a single three feet deep and a quarter of a mile long trench,” said Capt. Wesley Parker, 455th ECS Operations flight commander also deployed from Tinker AFB and a native of Humble, Texas. “Then we ran 3,500 feet of fiber optic cable underground. All together it took six hours with 15 Airmen; usually this is a two-day job.”
Established bases states-side and overseas typically already have this infrastructure in place.
“Here, the base is growing and there is a lot of new infrastructure that’s needs to be put in place or built up,” said Senior Master Sgt. Matthew King, 455th ECS Plans and Programs superintendent deployed from Langley AFB, Va., and native of Bangor, Me. “We established two networks for the new tactical operations center in the Jordanian service members compound.”
The following day the team picked up equipment to install fiber optic cable and wood to build a communication room on site. Then using pick axes and shovels, the communication members excavated three trenches, one foot deep and 12 inches wide to hold conduit that would protect the fiber optic and copper cable from the inside communications room, through the underground conduit to the other tents.
“This networked system’s infrastructure of fiber optic and copper cables will be the back bone of communications allowing the Jordanians to connect to Bagram’s Joint Network and voice capabilities,” said Master Sgt. Douglas Threat, 455th ECS Cyber Maintenance Section chief and native of Big Rock, Tenn. “Once the fiber cables were in place, we installed routers and cables interlinking the computer systems within the compound.”
The team’s final stage of the project consisted of configuring 15 computers to be authorized on the Army network and installing computers into the office areas for the International Security Forces command section.
All together the team completed the job, which normally would take a team of eight service members a week, with 15 Airmen in three days.
Cordero, a native of El Paso concluded, “It took a whole team to complete this project and it was a great example of our capabilities here.”