AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar - Communication is a vital key for all units to ensure a mission is successful. Airmen from the 379th Expeditionary Communications Squadron cable and antenna systems shop, or Cable Dawgs, are responsible for installing and maintaining all lines of communication at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
Cable Dawgs ensure service members at AUAB can communicate with people in the states as well as those deployed throughout the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility, through email, telephone and videos.
“Cable maintenance is the backbone of all communication,” said Staff Sgt. Bryon McMillan, 379th ECS cable and antenna systems technician, deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., and a Tampa, Fla., native. “If we didn’t have cable maintenance communications capabilities would be very limited.”
Thirteen airmen are assigned to the Cable Dawgs and according to Senior Airman Gary Boston, 379th ECS cable and antenna systems technician, deployed from Barksdale AFB, La., and an Oscoda, Mich., native, Cable Dawgs are a breed of their own within a communications squadron.
“We like to go out and get dirty,” said Boston. “If a cable becomes inoperable we roll out as a pack and resolve the issue. We always have each other’s backs and make sure we are all being taken care of.”
Providing services for cables and antenna systems, the 379th ECS Cable Dawgs are prepared to face whatever challenge the day may bring.
“We work extremely hard day in and day out,” said McMillan. “Some of the challenges we encounter are working in a confined space and heights.”
Airmen are certified to work in confined spaces where there may be room for only one person. Cable Dawgs are also certified to climb and can reach up to 400 feet to ensure nuts, bolts and corner pieces are secure due to the high winds here at AUAB.
If communications aren’t available it could cripple the mission, explained McMillan.
“Our job is important to the mission because we provide installation maintenance and repairs to keep missions going,” said Boston.
The current rotation of Cable Dawgs work together as a team and provide the base with communication support 24/7 said Boston.
“We have a great team of professionals on this rotation. This allows for us to have a great deal of knowledge on our jobs. That in turn lets us provide the best customer service and product we can for our users here at AUAB,” said Boston.