Newsletters - Volume 53
What is: CFJSR 1 Line Sqn
Written by Lieutenant Jeffery Guignion
First in and last out is typical of the Canadian Forces Lineman MOSID-00015. The Linemen and women of 1 Line Sqn are world renown for superior workmanship, productivity and their no fear attitude of taking on any challenge. Their reputation, easily identifiable "Red 1" on their helmets, bring hope and confidence to those requesting their services which are eagerly sought after by Commanders and Commands of CF and Allied Forces.
They are employed everywhere the CF requires line and antenna communications. Their two specialties include heavy 3rd line copper and fibre optic cable installation, repair, maintenance and removal along with advanced antenna systems installation, repair, overhaul and removal. To support these capabilities, they also provide on call emergency repair, recce and design capabilities beyond simple industry standards employed in both the strategic and tactical environments. These communications systems support ships at sea, aircraft in the sky, troops on the battlefield, and Rangers on Northern patrols.
Currently with 15 members in Afghanistan supporting and directing projects with Linemen of other countries, 1 Line Squadron consists of 130 members based out of Kingston, Petawawa, Edmonton and Halifax.
1 Line members are on the road all around the world and across Canada an average of 180 days a year. The members work in 6 person crews that are deployed anywhere from overseas operations and technical assistance visits to domestic operations.
Linemen run cable and fibre optics under ground and on poles for hundreds of kilometers, critical for command and control. Working not only until the job is done, but to standards that leave other countries in awe. The crews work through intense cold and snow up North to extreme heat in Afghanistan, inside and outside the wire.
Confined spaces such as steam tunnels or manholes with the ever possible presence of toxic gases or lack of oxygen ensure all Linemen are well trained in safety procedures and use high-tech monitoring equipment.
Ascending a 600 feet antenna in under an hour while inspecting every bulb, bolt and guide wire along the way continually tests the strength and mental fortitude of each and every Linemen. Safety always paramount, high angle rescue training has come in handy on more than one occasion.
Whether fusion splicing fibre optic cable, climbing 90 foot poles, or terminating 1800 pair copper wire, the job takes strength, patience and a special technical knowledge to ensure the highest industry standard is met. 1 Line Squadron, an organization to be proud of!
Velox Versutus Vigilans