Early one Saturday aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River, several Marines and civilian employees from Marine Corps Installations East G-6 start their day by descending into dark and muddy manholes to perform the arduous yet intricate work of installing and splicing fiber optic cables. The G-6 team is working this particular Saturday to minimize the impact to daily workflow aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River. They are fast at work upgrading the communication infrastructure by installing modern fiber optic cables to introduce additional capabilities and bandwidth to meet emerging requirements for the bases. As a broader strategic objective, this project is one of many modernization projects presently underway across MCIEAST designed to improve network and telecommunications resiliency. Once completed, these resiliency projects will allow the Operating Forces and installations to achieve increased capabilities, such as active-state redundancy, that are critical to meet today’s requirements and those of the future.
“These efforts are not specifically aligned with repairing damages from Hurricane Florence,” said Lt. Col. Damon Burrows, the assistant chief of staff for the G-6, MCIEAST-MCB Camp Lejeune. “They are aligned toward improving the infrastructure across MCIEAST to enable resiliency against increased risks to the network, and deliver higher network availability to meet the needs of the Marine Corps in this digital age.”
There are almost 470 miles of fiber optic cable already in the ground between MCB Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River. The process to accomplish this impressive feat combines technical and manual efforts to first install and pull heavy cables containing 288 smaller fiber strands, followed by precision surgical skills required to splice tiny fiber strands for each facility. “This construction aboard MCB Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River will increase overall cyber readiness,” Burrows said. “It’s important to recognize that cyber readiness is not just about cybersecurity, it is also about ensuring the availability of networks…making sure the networks actually deliver what is expected when expected.”