85th EIS first in AF to use blown fiber installation

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kimberly L. Mueller
  • 81st TRW/PA

The 85th Engineering Installation Squadron completed the first blown fiber installation for fiber optic cables in the Air Force, here, on Jan. 14.

The fiber optic cable installation was improved using an air compressor that repels the fiber through micro-tubing, setting a pipe that allows the fiber to go from one end of a run to the other.

“The fiber optic cable is a glass cable and it works the same way that our fiber optic cable we currently have on the base does, but what’s different is it installs way faster and it cuts down the time of getting it to the testing portion and getting it ready for use,” said Staff Sgt. Colton Gallegos, 85th EIS cable and antenna supervisor. “You don’t have to work hard hours and can focus on getting everything done right the first time, rather than worrying about all the smaller steps that usually ended up taking more time and effort.”

The 85th EIS demonstrated how effective this new version of installation is when they installed 1,600 feet of fiber in less than six minutes once the team started. This can cut the time of an installation from seven to 10 days to approximately three days.

“It is beneficial for the Air Force because of the speed of installation,” said Antonio Matheu, 81st Communications Squadron plans and programs. “This process can triple the customer load the 85th EIS has, providing the mission capability much quicker.”