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130th EIS completes fiber cutover without failures, allows for hands-on training in field

Airman 1st Class Alex Bernier and Staff Sgt. Lamont Class splice fiber optic cable in preparation to transfer communication equipment from a temporary shelter to a permanent facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.  (Utah Air National Guard photo by MSgt. Mark Hoferitza/RELEASED)

Airman 1st Class Alex Bernier and Staff Sgt. Lamont Class splice fiber optic cable in preparation to transfer communication equipment from a temporary shelter to a permanent facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. (Utah Air National Guard photo by MSgt. Mark Hoferitza/RELEASED)

Airman 1st Class Alex Bernier looks on as Staff Sgt. Dave Hendrickson pulls cables from a temporary shelter at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in preparation for a communications cutover. (Utah Air National Guard photo by MSgt. Mark Hoferitza/RELEASED)

Airman 1st Class Alex Bernier looks on as Staff Sgt. Dave Hendrickson pulls cables from a temporary shelter at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in preparation for a communications cutover. (Utah Air National Guard photo by MSgt. Mark Hoferitza/RELEASED)

Salt Lake City --

The 130th Engineering and Installation Squadron recently returned from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, after sending a nine-man team to assist with moving the temporary Network Control Center for the 154th Communications Flight to its permanent position.

The 130th EIS is tasked to cover installation projects in six states, including Hawaii.  The unit's assignment recently changed due to the closing of installations squadrons in other states.

Chief Master Sgt. Mark Michie, 130th EIS installation chief, said one of the biggest challenges was completing the job in the span of a single weekend.

"We were able to come in on a Friday night, take them completely out of service, and have them back up and running before they showed up to work the next week," said Michie.

The team started the project Feb. 14, and continued with 24-hour operations through the President's Day holiday to complete the job. 

Master Sgt. Mark Hoferitza, 130th cyber transport team chief and team chief for the project, said overall the assignment went smoothly, with no failures in the cable transfer.

 "We had to interconnect 672 fiber optic fusion splices, with zero problems," said Hoferitza.  "Everything tested 100 percent, both fiber optic and copper cables."

Hoferitza said he hasn't been on a job with the 130th before, but that the success seems to be typical for the unit.

"Given the experience of the senior members of our team, I can see that this would be the norm for the 130th," said Hoferitza.

Hands-on training for young Airmen

Michie said that the 24-hour operations were a good way to allow for hands-on training with Airmen who wouldn't otherwise get the training.

"There were opportunities for on-the-job training, which is great because we can carry that back home and help train the rest of the unit on things that we learned on the job," said Staff Sgt. Lamont Class, 130th EIS cable installation technician. 

Airman 1st Class Alex Bernier, a 130th cable installation technician who recently returned to the unit from tech. school at Sheppard Air Force Base, said he learned more on this trip that he could add to his education.

"This job gave me a better understanding of what my career entails," said Bernier.  "School gave me the technical skills, but this pulled it all together."

Additionally, more experienced Airmen got the opportunity to see another side of how a project runs. 

Senior Airman Jeremy Anderson, another 130th cable installation technician, said he enjoys getting to work on outside projects because he feels he can be a better asset to the team by getting hands-on practice.  He also said that this time he was able to see further into the planning of a project.

"On this last job, I was able to see a bigger picture, especially as far as logistics and supply go," said Anderson.  "Seeing that all the time we put in actually resulted in a good product was cool to see.  It was exhausting, but worth it to see the end result."

Class said he feels the job was well done, and the unit will continue with that same standard regarding product quality and training opportunities.

"The 130th has always done professional work," said Class.  "We won't put our sticker on it if it's anything less."