Staff Sgt. Jordan Watson and Airman 1st Class Sindi Viviano remove the old Intermediate Distribution Frame, out of the Bldg. 180 facility, which will be scheduled to be demolished. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Self-help cable replacement project leads to savings

The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base 88th Communications Squadron cable team just completed a four-year, self-help project that will improve performance and eliminate potential outages.

The team designed, engineered and implemented the relocation of an intermediate distribution frame from an old, nonenvironmentally controlled facility, called a cross connect hut, in Bldg. 840 where the 711th Human Performance Wing is headquartered.

The old cross connect hut housed cabling for fire, security alarm systems, voice and data connectivity.

Since the project was internally funded, the cost savings was significant and required leaders and skilled technicians to complete various detailed tasks during each phase of the project.

“The old copper cabling was turned into the recycling center,” said Anderson Scott, chief of cable systems. “It provided the recycling center and base community with over $36,000 of copper for recycling. By doing the work in-house, we saved the Air Force more than $750,000 in labor costs.”

This project was developed due to a request from the 88th Civil Engineering Group for demolition of the old facility in June 2014.

The team installed more than 5,800 feet of copper cable, expanded the IDF to accommodate increased circuit availability. The team also spliced and relocated more than 54,800 pairs to the new facility. In addition to removing more than 45,600 pounds of copper cable.

“We not only saw an opportunity to upgrade our infrastructure but to provide valuable cradle to grave training to our war fighters in new installation practices and standards not normally seen at other installations,” said Scott.

This initiative delivered the base a diverse voice and data network, improving circuit performance to more than 10,000 Area B Hilltop customers. It cleared needed pathways to install optical fiber cabling, paving the way for newer technologies to be implemented, and the communications infrastructure to support future facilities and expansions.

The old cable hut was turned over to Civil Engineering for demolition, which will improve safety and eliminate a blind spot in the intersection of Fifth Street and Skyline Drive in Area B.

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